HEALTHY & DELICIOUS RAVIOLI RECIPE

Mushroom Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

It’s been ages since last time I posted a recipe here! The other night I was looking for some healthy food inspiration on Pinterest, when I came across various delicious pasta dishes that inspired me to use some of the vegetables I like the most. For this light vegetarian ravioli recipe, I combined gorgeous long ribbons of zucchini with mushroom-stuffed ravioli and a side of fresh spinach flavored with salt and garlic. It was so tasty and easy to make! Next time I’ll make sure to cook it with whole wheat pasta to get even more protein and fiber.

Give it a try!

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ingredients button

  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced  lengthwise
  • 1 pound fresh mushroom ravioli
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 20 asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • cup fresh broccoli cuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 16-ounce bag whole-leaf spinach
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

directions button

1.  Prepare the ingredients. Finely chop a small onion and slice some mushrooms.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

2. Slice “ribbon-thin” zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler, and cut asparagus into small pieces.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ravioli according to package directions and broccoli until is crisp-tender. Drain well in colander and set aside.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, asparagus, onion, mushroom and zucchini until they are tender. In another skillet, cook spinach until it has thawed, wilted and heated through, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

5. Once ingredients are cooked, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Add spinach and stir until everything is mixed.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

6. Add cooked ravioli to vegetables, cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and italian seasoning.

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

 

7. Sprinkle individual servings with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.  Serve with French bread and two slices of tomato, and get ready to enjoy this perfect vegetarian pasta recipe!

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

Healthy Ravioli Recipes

The flavors of Italy are best expressed in simplicity: a dash of spices, a little oil, fresh pasta and vegetables; and dinner’s on the table in minutes!

Enjoy! :)

 

feet from shore

 

 

CHARM IN THE MIDWEST

Park Ridge, Ilinois

I finally had some time to stroll around my new little city (life has been busy lately) and started to get familiar with the streets and main buildings. I am still in that point where if Dan left me alone in the middle of downtown without a GPS, I would certainly not be able to find my way home. Everything looks the same to me!

We might not have the beach close-by as we were used to, but there is plenty of charm here. My life routine changed completely two weeks ago, but I’m happy to say that I have embraced this change better than I thought I would. Park Ridge has meaning to me; it is the city where my man grew up and I just love to see some of the places where his best childhood memories took place.  Every time we go out there is a new story to hear, something new to learn about him. So cool.

This Chicago suburb is so cozy and friendly, and I like that it has some personality attached to it. There is a magical combination of old and new, with beautiful quaint buildings lining the streets and cute boutiques to shop around. The houses are so unique too, you won’t find one similar to another.

I can’t wait for spring to arrive to see the flowers and trees blossom. It’s going to be wonderful!

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Yael Serena

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Dan Schallmo

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Yael Serena

Yael Serena

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Illinois

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Dan Schallmo

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Ilinois

Park Ridge, Ilinois

 

PS: I’m obsessed with these picture frames – aren’t they cute? I totally need one.

Have a great day! :)

feet from shore

HEY LOOK, I GOT A FISH!

Fishing in Chicago

The weather was wonderful in Chicago this past weekend – it was actually nice to be outside! We were debating whether to go to the zoo or fishing with my in-laws, and since they preferred the latter, we went for it. I’d never been fishing before, so I thought it would be cool to try something new and see if I liked it. And I certainly did!

We started the day off by going to get our licenses and some bait. It is crazy how many things you have to take into account when you are going fishing – choose the right hook, the right bait, the right bobber, etc. Thank God Michelle knew what she was doing and decided for us.
Our initial plan was to go to Lake Michigan, but one of the salesmen recommended we go to Busse Lake in Elk Grove and we followed his advice. The area was very nice, even though it was a little bit crowded when we got there.

Dan and I were terrible with the fishing pole; so we had to spend most of our time untangling the fishing line instead of catching bluegills. It was the perfect excuse to make fun of each other though. Alex and Michelle were awesome, and they caught a fish every 2 minutes at least!

Overall, it was such a fun experience and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

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Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

Fishing in Chicago

And you guys, have you tried to do something out of the ordinary this past weekend? Have you ever gone fishing? If so, did you like it?

I hope you are having a great start of the week!

feet from shore

STILL NOT USED TO THE COLD

Yael Serena

I’m sitting in a cozy Starbucks in Madison Street, Chicago Downtown, waiting for Dan to finish up some errands; and I find especially funny the fact that I’ve already heard two different people pointing out how amazing the weather is today (41ºF, feels like 32ºF, strong wind). This feels like paradise for Chicagoans, it seems – totally understandable after what they had to go through this past winter though.  I wish you could see my outfit today –  I’m all bundled up in layers of clothes, and still freezing my ass off every time I go outside. Seriously California, you completely messed me up!

Can you people from the South send some spring vibes out here please? I’m dying to see colors, flowers and green grass everywhere!

In order to start the weekend with positive energy and warm myself up a little bit,  I just went through my old archives and spent some time looking at the pictures I took a while ago at the beautiful Piedmont Park. They put the biggest smile on my face… Isn’t this lake absolutely gorgeous?

Wish you all a fabulous and hopefully springful weekend! :)

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

 

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

feet from shore

EAT SMART

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After I moved out to the US a few months ago, my body started to react in a very weird way to the food I eat here. Even though I try to stay loyal to the Mediterranean diet, for some reason I feel like I have more “fast food” and “sugar” temptations here. We have such fast access to delicious but unhealthy food, that sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself from eating what sounds good at the moment. I’m not proud to admit that I haven’t made the right choices when it comes down to food lately, and it’s time to change that.

I really want to start a healthier lifestyle, nourish my body with the right proteins and vitamins, and change how I eat and view food. In two words: Eat Smart! I even joined a gym, and I plan to workout regularly. So yeah guys, I’m in search for healthy and nutritious recipes, so if you have any good recommendations, bring them on please!

Here are a few pictures of a delicious breakfast that Dan and I had a few weeks ago in Bella Trattoria. From now on, my breakfasts are going to look VERY different! Bye bye bacon!!

 

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feet from shore

 

 

A ROMANTIC GETAWAY

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

A few weekends ago, Dan and I had the chance to stay in one of the most astoundingly beautiful hotels I have ever seen – The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. The architecture is so reminiscent of Europe; it looks like somebody had picked up a gorgeous building from Italy or Spain and put it in the middle of downtown Riverside (California).

This awesome hunted hotel was built over a century ago, and it has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Each level and wing of the hotel is different, with nooks and doors leading every which way to views and rooftops. Dan and I spent hours at night wandering around its hidden passages and courtyards; as well as admiring the details of every single room, like tiny doorways that regular-sized people can barely fit through, elaborate tilework,  the beautiful mosaics of the presidential lounge and unique pieces of art displayed throughout the hotel.

The list of famous people who have stayed in the Inn is extensive; being Richard Nixon, Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein some of the notable guests (check out the rest here!). This doesn’t surprise me a bit considering that this place is a dream.

Finally, I would like to thank my friends Tonja, Nico and Qusai again for making this experience possible. I still can’t believe they surprised us with this amazing gift.

I hope you enjoy the pictures guys! :)

 

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

The Mission Inn Hotel, California

BIGGEST TAKEAWAY:  If you have any interest in architecture, spooky places, or old buildings, YOU MUST WALK THE ENTIRE PROPERTY. That is what gave me the most enjoyment during my trip.  Each level and wing of the Mission Inn is different, and they get more elaborate as you go up. Doors change, windows change, corridors change, and you find yourself walking on narrow catwalks across the courtyard, and up and down tiny winding staircases. You'll find other strange details, like an old piano on display, tiny doorways that regular-sized people can barely fit through, elaborate tilework, and hidden terraces and lobbies to relax in. The Inn is REALLY big, and seems like they just kept adding to it in a disjointed way. I LOVE IT.

BIGGEST TAKEAWAY:  If you have any interest in architecture, spooky places, or old buildings, YOU MUST WALK THE ENTIRE PROPERTY. That is what gave me the most enjoyment during my trip.  Each level and wing of the Mission Inn is different, and they get more elaborate as you go up. Doors change, windows change, corridors change, and you find yourself walking on narrow catwalks across the courtyard, and up and down tiny winding staircases. You'll find other strange details, like an old piano on display, tiny doorways that regular-sized people can barely fit through, elaborate tilework, and hidden terraces and lobbies to relax in. The Inn is REALLY big, and seems like they just kept adding to it in a disjointed way. I LOVE IT.

feet from shore

 

TIME TO SAY GOODBYE, SWEET CALIFORNIA

Sunset California

Hi friends!

I’ve finally found some time to sit in front of the computer and take a break from one of the craziest weeks of my life. If you follow me on Instagram (you can find me at yael_sp), you probably already know that I’m not living in California anymore. I knew that my situation in the City of Angels was temporary, but I’d have never imagined that it’d end so soon. Let me put this in context for you…

Dan and I moved to Los Angeles last July after being across an ocean for almost two years.  It was time to start building up our life together and end with the distance that made us feel constantly sad and incomplete. In terms of my career, I’d always wanted to gain international work experience as a way to grow professionally; so the idea of working for an American company was something that excited me so much too. The opportunity came, and I didn’t hesitate for a moment – I packed my stuff and hopped on a plane. I still remember the moment when I landed and Dan was waiting for me at the airport with a rose in his hands… Knowing that I would not have to worry about saying bye to him again for a long time gave me so much peace and relief. It felt unreal.

Our life in a new city began, and we loved everything about it. There is something very special about Los Angeles; I don’t know how to properly describe it but there is so much energy, creativity and passion in its air. I’m happy to say that we made the most of our time there, explored and traveled around when we had the chance, and enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle that California had to offer. On top of that, we also had the luck to meet incredible people who made our experience unforgettable and supported us through everything.

Sweet California

However, Dan and I reached a point where we realized that our dream jobs and best career opportunities were not there for us. I absolutely loved my life in the city, and I would be lying if I didn’t recognize that leaving LA has made me so sad. But sometimes, you just need to stop looking for temporary instant gratification and make sacrifices that lead you to your lifetime goals.

Our new journey started last Sunday, when we were brave enough to leave our paradisiacal life in LA behind and drive cross-country towards Chicago with all our belongings. We arrived yesterday evening (finally!), and our family was waiting for us with warm hugs and a delicious dinner.

I know the following months are going to be very challenging, and there will be a million things that I’m going to miss about my life in California. But you know what? I made myself a promise. I decided to focus on the positive and overcome the negative thoughts. The fact that we have now a new place to explore and call home, family close by to spend time with, and a beautiful life ahead of us; are enough powerful reasons to smile and be excited about the future.

Life is good.

feet from shore