Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a fancy (and hard name to say) French provincial stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice.

This vegetable stew is tasty and substantial, and carefully  seasoned just before it finishes cooking brings out the flavours.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-3 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1-2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 cups diced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 3 cups chopped and peeled tomatoes, substitute canned for fresh in the winter
  • fresh or dried basil or oregano
  • salt, pepper and sugar
  • chopped parsley

Take a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic in oil until just coloured very slightly.

Add the zucchini and peppers. Cook over a moderate heat, turning the vegetables,  from time to time, for about 5-10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from the pan and brown the eggplant in the second measure of oil. Add the partly cooked vegetables, along with the tomatoes.

Cover pan with a lid, after adding basil or oregano. Cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

**I add a dash of black sauce for a little bit of heat

**If serving hot, thicken with a little cornflour paste

**Quantities of vegetables may vary, and zucchini, peppers or eggplant can be left out (not all of them though :))

IMG_0304

Now I love Ratatouille as a side dish with grilled or poached chicken…last nights supper below.

IMG_0307

And it makes a super delicious breakfast with a poached egg – that’s my breakfast sorted for tomorrow!

Super tasty with a grilled sausage, poached fish, or room temperature as a salad. Give it a try especially now when eggplants are so inexpensive – $.99 cents at my local green grocer this weekend.

If you enjoyed this eggplant dish try Eggplant Parmesan – another favourite!

Happy healthy cooking xx

Advertisements

One Pan Spanish Wild Rice

I cook without meat at least once a week: as I have got older I find red meat especially less agreeable with my tummy. At the same time it is often quicker to put together a nice tasty vegetarian dinner.

During the week having something quick and easy to create for the family is always a bonus. This One Pan rice dish gets a big ‘taste tick’ – and covers off a couple of food groups too. Vegetable, carbs, and protein – now I call that quite well-rounded!

Nothing easier to clean up after then a meal in one pan!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Wild Rice (or 1 cup white rice)
  • 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water if vegan)
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan (I used my wok!). Add garlic and sauté until the kitchen is smelling of garlic 🙂

Add diced onion and cook until soft. Add diced tomatoes and cook them until they soften for about 4-5 minutes.

Add spinach, beans, rice and cook for a few minutes, mixing well. Add chicken stock, vegetable stock or water and bring to the boil.

Season with curry powder, salt & pepper.

Simmer the rice mix for 25-30 minutes (or until the rice is tender) on a low heat with a lid on the pan.

Turn off the heat and serve warm.

*Notes:

1. I used this very cool ‘Wild Rice’ – this is blended red, black and brown rice. I have been trying to use brown rice rather than white to reduce the carbohydrates at our place. It did take longer to cook than white rice-use whatever rice you have in the pantry for this recipe.

2. As tomatoes get more expensive (out of season) swap out for a can of tomatoes and reduce the amount of liquid you add.

Do give this one-pan dish an opportunity to give your palate a taste sensation – and a 30 minute mid-week meal option gives you time for the important stuff of life. A cup of tea and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy!

Happy cooking xx


What on earth is ‘Confetti  Couscous” I hear you say! What it is not is small pieces of coloured paper tossed in couscous!

This is a fabulously quick & easy side dish for any protein; fish, beef, lamb or chicken. I whip this up when I am feeling too lazy to wash and peel potatoes (or it is carb-free night and I’m cheating!)

Couscous is so easy to cook.

1/2 cup of boiling water to 1/2 cup of dry couscous. In a bowl combine couscous, boiling water, 1 tbsp butter and a pinch salt. Cover and leave tis and for 5-10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the grains.

While the couscous is ‘cooking’ heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan

Chop 1 small red onion and add to the pan and cook until soft. Next add chopped capsicum, courgettes…and literally whatever else you have in the vegetable drawer that is quick to cook.

I had a fresh sweetcorn that I sliced the kernels off and added to this cook.

Season well with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Add cooked couscous to the pan and mix  to combine. A handful of chopped parsley adds colour, texture and flavour if you have it on hand.

img_0179

When I have more time, I roast orange kumara (sweet potato) or pumpkin that I have chopped into 2cm chunks; use runny honey or even maple syrup drizzled over the vegetables and season. Roast for about 20 minutes until the kumara/pumpkin is soft.

Dried cranberries are also a great addition – bottom line is this is a side dish that  you can make your own with your favourite vegetables.

Happy confetti tossing? xx

Confetti Couscous