We recently had a raging night out without Baby M. We fed her and her put her to bed. Got ourselves all dolled up (me more so than Mr M) and grabbed our essentials. The baby monitor. We were going for dinner downstairs to our neighbours flat!! They are such a gorgeous little family, and over the past year or so we've always chatted away in the stairwell and always said that we should do dinner sometime. Well sometime finally happened! They put their two older kiddies to bed first too, so it was a 9pm kick-off for adult time!!
When we eventually crept back up the stairs and checked the time, it was almost 2am! I haven't seen that hour of the night for a really, really long time (I chose not to look at the time when breastfeeding in those long early nights too, so it really has been a while).
Other than having a really lovely dinner (Dejan has just become Gluten Intolerant too, so we dined like royalty in their presence), I also came home with a cookbook to borrow. Crazy Sexy Kitchen is a recipe book in the plant-based revolution. The authoress began eating this vegan-esk life as a response to some fairly serious cancer diagnosis's over a few years. This hit a raw nerve with me as I have seen first hand how life-changing and life-saving a vegan lifestyle can be for a very special family member. I cradled this book to bed and read Kris' story, and then positively drooled over the recipes that followed.
This beetroot "ravioli" is the first recipe I earmarked to try and I just loved it. It was simple. Fresh. And delicious.
"Ravioli". Because it isn't really ravioli. There's no pasta. There's no packaging/pillowing involved. There's not even any cooking. None at all. So it isn't a traditional ravioli, but it is "ravioli" in nature.
2 large beets, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup cream cheese/ricotta
2 T chilli jam/thick sweet chilli sauce
1/4 onion, diced
1. Combine olive oil with the salt and pepper. Add sliced beets and marinate for at least an hour. (I could have sliced my beets a little more finely, they were a little chunky).
2. Prepare the filling. I didn't use the filling that was suggested, which was a cashew cream cheese, because I didn't have the patience to hunt down onion powder or soak cashews overnight! But this simple chilli cream worked perfectly and would be what I make next time too! To prepare the filling, combine the diced onion, chilli jam (or any flavour you like really) and cream cheese and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
3. Shave the asparagus into long thin peices using a vegetable peeler. The recipe called for this to be soaked in pumpkin-seed oil, but we had it a la naturale!
4. Put approximately one teaspoon of cream cheese on each of the bases of beetroot.
5. Close the "ravioli" with a second piece of beetroot.
6. Top off with asparagus and I also served a few roasted chat potatoes as well, which added a nice bit of warmth and helped Mr M feel a little more full.
I was expecting to feel like this had been an entree and be looking for a hunk of meat to sink my teeth into afterwards, but I couldn't eat another bite. Because the beets are still raw, there is a substantial amount of chewing required, which meant the meal took longer than usual, and so we weren't still hungry when we finished. The cream cheese had the perfect saltiness with the onion, matched with the slight spicyness of the chillies, which complimented the sweetness of the beets.
Delicious. It is not surprising at all that this recipe book has made the New York Time's best sellers list and everyone from Oprah to Christy Turlington sing her praise. Give this recipe a go and see for yourself!