So my friend, Ashley, somehow talked me into running a 7K with her this weekend. For those of you who know me, I. Do. Not. Run. I openly express my distaste for running and freely call those who do like running crazy. So I’m not sure how she did this, but for a good 1.5 weeks, I got up every morning and ran a solid 0.96 miles. So needless to say, I am totally ready to run a good 4ish miles-right? I might also mention, that those 1.5 weeks were over a week ago and the run is this weekend…so in all reality, I guess I’ll be power walking for 7 kilometers. The point of this story was to point out my lack of exercise, which coupled with the amount of unhealthy carbs I’ve been eating recently, is the reason I decided on this recipe for this week’s Lenten recipe- I needed something carb-less and taste-full. Enter, ratatouille.
I never actually knew what ratatouille was, I kind of thought it was a soup. Turns out, ratatouille is just a fancy word for a dish of stewed vegetables. I based my recipe off this one. The whole time I was preparing for and making this dish, I was thinking about how much better it would be if all these veggies were in season and fresh from a garden. So- make this for Lent, but please make it again when tomatoes and zucchini are in full swing. Even without garden fresh veggies, this really did turn out to be full of flavor and pretty satisfying.
In addition to carbless fresh flavors, ratatouille is incredibly easy to make. Take your vegetables and slice them all into thin (~1/4 inch) slices.
Another perk of using in-season vegetables is that your zucchini will be thicker, so the diameter will match that of the eggplant better, which doesn’t matter for taste, but looks neater.
Microplane 3 cloves of garlic into your crushed tomatoes, add the oil and vinegar, rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir.
Pour the tomato sauce into the bottom of an appropriately sized baking dish, the one I used was roughly 8×4.
The the fun part, arrange your sliced vegetables in alternating sequence in rows up and down the pan. Add some more seasonings and basil leaves if you want.
Then bake it in the oven at 350 for about an hour. When the vegetables are soft and starting to brown, it’s done.
Scoop some onto a plate or in a bowl and enjoy. Then tell your friends you made ratatouille and they’ll be impressed.
If you’re looking for a little more substance, as I was at lunch the next day, you could add this to pasta and have a delicious and healthy sauce!
Another good thing about this dish is that its totally versatile, you can add any vegetables you want, like mushrooms if you’re into that kind of thing.
- 1 medium eggplant (regular or japanese)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 red onion
- 4 roma tomatoes (or any tomato)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 3-4 basil leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Slice all the vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, and tomato) into thin slices
- Use a microplane to grate the garlic cloves into the crushed tomatoes, add the rosemary, oregano. thyme, chili powder, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir.
- Pour the tomato sauce into a medium sized baking dish
- Arrange the sliced vegetables in rows on top of the tomato sauce
- Add more salt and pepper and basil leaves if desired
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour