Talk dinner to me: Arugula and roasted vegetable salad with zucchini “ravioli” stuffed with basil almond “ricotta”

Hello again! It’s been six months since my last post. Life, job and motherhood got in the way again. Last year I began this blog to use food and diet as a way to look at my life differently, adjust my habits and patterns and change my life – and I succeeded. This year started on a downward slump and I was not feeling inspired or creative. I knew it was time to shake things up. Again. I tackled the one area of my life I knew I could control – my diet.

I recently completed a 21 day cleanse and now I feel leaner, meaner and cleaner. The last thing I want to do is turn right back into my old habits and overwhelm my system again. I have been making a lot of food I have previously posted here and coming up with new recipes that will help me stay on track and not reach for gut busting foods. One of my old standards for my family is a ravioli salad – rather than surround the ravioli with a rich sauce, incorporate it into a salad. However, I always feel heavy with the pasta and unless the ravioli is fresh made by an amazing chef or Italian nonna, I am usually not satisfied. So I crafted my veg based ravioli, eliminating the gluten, grain and cheese and grilled the veggies to enhance their flavor. Wait till you try this arugula and roasted asparagus, tomato and broccolini salad topped with faux ravioli made with zucchini, stuffed with basil almond ricotta. It will satisfy you at dinner and not weigh you down.

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Food glorious food: Zucchini “ravioli” bundles filled with savory beet puree, cashew nut goat cheese and chard

Taste and smell are linked to memories and have the ability to pull old memories from our brains. I find the reverse to be true as well – if I remember a food I ate, my mouth waters and I can smell it in my mind’s nose. On a stroll through my former work neighborhood, I passed Fig and Olive where I had the most amazing ravioli filled with goat cheese and herbs –  I could not let the thought go. I wanted to taste that soft doughy bundle of dairy.

I am lucky that if I am faced with craving, it awakens the creative problem solving side of myself and I can come up with a tasty gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian , protein filled, balanced and satisfying alternative.

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