A few weeks ago…ok, probably close to a month ago now I was the winner of a blog competition from this lovely lady that had me squealing for joy. Part of the prize was a cookbook from one of my favourite chefs – Heidi Swanson, author of the amazing blog 101 Cookbooks and various other cookbooks.
The book sat on my desk, waiting for the perfect moment for me to flick through the pages and really immerse myself in it (Does anyone else do that?? Hold off on things so they can savour the moment more??). I did that one rainy Saturday afternoon when Melbourne was being a jerk and not being very Spring-like with the a bite or two of the chocolate that accompanied the prize.
Unfortunately, my pregnancy aversions at that stage meant I wasn’t so enamoured with dark chocolate and could only eat a little bit but it was happily devoured by Evs who didn’t even care that it was raw, organic and pretty much fructose free.
Anyways, I had my eye on a few things I wanted to try (the pepper tempeh being recommended as a good one!) and a week or so later I got my chance when Evs proudly walked into the house one evening with our very first broccoli from our veggie patch.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the picture I posted there a few nights ago when we made it, but we have loved it so much that I’ve made it twice since. I based on the recipe from Heidi’s book above, but since I didn’t have..err…the main ingredient or two I kinda improvised with what I did have and loved the results.
The best part of this is that it it SO QUICK – it took me about 15-20 mins from stove to plate, including prep time. The first time I made it with fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli but made it again yesterday for dinner with soba noodles because as per usual I forgot to get the main ingredient.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of eating soba noodles before – soba Noodles are thin noodles from Japan (about the size of spaghetti) made out of buckwheat and can be eaten in hot or cold dishes. One of my favourite memories is that of being in Hong Kong last year in the middle of the hot summer and eating the most amazing Soba Noodle salad with eggplant and mango paired with delicious crisp white wine… *drool*.
Man, I miss wine.
Aside from being tasty as hell, soba noodles contain buckwheat which has a great number of health benefits including:
- 100% buckwheat noodles are gluten free (check the label as sometimes they are a mix of wheat and buckwheat flour)
- Buckwheat is uniquely rich in proteins (12-15%) and the essential amino acid lysine (5-7%), which is lacking in most cereal grains.
- Contains numerous B-vitamins and magnesium which are essential to our health. The magnesium found in buckwheat can also regulate your body’s insulin and glucose production, helping you ward off diabetes.
- Said to be able to lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure by absorbing the cholesterol in your small intestine
- High in dietary fibre as well which is great for you know, THOSE days when you need some help being…regular.
Healthy Chilli Soba Noodles/Ravioli with Broccoli
(serves 2-4 (depending on your serving sizes), adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day (Harissa Ravioli))
1 garlic clove, smashed (OR if wanting to be quick, 1 tsp minced garlic)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice (OR, if you forget to buy lemons, 1 tsp white vinegar works too)
2 TB crushed chilli (OR 5-6 fresh chillis, chopped finely and squished.)
2 TB cold-pressed olive oil
340g fresh/frozen cheese stuffed ravioli/tortellini OR 60g dry soba noodles
1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
30 g flaked almonds, toasted (Can also use pepitas or pine nuts)
goat’s cheese/feta to taste (for pregnant ladies – just make sure the cheese are pasteurised. The ricotta in the ravioli is fine because it gets boiled through)
30 g chopped black olives
Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, make the chilli marinade – in a small bowl mix the smashed garlic, crushed chilli, olive oil and lemon juice/vinegar. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to taste (THIS by itself it SO YUM. I’ve used it as a salad dressing since as well. SO good.)
Toast the flaked almonds in a small pan until golden brown and then set aside.
When the water boils, add salt and then the pasta/soba noodles. Soba noodles usually take about 4-5 mins to cook, and ravioli about 4-6 minutes.
About 2 minutes before the pasta has fully cooked, add the broccoli into the water and continue to boil for the remaining time. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Put the pasta/noodles and broccoli into a large bowl. Toss with about 3/4 of the chilli marinade and most of the flaked almonds.
Serve into small serving bowls or a platter and top with more of the chilli marinade and the remaining flaked almonds. Crumble some goat’s cheese and sliced olives on top. Eat with delight
What is your favourite weeknight quick dinner?