Summer Vegetable Ravioli Salad

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A time saving weeknight dinner to save for the upcoming back to school nights! The simplest of recipes: frozen ravioli, steamed fresh summer vegetables, bottled pesto, and parmesan cheese. So yummy, nobody will believe that it only took minutes! Leftovers make great cold lunches too!

A time saving weeknight dinner to save for the upcoming back to school nights! The simplest of recipes: frozen ravioli, steamed fresh summer vegetables, bottled pesto, and parmesan cheese. So yummy, nobody will believe that it only took minutes! Leftovers make great cold lunches too!

 

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I have alluded to the fact that I often avoid the traditional grocery store when it comes to buying food, especially produce.  I did my time working at a grocery store after college, and as someone who has worked the back end of a produce department, I’m really not impressed.

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I started using a national produce co-op called Bountiful Baskets about five months ago.  The co-op is saving us money while encouraging us to eat more produce.  It is not local, but at least it is generally fresher and better quality than my local grocery store produce. My goal is to finish the co-op produce within the week to ensure that we’re getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diet. The co-op basket is often the inspiration for recipes that I come up with that week.

I’m not getting money for representing the co-op or anything. I just think their service is good and worth mentioning.  (Note to local readers: they normally deliver to Manhattan, but the local coordinators took a break for the summer, so I had to pick it up in Junction City the last couple of months.)

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The other night I just tossed a few of our co-op vegetables into the steamer basket and pulled some cheese ravioli out of the freezer. The entire dish only took about 3 minutes plus the amount of time it takes to boil water.  Way easy.

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So simple! So pretty!

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Sooooooo yummy!

Ingredients

  • 3 c summer vegetables, chopped. I used yellow squash, bok choy, and broccoli, but sweet potato, cauliflower, peppers, kale, spinach or other types of squash would also be yummy.
  • One bag of frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove on high and bring to a boil for the ravioli.
  2. Chop the vegetables.  Add an inch of water to the bottom of a medium pan with a steamer basket. Add vegetables to basket and bring to boil. Steam until desired texture is achieved.
  3. Add ravioli to boiling water and cook per package instructions or until all the ravioli begins to float.
  4. Drain ravioli and return to pan. Add steamed vegetables, cheese, pesto to pan and gently stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Optional tip: spoon leftovers into small containers to use as lunches throughout the week! Leftover ravioli salad is great cold too!

Have you ever tried a meat or produce co-op before?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  The comments are open!

One Pot Brown Fried Rice

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This simple one pot recipe uses brown rice, frozen veggies, eggs, and soy sauce to make fried rice.  It’s great for those evenings when even takeout seems likes too much effort.  Brown rice provides whole grains and fiber, which are an essential part of a healthy diet.

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Today, I’m feeling a little frayed around the edges. “Thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread,” as Bilbo Baggins says.  You know those kinds of days?

Oh sweet baby, please never outgrow your slobbery kisses and morning time coos! Forever, hold my face in both your little hands and beam from ear to ear; I’ll never grow tired of it. May you light up with smiles every time you see me for a long, long time!

But anytime you would like to sleep through the night would be absolutely fine, mmmkay?

So temporary? Maybe. People love to remind me how temporary and short this phase in life is, but that advice doesn’t keep all the pieces of life I’m juggling from crashing down today.

Simplifying everything does keep my world running a bit more smoothly. Oh, and prayer. And a little coffee.

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The first kitchen purchase after I had a baby? A rice cooker.

There is nothing simpler: Rice + water + on switch. Combine with a few veggies and a meat (or beans… rice + beans create a complete protein), maybe some broth, and you could end up with a hundred easy and budget friendly dinner options. If you don’t have a rice cooker, minute rice and boil in bag are also great options. I relied on those products for years.

Rice feeds more than half the world’s population on any given day and is a major staple in many cultures cuisine. It comes in two basic varieties: brown and white, the former being whole grain holds the most nutritional value. It has been credited to be beneficial for your skin, your metabolism, your blood pressure, and your lower digestive system. Some scientists even say it prevents cancer.

This simple recipe is one of the big guns in my “surviving the crazy of real life” arsenal; so simple and basically healthy, especially compared to the other foods we Americans typically turn to when life gets crazy.  The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, and it only takes minutes to dump and cook. (I especially appreciate my rice cooker on days like this. Smartest purchase I’ve ever made.) And only one pan to clean!

May this recipe make your life a little easier. And yummier. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 C uncooked brown rice
  • 2 C water
  • 6 oz frozen mixed veggies: corn, carrots, peas (approximately half a bag)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp, 1 tsp soy sauce, separated

Instructions

  1. Add brown rice, water, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and frozen veggies to a rice cooker. (Or, cook rice on the stovetop per package instructions, and add frozen veggies to water with rice.)
  2. When rice is almost cooked, crack eggs into a small microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave on high, stirring with a fork in 15 second increments until completely cooked.
  3. Stir cooked egg into pot of rice and veggies after rice is completely cooked.

Optional: mix in cooked chicken or shrimp with the egg if you have it on hand! 🙂

This simple one pot recipe uses brown rice, frozen veggies, eggs, and soy sauce to make fried rice.  It's great for those evenings when even takeout seems likes too much effort.  Brown rice provides whole grains and fiber, which are an essential part of a healthy diet.

Southern Spice Roasted Asparagus

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Nothing more delicious than oven roasted asparagus in springtime.  This recipe uses your favorite cajun spice to add a kick to this healthy, low calorie side.

Maybe I’m weird, but I always want a warm vegetable with my meal.  Cold salads always seem to leave something to be desired.  I never get tired of roasted vegetables, especially roasted asparagus.

Inspiration came from our local farmer’s market. Asparagus is in season, and it was offered by several vendors at the Farmer’s market this week. I try to always jump at the chance to eat seasonally and locally!

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