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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Five Minutes Peace

Sometimes it seems the most valuable commodity on the market today is time. Our hectic lives make it almost impossible to grab long stretches of time for ourselves, but almost everyone has five minutes each day. Let’s use that time to nourish our bodies with some easy vegetable soup and energize our spirits with some me-time.

The next time you go to the grocery store, take this list:
1 bottle of a nice white wine (I like J Lohr Bay Mist Reisling)
A bag of crusty rolls
1 can cut green beans
1 small can sliced mushrooms
1 can carrots (cubed are nice)
1 28-32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 package Hidden Valley salad dressing/dip mix (dry)

Here’s your quick dinner:
In a large pan, over heat, combine crushed tomatoes and Hidden Valley mix
Open and drain the liquid from the green beans, mushrooms and carrots. Replace that salty water with clear water and add to the crushed tomato/Hidden Valley mixture. Bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Set oven to preheat for rolls. Put rolls on a baking sheet. Ask hubby and the kids to set the table. Open the wine and pour a glass. Set a timer for five minutes.

Now here comes the hard part…leave the room. Let your family take care of the dinner set-up chores. Singles, you might want to think about taking a few seconds in the morning to set the table before you leave for the day. The idea is that when you step away from the stove, you step away for a few minutes of solitude. In this case, you aren’t stopping to smell the roses, you’re stopping to smell the vegetable soup.

There are no rules here. You can do whatever refreshes or relaxes you. You don’t even have to drink the wine if you don’t want to. These five minutes are just for you. Use them well. When you return to reality (more commonly known as the kitchen) pop the rolls in the oven, dish up the soup, take the rolls out, and dinner is ready!

NOTE: On the Weight Watchers food program, this soup is “free.” If you want to pump it up, add a can of cubed white potatoes and a can of corn. Add one point per cup.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you don’t indulge in alcohol, try one of the flavored seltzers available on the soft drink aisle.

What would you do with your five minutes? Do you have a quick meal idea to share?

Karen splits her time between careers as a professional librarian and a writer of contemporary romance. She spends her five minutes imagining a repainted, redecorated house, but never actually gets around to calling the painters.


At 10:27 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Spaghetti and meatballs with a side salad is a quick meal I can throw together in about 10-15 minutes. I buy bag salad and frozen meatballs, pasta sauce from a jar. Next time I make it, I'm going to take those 5 minutes while the pasta boils!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Gillian Layne said...

My five minutes of peace at the end of the day is when my nine year old wants to play "hairdresser" and she brushes my hair. It's so relaxing!

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I almost never cook anything that takes longer than 10-15 minutes!

I do like my crock pot on occassion, though. That way I can even squeeze out more than five minutes peace.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Mo, My grocery has pre-cooked meatballs in a delicious marinara sauce. I get a full eight minutes for simultaneous pasta boiling and meatball microwaving. Ahhhhh.

Gillian, send that little hairdresser over to my house ASAP! I remember how I loved to have my hair brushed as a child.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Lisa Hendrix said...

Puff the Magic Pie

I use the same basic recipe but in a 9x13 casserole dish (makes a thinner crust), then add more veggies and some pre-cooked meat to make it a complete meal: those frozen grilled chicken strips cubed ham, leftover roast, whatever.

Five minutes prep, 30 minutes oven time, a pre-pack salad, and you have a meal.

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Lisa Hendrix said...

Phoo, that link didn't work. Let me try again with html

Puff the Magic Pie

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

Lucky you, Gillian!

And the second link works, Lisa.

When I have a few extra minutes while something is cooking, I actually frequently spend it standing at the picture window looking outside.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I love that recipe! I was vegetarian for about five years back in the '90s and I would estimate that I made it (my version was called Impossible Pie) at least once a week. It was even good left-over, and as a rule I HATE leftovers. Thanks for putting it back on my radar screen!

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes, everyone!

Gillian, I love your hairdresser story. Ahhhh...that sounds fabulous!

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

Five minutes of peace is not having to cook at all. :)

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Ha! Merrillee has that right. Not having to cook, not having to do the dishes...

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

This is a great idea, Karen! How did i miss this?! Time is precious. Time is everything. I love simple recipes like this.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Karen - Wonderful recipe and suggestions. I can't wait to try it.

Lots of great ideas here today.


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