Michigan’s weather has been cold and hot lately (per usual), and the winter chill doesn’t seem like it wants to go away.
My body wanted something warming yet fresh. Like most of you, I’ve been trying to lose my COVID 20 (lbs), exercise and generally be more consistent with making healthy choices. This dinner should satisfy all of the above and BONUS – it’s super quick to make. The creaminess from the ravioli mixed with crisp lemony-buttery-garlicy-peppery yumminess will awaken your taste buds and feed the urge for comfort food. This was so satisfying that I forget to take a picture of the full plate (whoops).
So lets dive into the health benefits of the major players in this meal (with the exception of the ravioli which was my dirty pleasure – apologies and you’re welcome).
Zucchini is rich with a plethora of nutrients but it has four main benefits; skin protector, healthy heart functionary, bone strengthener and it advocates for healthy body weight.
Much like the yellow summer squash, the majority of those benefits stems directly from the carotenoids. Carotenoid rich produce in general shields skin from UV rays and pollution, has been known to slow the skins aging process by keeping skin hydrated and elastic, could slow or lower your risk of cardio vascular disease, may curb negative health effects of eating a high fat diet. On top of all that, Carotenoids have loads of potassium and fiber, which has also been linked to stabilizing blood pressure, healthy digestion and just general heart health. If you want to dig into some of the scientific studies, you can find the links though this website.
Yellow Squash is chocked full of vitamin A, B, C, Fiber, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Folate. Just to give you an idea of the additional nutrients one lonely cup of summer squash has, see below.
Tell me you cant get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals from real food and I’ll fight you.
- Giovanni Rana Italian Sausage Ravioli – 18oz Family Size. You can pick up from Aldi, Walmart, Meijer or Plum Market
- 1 yellow summer squash cubed
- 1 zucchini cubed
- 1 TBLS unsalted butter
- Juice from half a lemon
- 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- grated parmesan to taste
- Boil water. Add pasta to water per package instructions. This pasta only takes 4 minutes to cook. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- While you’re waiting for the water to boil, melt butter in a wide skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and shallot for one minute, then add zucchini, squash, salt and LOTS of pepper. I prefer my zucchini and summer squash to have a little crunch to it. If you overcook them, it takes away from the nutritional benefit, (as with most vegetables). Keep an eye on both. You’ll notice the inner white portion turning more translucent.
- When zucchini and squash are “half way” translucent, add the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water and lemon juice to skillet to finish cooking.
- Drain pasta and garnish with shredded parmesan.
**When plating this dish, I had about 6 ravioli on each plate with a big serving of the skillet veggies.