Life with four boys can be hectic. Sometimes getting a healthy dinner on the table in between school and after-school activities can be a real struggle. There are plenty of days that I don't have time to prepare everything from scratch and I don't always have something simmering in the crock-pot, but that doesn't mean that I can't whip up a healthy, flavorful meal without a lot of hassle.
This is one of those recipes that I never actually plan for. It's one of those quick and easy meals that I always have the ingredients for and the kids just love. As our society turns more and more to fast-food for busy nights, it's nice to show my kids that we can prepare a healthier meal at home in the time it would take us to get take-out.
16 oz Monterey Fresh Spinach & Cheese Ravioli
1 cup Monterey Marinara Sauce
4 oz cream cheese
salt & pepper
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
This recipe is so simple and the secret is to use fresh ingredients. Monterey Gourmet Foods offers all natural pastas made from the highest quality ingredients as dictated by their strict Genuinely Natural Principles. I love their wide variety of pastas and the fact that they make it easy for me to introduce my kids to distinct new flavors inspired by dishes from all around the world. In just a few minutes, I can be ready to entertain guests with imaginative dishes that make me look like a gourmet chef.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the ravioli from sticking. Stir in ravioli and cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2. Drain the ravioli, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Toss the ravioli with a teaspoon of olive oil to coat.
3. Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cream cheese and reserved cooking liquid to get your desired consistency. I started with 2 tablespoons and kept whisking and adding until I got my sauce just right. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low 5 minutes.
4. Spoon a few tablespoons of your sauce into a shallow bowl. Top with ravioli and drizzle with more sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil, serve immediately.
Even though this meal was so quick to put together, it still left some time for the kids to get involved. They helped toss a salad together with some fresh cut vegetables and nuts and washed some fresh fruit. My 5-year-old is going through a phase where he will only eat baby carrots and grapes, so each meal includes a bowl of fresh fruit and some cut vegetables. I suppose there are worse phases he could go through!
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