Quick and Easy Eats

It’s a sort of leftover week at The Sixth Letter Household. My credit card cried last week when I went to the grocery store, so I decided to go on a vacay this week and get creative instead. With a mishmash of leftover ingredients, we made some tasty, healthy and easy meals.

I have two recipes (sort of – they’re so ridiculously simple I don’t know that the qualify as recipes) to share with you. They both come together in about 20 minutes. They’re both light but satisfying. They can both probably come together with things you may already have for those nights when you’d rather sit on the couch and watch Glee than chop 5 million ingredients. (Did anyone see Glee last night?? I genuinely wish people would break out into song in real life. I have wished this since high school…clearly I should have gone to school with New Directions.)

Whole Wheat Pasta With Veggies and Cheese


  • 2.5 cups Whole Wheat Penne
  • Goat Cheese or Feta
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • Broccoli, cut into florets
  • Olive Oil


Steam broccoli. Toss zucchini with a bit of olive oil and grill over medium high heat (you could also roast them – we used our cast iron grill pan). Cook penne until al dente, 9 – 11 minutes. Top with as much cheese as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2.

See, barely a recipe, right? But just in case anything more than the microwave is out of your comfort zone, I’ve included pictures of what it should look like.

Chopped veggies.

Always take photos of the chef. It strokes their ego.

Grilled zuke and steamed broc.

Add cheese.

Add hot and steamy pasta. And please, hold back your compliments on my food photography, I know it’s fabulous. I plan to write a diet cookbook called “The Most Unappetizing Food Photos Ever!”

Eat and lounge on the couch.

Recipe number is equally as difficult. There are several more complicated recipes out there, but this one is easy.

Lazy Man or Woman’s White Bean Gratin


  • 2 – 3 cups cooked white beans (from a can or from scratch)
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Earth Balance or butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put a single layer of white beans in a 1.5 quart baking dish. Mix in salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. If you use canned beans, use less salt as there is sodium in the beans already. If you are cooking beans from scratch, you can include a few cloves of garlic and maybe a bay leaf in the cooking water to infuse with garlicky deliciousness. Mash bread crumbs and butter/EB together. Sprinkle on top of gratin. Place in center of oven and cook until bubbly and bread crumbs are crispy. Serve with a salad or side veggie.

Serves 4 ish.

I don’t have a photo of the finished product because I was hungry and now the dish just looks like a half eaten dish of beans (perfect for my new cookbook venture, I suppose). But next time I might add some chili powder or smoke chipotle powder to give it more kick.

I hope this helps give you some healthy ideas of what to make on those nights when you come home from work and all you want to do is eat a bag of microwave popcorn and a pint of ice cream and call it dinner (we’ve all been there).




One thought on “Quick and Easy Eats

  1. i make pasta very similar to your pasta that mark has declared “the most delicious pasta ever” if you want something simple but interesting. olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, a little lemon juice, parmesan cheese, broccoli, and artichoke hearts. i’ve cooked it different ways; the most delicious is if you soak the artichoke hearts in a lemon juice, oil, garlic, pepper flakes mixture for half an hour or so before you start, and then they burst with deliciousness. i’ve also added cherry tomatoes, basil, and other vegetables. the key is really the red pepper flakes and the artichoke hearts. that isn’t a very precise recipe, but i don’t really measure anything. i just pour until things smell good.

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