Part one was simply to thaw out a quart of tomato/basil/garlic sauce we'd made many batches of last summer, and which freezes nicely. This, over basic pasta with shredded Goatsbeard cheese on top, makes a wonderfully tasty meal in minutes. We invest the time during the growing season so we don't have to buy such foods later on.
Part two were a couple very easy flatbreads. Joanna has been using a special bread dough recipe lately that can be mixed ahead of time and stored in larger quantities in the fridge. Any time we want bread, she can just pull a chunk off and do a quick bake of almost anything. In this case, she rolled out a few handfuls into flatbreads, threw some basic ingredients on top, and baked at high temperature for a few minutes each. In the time it took to boil the pasta and heat the sauce, we had a second course of delicious flatbreads:
Above, flatbread topped with some pasta sauce, shredded Goatsbeard cheese, and fresh chives from the garden.
Above, an even more elemental flatbread with olive oil, chopped chives, and Goatsbeard feta. This minimalist treatment really let the cheese, oil, and chives stand out.
So in about twenty minutes from thought process to fork, we had this excellent meal for basically the cost of putting some work in ahead of time to be ready, and some good cheese. Things like putting up pasta sauce, keeping dough starter on hand, and growing fresh ingredients are work, but they pay off when they save you the money of the manufactured version, the time of doing all that before dinner, and the incomparable quality of even a fast meal made from scratch.