Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Zucchini "Pasta"- Ravioli and Lasagna!

This summer I didn't get my garden going-- I don't know what happened, just in a funk maybe- but the positive is that I have friends who did! Tomatoes are in season in Michigan right now, so I took a break from swimming to pick some... plus some fresh basil and cucumber! 

I tossed all of them together with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper... doesn't get more fresh than that! The rest of the basil will become pesto. :)

I was reading a few recipes with a favorite summer vegetable, zucchini, and thought instead of my normal preparation of spiralizing it into "zoodles" and making a homemade meat sauce (see my recipe HERE) I should try something different and still pasta-like. (I saw the raviolis as a raw recipe with squash... might be interesting to try??) In both of these dishes the zucchini maintains its al dente texture... mushy veggies... yuck! I used real cheese in my lasagna because I LOVE ricotta... there are some great cashew cheese recipes online if you want to keep it strictly paleo. 
I made both of these dishes with the same pound of ground chicken. If I were making the ravioli for more than two people, I would use the whole pound there and cook separate meat for the lasagna.
I also made my own marinara sauce- this recipe omitting the meat- but you could easily buy it- just read labels! 

Ground Chicken and Spinach

-  1 lb Ground Chicken
- 2 Cups Baby Spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle in a little olive oil. Add the onions and garlic (a pinch of salt and pepper) and cook until translucent. 

2. Add the chicken and cook through, breaking it up as much as possible. Add the seasoning. 

3. Turn off the heat and add the spinach. It will wilt quickly and you're done! 

Zucchini Ravioli Pouches

(makes four pouches- serves 2 adults)

- 1 Large Zucchini
- 1/2 Chicken-Spinach Mixture
- 1 Cup Marinara Sauce 
- Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Preheat the over to 350 Degrees. 

1. Using a vegetable peeler, or the thinnest setting on a mandolin, cut the zucchini into thin strips. 

2. Using 2-3 strip per side, lay them out creating an "X"

3. Place a few tablespoons of the filling in the middle. 

Fold up the bottom, both sides, and then the top. 

Pour a 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Flip and place folded side down the dish. Repeat with the remaining strips- I made four large "pouches"

Top with the remaining sauce

... and with cheese if you want!

Bake 30 minutes. 

Zucchini Lasagna

(Serves 4)

- 1 Large Zucchini
- 12 oz. Part Skim Ricotta
- 10 oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed, squeezed
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cups Marinara 
- 1/2 Chicken-Spinach Mixture Mixture 
- Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. 

1. Using a vegetable peeler, or the thinnest setting on a mandolin, cut the zucchini into thin strips- I used my mandolin on 1/8".

2. Mix the ricotta, spinach and egg together. 

3. Mix the chicken and marinara together

- this should be thick. 

4. In an 8' x 8' baking dish, add 1/4 cup of the meat sauce. Layer with half the zucchini slices. 

top with 1/2 the ricotta mixture

half the remaining meat sauce

repeat one more time

Top with Parmesan if you want... 

bake 30 minutes. Let it cool a little before cutting. 

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