Winter Warmth Series: Recipes from the Operations Manager

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The first snow has fallen and the temperatures are surely dropping (eh, sometimes). Welcome, winter! With less fresh fruits and veggies to choose from at the grocery store, cooking can be a struggle. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be! My “Winter Warmth” series will focus on using seasonal ingredients to create meals your whole family can enjoy. There’s nothing better than a nice warm meal on a bitter cold day. I’ll try new recipes, and also throw in some of my personal winter favorites.

For any additional recipes/ideas/suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email at alyssa@4afsfit.com

Butternut Squash Spinach Ravioli
Serves: ~4

This was a new recipe for me. It was so good, I had to share!

Ingredients:

 

  • 1.5 cup butternut squash puree (directions below)
  • 1.5 cup of half and half
  • 8-10 ounces of spinach
  • 1-1 pound bag frozen, cheese ravioli or tortellini
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chopped parsley and red pepper flakes (optional, for garnish)
  • 1 chicken breast or 2 chicken sausage links (optional)

Butternut Squash Puree Directions:
Prep Time: ~10 minutes
Cooking Time: ~20-30 minutes

I recommend doing this in advance. I did this on Sunday with my normal meal prep routine, which made whipping this up on a weeknight a breeze!

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray baking sheet with Pam or some other oil
  • Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. You’ll need a pretty big, sharp knife for this.
  • Scrape out all the fiber and seeds, and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. This will help to speed up the roasting process.
  • Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until you can pierce through the squash with a fork.
  • Flip the squash over for cooling. Once cooled, flip it back over and peel the skin off. I recommend using a peeler or knife.
  • Next, place in blender or food processor to create a puree. If your blender or food processor starts to get jammed up, pulse it for just a few seconds at a time.

 

Pasta Directions:

Prep Time: ~5 minutes
Cooking Time: ~15 minutes

  • Fill a large pot or dutch oven 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1.5 cups of half and half and 1.5 cups of butternut squash puree. Stir until creamy. Feel free to add more cream for desired thickness.
  • Place spinach directly on top of the sauce mixture, cover, and remove from heat (~5 minutes).
  • While spinach is working on wilting, drop your ravioli or tortellini into your pot of boiling water and cook to directions on package.
  • Stir your cream and spinach mixture and add in ravioli or tortellini for desired ratio.
  • Garnish with parsley and/or red pepper flakes
  • Protein bonus: Add in some tasty chicken sausage or chicken breast

Warning: This is very filling, you’d be surprised how few raviolis fill you up!

ENJOY!

 

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