delicious spring ontario greens + a local ravioli dinner

28 May 2013

Last week on that rainy Thursday at around 7:30pm Tom and I looked at each other and realized we had no idea what we were going to do for dinner.  It was dark and wet out, we were tired after long work days and had no motivation to cook.  We had just received our latest organic produce delivery from Mama Earth Organics so had a fridge full of green vegetables, but the thought of planning and prepping a meal seemed way to tedious at that point in the evening.  Order in?  Walk down to get sushi?  We began the conversation of how to make a some what of a healthy meal happen with as little effort as possible.

Then it occurred to me: this is what all (and I mean ALL) of my clients talk to me about everyday!  Coming home after a long day and being too tired and absolutely uninspired to cook anything.  ”It’s so eassssy!”  I always tell them.  But there I was, doing the exact. same. thing.

So I decided to take my own advice.   Realistically, I told myself,  that in the same time it would take to order takeout or or walk to a restaurant I could have something way healthier, way cheaper and (not to brag) but probably better tasting, on the table.  Not to mention I had awesome ingredients staring me in the face that I did not want to waste.  Ok, that was it, I was excited to cook!

I grabbed a bunch of fresh vegetables from the fridge which were all local (another point for me and my decision!)- spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic chives- and started chopping.

fresh veg

So what to do with these vegetables?  Stir-fry them and serve over brown rice?  Crack some eggs over top and make an omelet?  And then I remembered the homemade ravioli I had been given by my friend Brian from Thomas Lavers in Kensington market that was just made the day before with local wild leeks, fresh ricotta and garlic.  That was it!  (more excitement from realizing the increasing potential of my dinner at home!)

Yes, I was going to eat pasta filled with cheese, but the best part about cooking your own dinner (and knowing where the already prepared elements have come from) is the ability to balance all of the components.  Instead of making pasta with just sauce or a few vegetables, I was creating a vegetable dish with a little bit of  pasta.  Knowing the pasta was handmade and filled with fresh, local vegetables and a tiny amount of unpasturized ricotta also made me feel good about cooking real food.

in pan

This dinner ended up being SO simple to make.  I lightly sautéed all the vegetables in a little olive oil and garlic,  boiled the pasta for a few minutes and then tossed it in the pan with the veg.  Another splash of olive oil, fresh chilli peppers, some sea salt all topped off with a healthy handful of living baby greens (kale, arugula, radish, mustard) and voila!  A healthy, delicious, local meal cooked in under 30 minutes!

finished meal

The payoff was so high compared to the little extra effort it took to prepare this home cooked meal for Tom and I.  I guess I do give good advice after all….

Spring Greens with Ravioli
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 8 stalks of asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard, dandelion greens or a combination)
  • olive oil
  • chili peppers
  • sea salt
  • microgreens
  • 8 pieces fresh ravioli
Instructions
  1. Boil water in a medium pot
  2. While water is boiling, lightly sauté the garlic in olive oil
  3. Add asparagus and mushrooms and sauté until asparagus has softened but still maintains a crunch
  4. Add pasta to boiling water until ravioli starts to float to the top, only a few minutes. Pasta should be very al dente as it will keep cooking in the pan
  5. Add the greens with a splash of water until wilted
  6. Drain ravioli (reserving a splash of pasta water) and add both to pan with vegetables
  7. Toss with a little more olive oil and season with chill peppers, sea salt and pepper
  8. Divide between two bowl and top generously with seasonal micro greens

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