It is that time of year again; wherever you go holiday food is waiting for you. Declining is not an option because the food made this time of year comes in the form of gifts, gratitude and love. How can you turn that down? After 6 months of spending 90% of my time sitting on my butt, reading, writing, studying or sleeping my clothes are slowly getting tighter. I will need a new wardrobe in January if I do not start eating just a little bit better.
For this reason I am going to focus the next few weeks on trying to make recipes that are less fancy and more healthy. Two simple rules I always follow for making things more figure friendly is to increase the volume of vegetables (potatoes do not count) and to decrease the volume of fats (oil, butter, cream and cheese).
I'm starting my healthy dinner streak with a ravioli dish. Maybe not the best choice - especially a white, cheese stuffed ravioli - but I made a sauce that is purely healthy vegetables and garnished it with just a touch of fresh parmesan. To increase the health factor I would substitute a whole wheat bow-tie or corkscrew pasta for the ravioli. The fresh little mini raviolis I used here are from Whole foods.
Winter seasonal: winter squash, spinach and sage
1 medium sized winter squash, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 cup fresh spinach, cut roughly in half
1/2 pint baby tomatoes, cut in half
Finely chopped sage
Rosemary infused olive oil
Freshly grated parmesan, to garnish
Ravioli or other pasta
Ravioli or other pasta
1 - Preheat oven to 400F.
2 - Cook pasta according to directions in salted water.
3 - Roast squash, in a covered roasting pan, for about 20 or 30 minutes (or until tender).
4 - Remove squash from oven, uncover and let cool slightly.
5 - Meanwhile in a pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat, stir in sage, spinach and baby tomatoes.
6 - Squish squash in a bowl with a fork, using a tsp or two of olive oil (herb-infused if you have it) and sea salt to taste. Stir in some water if you want the squash to be thinned out, more sauce-y like. Depending on your taste you can mash half of the squash and leave half chunky.
7 - Stir the Squished squash into the pan with the spinach which should be wilted and the tomatoes should be slightly soft.
8 - Combine the pasta with the squash mixture and serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.