101 Cookbooks was the first food blog I ever read. I’m not sure how I came across it, but I know that I instantly fell in love with Heidi’s vegetarian recipes, in spite of the fact that I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t eat tofu.
Not all of her recipes were family-friendly, and in fact, many of them I could never dream of serving to my flavour-challenged (read: picky) children. So I set myself up for a challenge: I would learn to make recipes that seemed as though they would be meal deal-breakers (complex ingredients, foods my kids didn’t like, etc.) and make them into something that worked for us. It allowed me to try many of the great ideas I was reading about, while keeping the peace at our table.
I recently came across a ravioli salad in a new food magazine, and lo and behold, the recipe is Heidi’s. When looking at the ingredients I made a mental check of what the kids would/wouldn’t eat: ravioli (check), cilantro (not a chance), black olives (no way), pumpkin seeds (possibly) and goat cheese (never). The old me would immediately discount this recipe because there were way more negatives then positives, but now that I was familiar with being challenged, I decided to make this recipe work. I kept the ravioli, swapped the cilantro for basil (it’s in season!), eliminated the olives, used almonds in lieu of pumpkin seeds, and parmesan cheese replaced the goat cheese. Voila—ravioli salad my family’s way.
This meal is now a lunchtime favourite as it tastes great warm or served at room temperature. It’s ridiculously easy to make, packs well for a picnic and has even found its way into the day-camp lunch box.
Tell us, what are your meal deal breakers?
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