Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Shrimp and Squash
Saving Time and Money
If you are like me then you are looking for ways to save time and money. Cooking for yourself can seem like a waste of time. After all, isn't much easier and quicker to pull something from the freezer and pop it into the microwave? Yes, it is but it is healthier to cook. (Most of the time.) I like to try to cook a meal where I can get leftovers. That way I get at least two meals for the prep and price of one.
Since there are so many vegetables this meal is more filling. During the summer, zucchini and yellow squash are abundant at grocery stores. This means they are very inexpensive. For $4 I was able to get two zucchini and two yellow squash. The package of ravioli was $3. The bag of frozen shrimp was $20, but I was able to get four dinners and more lunches than I can remember. I'd say the shrimp would have been $2-3 had if I broke it down. And the jar of vodka sauce was $4, and I can still get a least another meal or two out of it. That makes this dinner priced around $9.50. (Remember, I only used part of the shrimp and vodka sauce and there is still a whole zucchini and yellow squash in my fridge.) For about $9.50 I got dinner and three lunches! That makes me very, very happy.
I know that many frozen meals are fairly inexpensive. But, if you are like me they are not filling at all and I don't like how many of them don't have a lot of flavor. And I know that you can spend about $6 and get a filling meal from a fast-food restaurant. Trust me I know. But, cooking for yourself allows for you to tailor your diet to your own specific needs. When I break it down nearly every time it is cheaper and healthier for me to cook for myself. Well, unless I am making something super fancy like lobster mac 'n cheese. But, that is for another day.
My coworkers are always so jealous of my leftovers I bring for lunch. They all think I should have been a chef. But, what they don't know is I just do trial and error. I try different flavors until I find what I like and then I go from there. After a while you get good at knowing what pairs well together. With just a little effort you too can bring leftovers that will make all of your coworkers jealous of your lunch.
From Start to FinishClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 1 Package Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Ravioli
- 1 Yellow Squash, Sliced
- 1 Zucchini, Sliced
- 15-20 Frozen shrimp, Peeled
- 1/4 Jar Vodka Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Spices (If desired)
Homemade Vodka Sauce
If you are feeling up to it, or just have a little extra time on your hands you can take this dish up a notch and make your own vodka sauce. I happen to always have the ingredients on hand so the cost is almost negligible to me. You simply need heavy cream, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, and whatever spices you want to add. I am a fan of garlic and Italian seasoning. For a more in-depth recipe for vodka sauce check out my article here.
I feel that being able to make your own sauces gives the meal more flavor. It also is quite impressive. I know my boyfriend loves when I make vodka sauce, or anything else from scratch for that matter.
- Prep all of the ingredients. The shrimp should be thawed and peeled. The squash and zucchini need to be rinsed and sliced into thin slices.
- Pour 1/4 to 1/3 of a can of the vodka sauce into a sauce pan. Add any desired spices. (I prefer oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves)
- Pour a tablespoon on olive oil into a pan, along with whatever spices you prefer. (I like Italian seasoning and oregano) When the pan is warm add in the shrimp and veggies.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add int he ravioli. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Continue to stir the vodka sauce and the shrimp and veggies. The Shrimp will turn a pinkish color when they are done. Cook the veggies until the reach your desired doneness. Personally, I like mine to have a slight crunch.
- Once the ravioli is done strain it and place it on the plate or into a container. Cover ravioli in vodka sauce. Add shrimp and veggies, either on top of pasta or on the side.
On a side note I got to try out a new addition to my kitchen with this meal. My mom got me this fancy pasta cooker. It is designed to fit on the smallest burner. It is a tall cylinder and has a basket inside. Supposedly this design helps the water boil faster, and the basket makes cooking the pasta easier. The pasta goes into the basket, the lid locks on, and once the pasta is cooked it can simply be drained. Right from the pot it is cooked in. Once the water is all drained out the lid comes off and the pasta all comes out in the basket.
The manufacture says it is dishwasher safe, but I will most likely just hand wash it. On the inside there is a scale to show how much water is being used. Essentially anything that can be boiled can be cooked in this pot. (Seafood, corn, eggs)
I really liked the way it worked. I'm not to sure how much quicker the water boiled, but it did keep my stove clear while I was cooking. In my small kitchen saving a little space goes a long way. I was even able to leave my colander in the cabinet, that's one less dish for me to wash!
Changing Things Up
If you aren't a fan of any of the ingredients simply swap them out. Don't like shrimp? That's fine, I'm sure chicken would go just as well. You don't eat meat? No problem just leave it out. Pick and choose your favorite veggies or spices to use.
I just love being able to make a quick and easy dinner, with minimal clean up, that gives me a bunch of leftovers. It makes my life so much easier. Not to mention its way healthier than grabbing a burger, fries, and soda from a fast food joint on my way home from work. I know that I feel a lot healthier when I eat healthier.
I hope you feel inspired to make this dish your own.