My Natural Chef program has turned my fascination with cooking and recipe writing into a full blown obsession. I used to only think about food in my spare time, now my “working” time I’m actually SUPPOSED to be thinking about food. This is awesome.
In addition to my own experimentation, I’m learning from some of the best nutrition-focused chefs out there. Every class I walk away with more nuggets of information that I can’t wait to share with the world. Example nugget: you shouldn’t store produce in the compostable bags from the produce section, as they speed up rot (hence: compost bags). Instead, fresh fruit and vegetables should be stored in loosely closed plastic bags, such as this one below:
In class we made a “ravioli” dish using raw turnip slices and vegan cheese, so I ran with that idea and used blanched sweet potato slices and real cheese. Plus, I will use any excuse to incorporate bourbon into a recipe. Though the blanching concept may seem intimidating, it is quick and painless. The key is to set a timer and drop in a tester sweet potato slice to see exactly how long they should boil in order to become tender (will vary by thickness). Then, repeat that timing with the remaining slices – setting the timer for each batch. It helps immensely if the slices are the same thickness, which is why a mandoline is ideal. They’re super inexpensive, the one I have is $30 but they come as low as $15, like this one. And then you can make all the veggie chips…
Lemony Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potato Ravioli with Bourbon Brown Butter
|Serves: 3, Yields: 18-20 ravioli||Prep time: 45 min||Cooking time: 20 min|
These sweet potato ravioli satisfy the cheesy stuffed pasta cravings without the glutenous pasta shell. The vibrant orange sweet potato is packed with more than 3 times the recommended daily value of vitamin A, which helps to protect the eyes in bright spring sunshine. Though this dish takes some assembly, the colorful result and alternative application will impress any dinner guest.
- Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the sweet potato into very thin rounds, ideally 1/8 – 1/16 of an inch. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tbsp salt to a rolling boil. Working in batches, boil the sweet potato rounds for 2 – 2 ½ minutes, until tender but not mushy. Remove rounds with slotted spoon and arrange on paper towel lined pan. Cover with a sheet of parchment and cover with another sheet pan to flatten.
- In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest and juice. Note that lemon zest should be removed prior juicing the lemon. Add one pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble the ravioli, scoop teaspoon size scoop of cheese mixture onto sweet potato round and cover with another round and press down to seal. Continue with this process until all of the rounds have been filled.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter gets foamy, add bourbon, walnuts, sage, and remaining one pinch of salt. Allow alcohol to cook down while constantly stirring butter sauce. When milk solids in butter have browned, remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- When serving, add ravioli to pan with sauce over low heat to warm through and spoon sauce over top. Serve immediately.
Notes These ravioli pair well with an arugula and grapefruit salad. This recipe is gluten free.
Allergens: Nuts, Dairy
Diet Direction: Building
Source: Adapted from Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Bourbon Sauce by Morgan Perkins of Peaches, Please!, http://peachesplease.com/pumpkin-ravioli/ (Sauce recipe)