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 olive oil
  • 2-3 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1-2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 cups diced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup light Olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped and peeled tomatoes, substitute canned for fresh in the winter
  • 1 teaspoon 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 :))

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

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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

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Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles

Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles

Last weekend I ventured into the exciting new world of waffles after purchasing my very first waffle maker. Blueberry Waffles were my first attempt and they were a big success with the chief tester.

These airy, delicate and crisp-edged waffles were so fabulous, yet so simple to throw together, that they are destined to become part of our weekend breakfast routine. You can freeze leftovers, if you have any, and serve them during the week. You can pop them in the toaster to reheat (use a light setting) and they come out nearly as well as freshly made, maybe even slightly crunchier.

During the week I had considered what other ingredients I could use to make a different type of waffle. I had mentioned sweet potato, or Kumara, as we know it in New Zealand, and cauliflower as a couple of thoughts.

Late last year the cauliflower rice ‘fad’ hit the news and I climbed onboard that train with many others. It’s light and fluffy, like couscous, but totally healthy – and very simple to make.

There are two the techniques for making cauliflower rice. You can either use a grater traditionally used for cheese, or a food processor with the grate blade to blitz it into small pieces.  With both techniques you’re aiming for little pieces.

One you have your cauliflower rice, it’s super easy to cook! Simply sauté in a large pan over a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Use the lid to cover so the cauliflower steams and becomes tender.  Cook for 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally, then season to your taste.

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Anyway, I made a recipe that used cauliflower rice and ended up with leftover blitzed cauliflower so I popped it into a ziplock bag and out it in the freezer.  When I got up on Saturday morning thinking about my next great waffle, I grabbed the frozen cauliflower rice rom the freezer and this became my base for my first savoury waffle.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (or grated colby if you don’t have mozzarella cheese)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • fresh parsley

Heat the waffle maker until ready. Mix all of the ingredients together well in a large bowl. Add approx. 1 1/4 cups of the batter to the griddle. Set your timer to 4-6 minutes, and check at about the 4 minute mark. If the waffle maker sticks, let cook slightly longer. Remove once cooked, and allow to cool on plate.

These crispy waffles with a side of bacon and an egg made the most delicious brunch and got the thumbs up from the chief tester!

*I did find the mix got a little wet as the cauliflower rice defrosted waiting to be the second batch so I add 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. This did not have a negative impact on the flavour profile but does add gluten to what is otherwise a gluten-free recipe)

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If you have only gone sweet with your waffles, do give this savoury version an opportunity.  Without the flour it is gluten-free; and only the cook will know it is made with the cauliflower rice.

I’m thinking I will add spinach to this next time, and perhaps sundries tomatoes to really jazz up my Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles.  The options are really limitless and I’m looking forward to next weekend and something different again. Watch this space

Happy waffling xx