Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baked Ravioli, Today's lunchbox, and homemade breadcrumbs


Last night, I made some baked ravioli with marinara dip for the girls, and baked pierogies for the grown-ups.

Simple, simple, simple.  But since kids seem to like finger food and dipping, this is a fun way to serve ravioli.

Just take a bag of frozen ravioli, and defrost for about a half hour.  I used mini, but you can use any size you want.

Once they are mostly thawed, dip them in ranch dressing, or plain milk if you prefer.

Then, drop them into a ziplock bag or bowl full of panko breakcrumbs.  I only had homemade breadcrumbs on hand (I know, I'm annoying.  I will address these, down further).  Then, lie them on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment or sprayed with Pam.  At this point, you might want to mist them with olive oil, or give them a little drizzle.   I'm counting calories, so I didn't.  But it might give them a richer flavor.

Cook for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees.   All ovens are different, so keep an eye out to make sure they're not browing too much.

These are meant to be eaten right away, because they do cool quickly.  We heated up some jarred marinara, for dipping.  They were nice and crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Carby?  Maybe.  But they were filling, and not too unhealthy.

Today's lunch box consisted of some homemade peanut butter balls (a Martha Stewart recipe that, quite frankly, I would not make again), raspberries, and kiwi, along with three peanut-butter crackers.

And, as promised, let's talk quickly about homemade breadcrumbs.  Breadcrumbs are one of those things that I can't believe people buy.   If you're like me, there is always, ALWAYS bread in the fridge or crackers in the cupboard that are about to be stale.
All you have to do is throw them on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven.   I would toast them at 350 degrees for maybe 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Then, toss them into your food processor and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs.    Actually, I should have kept grinding mine, but ran out of patience.  You get the idea.
I keep my breadcrumbs in the freezer, to keep them fresh.  But those two cookie sheets above yielded about six cups of crumb.  Which for me, could last half a year.  lol.  You could season them, if you wanted, too.   Salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, parmesan cheese.  Whatever you want!
Get creative!


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