If you aren’t familiar with the ‘Dinner with the Crazies’ segment of The Aspiring RD, click the ‘Dinner with the Crazies’ page above for a bit of background information.
September. It starts with Labor Day weekend, tricking you into thinking that this is going to be one of those summer holiday months. It isn’t. Sitting in morning traffic on the way back from a lovely 10-day vacation in the Berkshires I was quickly slapped back into reality: summer is over.
No more lovely workdays that end at 5:30pm. No more summer Fridays. No more languishing over brunch al fresco.
You know what there is? A full load of graduate classes, Editor-in-Chief of the student paper, 3 rides a week at Recycle Studio, volunteer hours, 2 unpaid internships and a dog who is going through his terrible sevens (in dog years).
And not an extra moment to spare.
Which means, it is time for the fall editions of Dinner with the Crazies to begin.
We were actually quite responsible on Sunday night and decided to shop during the day then cook at home (Why don’t I always cook on weekends when I have more time?!). Unfortunately however, I have literally forgotten how to grocery shop due to my three lazy months of purchasing individual yogurts, pre-cut fruit, and dinners from the Whole Foods hot bar. I walked into our neighborhood Whole Foods (Oh right! The 1,569 other people in here on a Sunday is exactly why I don’t cook on weekends) and wandered aimlessly around, had to call Mike once to be reminded what he wanted me to buy (“Bread, Katie. Simple stuff”) and finally found myself in front of the meat counter to purchase the steak tips we had agreed on.
“Um…well…(trying to calculate lbs/person but realizing that I always buy 1 lb when I do that, and that isn’t enough for Mike or leftovers…holding up the line here…) uh…10 steak tips is good.”
Duh Katie. You just bought practically 2 lbs of meat for 2 people.
So, due to my need to re-learn how to grocery shop, Mike and I had a good deal of leftover steak at our house. And although Hugo has gotten very spoiled and has been transitioned from just White Fish + Sweet Potato to White Fish + Sweet Potato + Beef Stew, I still don’t feed him food intended for us.
So we have over 1 lb of leftover steak.
And I only eat red meat once a week.
This is going to be bananas.
While I was trying to figure out how to consume all this leftover meat, I also realized I needed dinner for last night. And since I had just spent $16.78 on steak, it was going to be cheap.
I had been getting requests for my next installation of DWTC (that you will inevitably now call Dancing With the Crazies in your minds, as I do) and realized this was the night to do it.
Frozen Ravioli on hand?
I love Rising Moon Organics‘ frozen pastas. They are organic, often on sale 2/$4 at Whole Foods, and are perfectly portioned for two people. If one is me and the other is a man and I give him a least one extra ravioli on his plate.
Keep an eye out for when they are on sale and pick up a couple different varieties. They are a great DWTC staple to have on hand as they keep better in the freezer than fresh pasta you freeze, take up very little space, and take only 8 minutes to cook.
I also recommend the Feta-Hazelnut and Butternut Squash Ravioli and the Basil, Asiago and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli.
A quick walk-by at Shaws to score some sliced mushrooms, fresh basil, and salad greens.
Then, you fridge raid.
Fresh spinach, leftover tomato from the night before, some shaved parmesan from ?, and white wine. I may run short on sanity, but I don’t run short on white wine.
Get the ravioli cooking in a pan with mildly boiling water – adding these delicate little pillows to a rapid boil could make them burst.
Sautee the mushrooms first in some olive oil, salt and pepper. When they start to get a bit soft, add a couple splashes of white wine to the pan and your glass.
Next, add the entire container of spinach, cook until it begins to wilt, then add the tomato and basil. While it is cooking down make a little salad from stuff you find in your fridge.
That took about 90 seconds, so the “sauce” and ravioli should be ready. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, add to sauce pan and delicately stir around.
It should look like this if your fridge raid turned up the exact same stuff as mine, which is unlikely. Black olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and dried mushrooms would also have been good editions – all shelf stable items you can easily have on hand.
As many of you know, I already miss New York. But it was also nice to put two plates of tasty, good-for-you food down on the table instead of one (container of take-out).
Welcome back, crazies. It’s going to be a good year.
- The Aspiring RD