It’s the most wonderfullllll time of the week! Friday = CHEAT DAY in my world. I find it so, so much easier to stick to a healthy eating schedule and curb cravings when I know I have a designated day (that kicks off the weekend!) to indulge my desires. I’ve tried scheduling my cheat days mid-week but that would always backfire into a slippery slope of crappy eating from Wednesday onward. I used to do my cheat days on Sundays but found that was WAY too long to wait – how else am I going to power through my Thursday workout if I’m not being gluttonous the next day?! Friday is perfect because I still have a day of exercising (Saturday) after my cheat day which leads me to believe I “burn off” some of the calories I consumed the night before. It gives me extra motivation and I’m able to, usually, hop back into healthier eating patterns after a night of excess.
Now to those people who can eat healthy all week and only have a cheat meal once per month? HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU DO IT?! lol JK I know how – solid motivation and a lack of obsession with food – I can’t relate.
Last Friday was the first official cheat day of my new 12 week workout program and I wanted to make it a good one. So I thought to myself, what is it that I usually crave the most when eating healthy? It took me all of 3 seconds to figure out it was pasta – always has been, always will be. I must admit, I rarely go out for pasta dishes. I feel like they’re the biggest rip off at restaurants (as the ingredients are usually pretty cheap compared to the mark up price on the menu) and I make many a delicious pasta dish at home but I was tired, and I wanted something a little different. So I decided to head to Ravilionos in Kitsilano for their Pistachio stuffed Ravioli. I love pistachios, I love stuffed pasta – put the two together and your in for a good time.
Raviolinos is a very chill, casual cafe/bistro type place with a couple booths and some bar stool seating by the window. The interior is small, dark and cozy so it was perfect for a solo lunch. They have a freezer by the front till (where you place your order before finding your own seat) selling their pastas, sauces and ready made pasta dishes. It’s a pick and choose your own pasta/sauce/combo deal kind of place. I ordered the ravioli stuffed with pistachio and the gorgonzola cream sauce ($1 extra) with a side of garlic bread because it is cheat day dammit – I want carbs on carbs on carbs! I also ordered the Peach Iced Tea by San Pellegrino that I became hooked on in Italy (and that I can’t find ANYWHERE in Vancouver). It is SO refreshing and delicious and has about half the sugar of coca cola in the same size can.
The food came out fast and the server was super friendly. The food is served simply, on a cafeteria style tray. I found the portion just perfect, I was very full by my last bite but wasn’t forcing it down for the sake of not leaving anything on my plate (I was raised Persian, it is a sin to leave/waste food lol).
The gorgonzola cream sauce was really flavourful without being pungent or off-putting, like gorgonzola cheese can be. The flavour worked really well with the pistachio filling in the ravioli. My only desire would have been for a lighter filling. It appeared that the ravioli was really just filled with ground pistachios and some seasoning and not much else? Maybe there was some parmesan or other hard cheese ground into the mix but I think the ravioli would have been much better if the pistachio paste had been folded into some fluffy ricotta. It could have made the dish a little bit less dense (for lack of a better word) to bite into. Still absolutely delicious, 10/10 would recommend and they get bonus points for the uniqueness of the dish! Plus, I’m a sucker for anything pistachio.
The garlic bread was excellent as well. The bread itself was toasted nicely while still remaining soft and chewy and the garlic & herb butter (or oil) was tasty but not overpowering. It was perfect for sopping up the extra gorgonzola cream sauce – yum!
Now, I don’t necessarily treat myself to something sweet on every cheat day (maybe every other cheat day?). I do have a sweet tooth but I’m WAY more of a savoury person so I’d rather save my calories for the cheese-y, carb-y good stuff. But – I worked my butt off that first week, hit every body part with a solid weight training workout, at least once (lower body was twice!) AND I even went on a hike – who am I?! So I thought, screw it – girlllllllll, go get yourself a doughnut.
Conveniently, Lucky’s Doughnuts is tucked into 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters that happened to be on my drive home along West 4th Ave. I was needing a little artificial energy boost after putting myself into a carb coma so I thought I’d stop in for an iced coffee and a treat.
The very sweet man at the till (who was also incredible eye candy – HELLO 49th PARALLEL, I’d like to personally congratulate your hiring manager – that cafe was full of nothing but male model employees – mama likes) suggested I order an Iced Venezuelan instead of a boring old iced coffee. I’m telling you, that man could have suggested I order a piping hot cup of swamp water and I would’ve been down with it. Luckily, he wasn’t only beautiful he had excellent taste in iced beverages because that Iced Venezuelan was the most delicious iced coffee I’ve ever had. Honestly, he explained to me what made it special (something about caramelized “milk jam”?) but I was too busy admiring his beautiful face to listen to the words coming out of is mouth.
Naturally, I wanted him to keep talking so I asked him and his co-worker (another hot man arrived to help! I love this place) what doughnut they suggested. As they both noted the Iced Venezuelan was on the sweeter side (due to the milk jam?), they recommended the (seasonal) Rhubarb Stuffed Doughnut. Probably one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had in my life. Come to think of it, 3 of the 5 best doughnuts I’ve had in my life have been from Lucky’s Doughnuts. These guys know what sup.
The Rhubarb Doughnut had the most delicious, sweet glaze on top of the fluffy, pillow-y dough. Inside the doughnut was a delicious, slightly tart rhubarb compote that tasted like the ingredients had been picked out of the garden, that morning. It was the perfect compliment to the silky smooth iced coffee that I enjoyed with it.
Perfect doughnut, perfect day – cheat days are liiiiiiiife 🙂