realist ravioli

April 25, 2011

As much of a dreamer as I am, I am even more so a realist. I’m not quite sure how I got that way, but it’s the truth.

I stick to the basics.

I do what I can.

I don’t stress out about what I don’t.

April 21, 2011 023

One of my favorite phrases is: “Change what you can, accept what you can’t.”

While I really don’t live up to that phrase on a daily basis, I really try. Because let’s face it, as much as I try to, I can’t change the fact that the Husband shakes his leg uncontrollably all the time. It doesn’t matter if he has drank six cups of coffee or if he is falling asleep next to me in bed — he still shakes it. He claims he doesn’t even notice that he does it. He claims it is just “part of who he is” and that I “can’t change everything about him” even if I try so hard.


I am a realist — and my realist self is thinking that leg shaking is annoying.

April 21, 2011 002

Sure, I dream of embarking on a world wide excursion to the safaris of Africa and the Australian outback, but I also know that I will have to start saving now — and I’ll go someday when I’m old and gray and my future children aren’t sucking money out of me (which never ends, right Mom?).

April 21, 2011 007

So, when I found out in October of 2009 that I had to go gluten free, I let myself wallow. Because that’s what realists do — right? I grieved for every single kind of gluten laden treat there was out there.




Barbecue Sauce.


Oh, did I mention bread?

April 21, 2011 013

I really couldn’t even begin to imagine my life without anything that contained gluten. I also began to dwell on the fact that for twenty two years, gluten unknowingly attacked at my body. I cried the first time I made unstuffed cabbage roll casserole and put Worcestershire sauce in it — because I had no knowledge that it had soy sauce. I let my realist self cry until my mother went to the store at 8 PM to remake my recipe for me so I could eat it.

That was a good example of how I  did not “accept” very well.

April 21, 2011 014

But then, something inside of me started to change. I realized that I couldn’t change the fact my body hated gluten. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard people say they “wish I could take a pill like Lactaid to help me digest the gluten”. Do you know what I tell them? Why fight to have my body digest something it really doesn’t want in the first place?

That, my friends, is acceptance.

April 21, 2011 015

I learned there was a whole new world outside of the every day all purpose flour. I began to experiment in the kitchen. I began to challenge myself to make food that tasted good, but would also keep me from feeling sick.

To tell you that it happened overnight would be a lie. I have spent the last year and a half trying, creating, failing, and succeeding in making my lifestyle work for me. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I was going to stop depending on prepackaged gluten free products. It was a long and slow process.

I made muffins.

Then, I made bread.

Then, I made rolls.

And then, I made pasta. But not any kind of pasta — ravioli. The one menu item I would go crazy over when I was younger. I could sit down in any Italian restaurant without even looking at the menu and know what I wanted to order already. Ordering ravioli in a restaurant is long gone for me, but I changed my perspective. Why not make it at home?

Because I’m a realist — and I knew I could do it.

April 21, 2011 020

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli (makes 8 ravioli)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. gluten free all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Begin by combining your salt and all purpose flour in a large bowl. Add your water and olive oil and knead until a ball forms. I had to play around with how much water I needed. You want to form a dough. It shouldn’t be sticky and should stay together when done kneading. Set aside in a bowl with cling wrap over it for 30 minutes.

While your dough is resting, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add your mushrooms, onion, and garlic and heat over medium high heat until tender. Stir frequently and add your spinach for 1 minute to wilt. While your vegetables are sautéing, add your drained cashews, nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp. water, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until a ricotta cheese like consistency is formed. Add your “cheese” to your vegetables and stir until evenly spread.

After your dough has rested for 30 minutes, dust a flat surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll your dough until desired thickness is achieved (you want it pretty thin), and cut out dough circles with a wine glass (classy over here). Place a teaspoon of ravioli mixture onto a ravioli cut out and top it with another one. Use a fork to press down the sides so they are secure.

Place raviolis into a boiling pot of salted water until raviolis come to the surface of the water (about 3-4 minutes). Serve with your favorite sauce.

April 21, 2011 027

I believe my exact words were, “oh my gosh, I can’t believe I made ravioli.”

But a year ago, I would have probably said, “oh my gosh, I can’t believe I made homemade gluten free bread.”

Baby steps people — baby steps.

April 21, 2011 031
The only thing I’m wondering now is how I can backtrack on accidentally eating a piece of blue cheese today — because blue cheese has gluten. Weird, right?

I’m going to accept this the best that I can.

Until then, I’m going to be crabby.

Because that’s what realists do.

Question: What is something you have done that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Shanna, like Banana April 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

This may seem like an odd goal, but I never thought I’d be able to realize that my job does not define me and external validation only goes so far…


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I totally agree with that though!


Lisa April 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm

That reminds me of the serenity prayer.

God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can.

I’m glad you finally accepted it–and moved foward—and it looks like you moved forward to some very tasty food :) .


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I love that prayer! I’m sure you have applied that to your life with recent events that have happened to you! You’re inspiring.


BrocStar April 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I made ravioli for my boyfriend on our anniversary last month. That combined with an apple pie kept me in the kitchen for 5 hours straight.. but it is so worth it. I made a “tofu ricotta cheez” filling- but I’m trying your spinach/ shroom filling next.
Way to persevere!


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Oh that sounds good! I was going to use tofu until I figured out I didn’t have any. :)


BrocStar April 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I felt like a superstar after making ravioli. That’s dedication to good food, if I’ve ever seen it!


lawfullyweddedwife April 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I love this! I am having very similar experiences since I recently found out that I’m lactose intolerant. But I gave up dairy for Lent, and realized that it was actually POSSIBLE to live without! I never thought I would be able to do it! During Lent I also made a lot of vegan meals/baked goods, another thing I thought I could never do! Your story is a great one, it inspires me to keep being creative to find great food that my body actually wants. (I am guilty of taking Lactaid though…it’s my new savior…I can imagine going GF would be a challenge without a similar cheat pill!)


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Lactose intolerance is a tough one first starting out. Have you tried greek yogurt? It is the only dairy I can stomach!


Jennifer Houlahan April 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm


What a fantastic post! You’re so right that learning to work with the situation at hand, accepting and the challenges and facing them is so important. I love the ravioli recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

BTW my husband drinks 3 cups of coffee each morning and they’re so strong they’re like sludge. What can you do with these boys!


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Not much Jen… not much.


It All Changes April 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I love your attitude about being gluten free. I’m learning to reach that point. I’m exploring more options that are naturally gluten free but am still leery of alternative flours.


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Oh they’re so much fun!


Sarah @ healthygirlrunning April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

That recipe looks amazing!! :)

I didn’t realize such a wide variety of foods contain gluten! I’m a bit unfamiliar with the gluten problem though. How can you tell if you have a gluten intolerance? Are there other reasons to go gluten-free besides your body’s inability to digest it?


Lauren April 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be (especially at first) to go gluten free. But you certainly don’t make it look painful. Gosh, that ravioli looks better than any ravioli I’ve ever seen!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

What is something you have done that you never thought you would be able to accomplish? =
I started a food blog. Food.Blog.
I couldnt boil water til I was about 25!!!!


rdexposed April 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm

It’s so nice to see an actual bulb of garlic. My pet peeve is the store bought pre-minced garlic.


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

preminced garlic is not for me!


Jess@HealthyExposures April 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

these look absolutely amazing. (the ravioli AND your pictures!) I want!! I’ve never made ravioli but I think I need to change that ;)
I loved your story about realists vs. dreamers, too. It does sound oxymoronic, but I think I’m a realist dreamer, too. The best of both worlds! I think you’re an inspiration for anyone needing to start a gluten-free diet, though – you really do make it look so painless, as Lauren mentioned. You’re not missing out on anything (even if you thought you were at first) and your body is happy, too!


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Can I just tell you that I always get a little giddy whenever you tell me that my pictures look good? You make me feel good about myself. haha!


Liz @ Blog is the New Black April 25, 2011 at 7:15 pm

THat mushroom ravioli looks mighty tasty!


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun April 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Blue cheese has gluten?! That’s crazy!

Those ravioli sound amazing.


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

It is crazy – seriously, how is there gluten in blue cheese?!!?


Parita @ myinnershakti April 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I love how you have come to accept your situation but at the same time do something about it! I know a few people with gluten allergies who wallow in self-pity every chance they get. It irritates me because I know there are people like you out there who work through it.

Anyways, I never thought I would be able to run a half marathon, but I did it and am signed up for #2! Woo hoo! It’s crazy what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.


I am a living and holy sacrifice April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

What a touching story! I cannot fathom how hard it must have been but congratulations on making it as far as you have and I encourage you to persevere!
Hmmm… I never thought I would be able to read from the Bible and actually understand and use it in my daily life. I can now clearly see God’s Word working in my life. It’s a pretty cool revelation if I do say so myself!


Autumn @ Good Eats Girl April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I said that very quote to my sister the other day! I am so impressed by your ravioli making! They look delish!


Lauren April 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I told you homemade ravioli is easy!! So glad you liked it. Mushrooms sound like the perfect stuffing for ravioli.


Kimberly April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Love your attitude! It’s never easy to give up foods you love!! Keep up the awesome work. You are such an inspiration to so many!


carlydeal April 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Can’t wait to make these!

Something I accomplished which I never thought would be possible? Run 5k after breaking my hip. I never thought I’d be able to be a runner!


Katie April 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Can’t wait to make this ravioli! I actually made the not so cheesy spinach pasta bake yesterday :)

Although it hasn’t happened yet, I am determined to read the Bible in a year!


missymiller April 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

This post is beautiful on so many levels, the message, the meal and the PICTURES!
You are such a rebel.
Foodgawker say what???


cleaneatingchelsey April 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Foodgawker doesn’t like my pictures. I’ve gotten past it.


Jennifer (The Gourmetour) April 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Wow what a great recipe! Thanks for sharing Chelsey! Those look better than any glutinous ravioli ever!


Jenny April 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm

What a delicious ravioli dish. I don’t know how I would handle not being to eat anything with gluten. I love how you toughed it out and decided to make the things your body could handle. I never thought I would be making dishes and cooking all on my own. I literally didn’t even know how to make rice which is made in the rice cooker!! Luckily my bf taught me the tricks of the cooking trade :D


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 6:04 am

I had to teach myself too! I could cook, but I cooked with prepackaged food – so really, I “prepared”.


Katie April 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I found out a year and a half ago that I had to go gluten free, while I was already lactose and soy intolerant. I thought there was nothing left for me to eat. I am seriously impressed with your skills though – I haven’t even begun to attempt the gf baking. Other than cookies, of course.

I just deal. No bread or bread products, soy sauce, etc. There is a whole other world outside of gluten. Now when people ask incredulously “What can you eat?!?!” I just laugh. A lot.


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 6:05 am

I laugh too – people just don’t know!


glutenfreegimmethree April 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Love love love this post! Also, you can have blue cheese! Check out this article about it:

And this study:

In all of the ones that they tested it had less than one part per million of gluten. So I say get your blue cheese on!


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 6:06 am

Well I also can’t handle dairy, which is probably why my body reacted the way it did. It was not fun.


Julie H. April 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Way to go Chelsey! That ravioli looks like it would totally Rock!
I never thought I would be able to make it through my first year teaching.
First year=hard….. but, they are my favorite group EVER and would love to have them back.


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 6:06 am

You’re right – the first year IS hard. At the time I didn’t think so, but now that I look back.. wow.


Alaina April 25, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I never thought that I would be able to run a marathon but I did one last October! :-)


IHeartVegetables April 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

That looks so delicious!!! Oh my gosh you always have the most amazing recipes. I swear.


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy April 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Wow! I’m super impressed that you made your own ravioli – it looks delicious! My brother made homemade ravioli for the family once and he said it was one of the hardest things he had made from scratch. :)


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 6:08 am

It wasn’t really “hard”, it was just time consuming!


ThE DiVa DiSh April 26, 2011 at 12:59 am

I remember when my dr told me to go gluten free and the first thing I thought of was -no more breadsticks!- but it forced me to step out of my box and make things from scratch..something I had never done before. I am alot better now but I have never attempted homemade pasta…but u gave me confidence because it looks delicious!


Kristina @ spabettie April 26, 2011 at 1:46 am

I LOVE this post, and your attitude! I remember feeling overwhelmed when I first went gluten free, and then I just looked at it for all the things I CAN eat rather than what I cannot! and it’s been fun learning to bake all over again, and what works in each circumstance.

I am super impressed with your ravioli! I used to make all kinds of pastas YEARS ago, and have not made any gluten free. It is on my list… I think I avoid it because of the difficulty I place on it, and I need to get over that!

yay for “realist ravioli” !!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 26, 2011 at 6:41 am

I was tested for Celiac disease, so I had to go without gluten for 2 weeks and I barely lasted! But I think I would have managed a lot better had I been reading your blog at the time. You have such an awesome attitude girl! :)

Also this ravioli looks absolutely amazing!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats April 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

I discovered gluten was a no-go for me in the last couple of years too and went through a similar process. And I was just thinking yesterday that I missed ravioli. I cannot wait to try these :)


Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) April 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

YOU MADE RAVIOLI?!? Oh man you are so TALENTED!! Seriously, I could NEVER do that!! And it looks so perfect too…amazing!! :D

Feel better soon girl!! :)


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

It’s not hard!!! I promise!


katshealthcorner April 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

YAY for Ravioli! :D


Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life April 26, 2011 at 9:57 am

Awesome post, Chelsey! And I can’t get over that ravioli…that’s definitely something I’ve never tried before.
One thing I never thought I’d be able to do was RUN! Growing up with asthma, I was lucky to make it up and down the basketball court in gym class. Now, this Saturday, I’m completing my first 10K…who knew??


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

Wow, that’s amazing! I can only imagine how debilitating having asthma can be – especially for young kids! Go you!

Reply April 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

I am serious when I say, you need to write a book….you are the best writer I know. I love that you try to change your hubby so much, so do I and it is good to know that I am not alone:) That ravioli looks absolutely amazing. You have taken such a huge challenge in life and made the best of it and look how many people you are helping… are truly wonderful!


cleaneatingchelsey April 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

And I’m always serious about WANTING to write a book… I just don’ tknow what to write or how to start! :)


Kate Horning April 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

oooh those ravioli look awesome I love the chunky sauce!


Natalia - a side of simple April 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Raviolis are probably one of the foods I miss the MOST since finding out I’m allergic to gluten. My mom makes them homemade all the time and they were always one of my favorite dishes. We’ve tried other GF ravioli recipes but none have turned out very well. I’m really looking forward to trying yours!!

One thing I did that I never thought I would be able to do was purchase my own new car at the age of 19, paid completely in cash. It made all those weekends and summers and school days working and working completely worth it!


Heather April 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm

This ravioli looks so good, I love pasta, gluten or not!

When I decided to run my first 1/2 marathon I was sure it wouldn’t get done. I trained for months and my knees wouldn’t let me get more than 8 miles. Then one day I was running and stopped because the pain was too much. When I started walking back home I was passed by a man with not one, but TWO prosthetic legs. I got over myself and finished training. When I ran the 13 miles I thought of that man the whole time and oddly enough he passed me again at the race.


yourdailygrace April 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm

If you would have told me that I would be a vegetarian runner I would have never ever believed you! Hopefully in less than a year from now I can also say I’m a college graduate who has run a marathon and has a real job that would be epic!


Holly April 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

BTW, not all Worcestershire has soy in it–trust me, i’ve read label after label and found one we can use! WOO HOO! although i must admit, i didn’t know about gluten in blue cheese- i’m a little crushed right now. sad face.


Dilek @ Two Baklavas Story April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I like your realistic way of thinking….now I am motivated to study. I will be a realist and accept that I have a chemistry exam on Thursday and will go and DO! :) Your blog is so much fun to read…very funny and inspirational! Keep up the good work Chelsey!


Alexa @ Simple Eats April 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I would eat this every day, even if it’s gluten free. It looks amazing. I’m sure going gluten free was so hard, but that’s awesome that you finally accepted it!


char April 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

One big thing that I have accomplished is going to Australia – best trip of life. Definitely go after you put you put your children on the streets haha


Gracie April 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Wow. WOW.
Remind me not to come back here when I’m hungry again.
Just kidding, I totally will ;)

Ravioli was my absolute favorite dish as a kid (actually, I inhaled pasta of just about every shape and form), and this “grown up” version definitely has me drooling. You’re quite the little chef, miss thang ;)


Tabitha April 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

This ravioli looks AWESOME! I’m going to have to try this one out!


Ameena April 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm

You know how much I can relate to this!! Unfortunately for me I am severely lacking in the cooking department and the motivation department. Thus, I eat things I shouldn’t, especially on vacation.

The ravioli looks delicious!


Kristen @ The Red Velvet Life April 27, 2011 at 2:18 am

What a beautiful post, and not just because the ravioli looks ah-ma-zing! It’s inspiring to me because I also deal with longtime digestive issues. I’m trying to work through it all with a doctor, but we still haven’t figured out exactly what works best for my body. And I guess I want to say that it’s a true blessing to know what your body needs! Sounds like it took a long time to figure out, but you did it! I’m still in the process of working with a doctor, taking healing supplements, and struggling with inconclusive results. So, from one sensitive eater to another, I admire you for figuring it out and being so innovative with your cooking, girl!! :-)


cupcake dynamite April 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

this is the besttttttttt post! I love it. You’re awesome and being crabby is awesome sometimes, too.



Katherine: Unemployed April 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

how amazing! I am impressed and love your thoughts that go along with the recipe


Ashley April 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm

impressive! looks so amazing! I just started drooling on my laptop!


Tasha @ Voracious April 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

Those look so perfect and delicious! I love the bright and yummy topping. Well done you!


Kristine Rasmussen April 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

So true– always gotta look on the positive side.

I, too thought that being gluten intolerant meant I couldnt eat SO many things… but then I focused on what I COULD eat and how to be creative– and I never think twice about it any longer :)


Allison @ PickyEatingRD May 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Those raviolis look amazing! I wish all my gluten free clients would have a can-do attitude when it comes to what they can cook. Though I understand that it can be challenging at first, especially when you think of all the foods that are “no” instead of the ones that are “yes”.


Danielle Marie May 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Mmmmmm! These look great – and fairly simply to make. I’m definately going to try making my own :-)


Lindsay June 22, 2012 at 8:08 am

How many ravioli does this recipe make?


Anon November 12, 2012 at 9:38 am
Krystal November 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I recently found out that I am am allergic to gluten, yeast, all dairy, eggs & nuts! I too had a Very hard time accepting this news since breads & pastas are my favorite thing! I have been doing a vegan (other than meats) & gluten free diet for the last month & a half , it’s Amazing how much better I feel physically. Mentally I still miss all of those wonderful things like cheese, milk & bread!! I recently found your website & it has been a godsend! I want to thank you for all of the wonderful recipes & encouraging words!!!


Michele March 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Never thought I could go gluten free vegetarian. I’ve been gluten free for years, but wanted to go vegetarian. Your recipes are wonderful!!! I can even see myself going vegan with all these choices. Keep up the great work. And keep adding recipes.


cleaneatingchelsey March 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Thanks Michele! I have definitely been slacking in the recipe department lately. I”ll do my best to get back on it!


Web Chic April 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Blue cheese usually tests at less than 20 ppm. Though they use molded rye to make it, the mold breaks apart the gluten in to smaller protein chains (that are no longer gluten). Ref:


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: