Spinach and Acorn Squash "Ravioli" - Flexing those culinary muscles.

Dear readers (I am writing that to channel my inner Victorian) - 
I've been cooking all summer. Really. Reading, watching Korean television, and cooking. Interviewing for jobs that I do not get. (I was hoping for a call telling me I got a job today - no such luck).Cooking is a catharsis. At least I know I'm good at it. 

I've had some not-so-successes this summer, but only one was inedible (a mistake in the pot getting too hot). I've missed blogging about my culinary journey, but not so much that I've forced myself to do it. What is it about having so much free time that drives one to do...nothing?

I started a college course this week that fulfills my requirements to obtain my Professional Teaching certificate. It takes up a huge chunk of my day! If it wasn't an internet course, it probably wouldn't require so much work. 

Anywhoo, back to the whole cooking thing. A few days ago I was very impressed with myself when I made this dish: Spinach and acorn squash "ravioli". Recipe here. It is not vegan in any sense of the word, but is safe for vegetarian consumption and the dairy is not unhealthy (btw, research newest research on food consumption of saturated fat - you'll be surprised at the results!)

The first step was to roast the acorn squash. I put some water in a baking dish and then the squash, cut sides down, for about an hour at 400.

While that was cooking, I combined 5 ounces of frozen, thawed, pressed (removed water) spinach with 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper.

I cooled the roasted squash and scooped it from the shells. After mashing, I combined it with 1/4 cup of Publix-brand fat free sour cream and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. I would advise leaving the nutmeg out, or maybe choosing a different spice. I felt that its flavor was distracting.

I didn't have sage leaves, so I sauteed a guessed amount of dried sage with butter. (Read this article on reasons why butter is a superfood. It, combined with the research on saturated fat I mentioned earlier, and my fear of processed foods convinced me to switch to real, sweet cream butter from Earth Balance spread.)

Then, simmer with 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth. I used to sing the praises of those Rapunzel vegan bouillon cubes. I've recently learned that they contain a form of MSG (yeast extract) - so I've switched to organic vegetable broth. It's more expensive, but not as scary.

Finally, to the ravioli part. I put a dollop of spinach and a dollop of squash in wonton wrappers, and then folded them like so, pressing on the top of the triangle to seal. I didn't close all sides.

Then, I lined them up on a baking sheet and spooned the broth over top. After about twenty minutes, the looked like so:

And were delicious, minus the slightly off-taste of the nutmeg.

I felt like they wouldn't be enough, so I made some Asian-style asparagus. It was incredible. Really. I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, but otherwise followed this recipe.

It's good to be back. More posts to come!

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