Vegetables are indeed the sure bet for health…. have you ever heard anyone say that vegetables are bad for you? No, vegetables are definitely good for you. A belly full of vegetables is a belly full of….. drum roll please…
Vitamins, Vigor and Vitality!
Indeed. This is the wonderful pitcher that my Little Sis gave me for my birthday. Isn’t she awesome? She had fun negotiating with the man at the flea market who was the former owner of this wonderful thing. I’m so glad she won! And so I say to you dear friends… bring on the vegetables and their inherent vitamins, vigor and vitality. We could all use a little V cubed couldn’t we?
On nights when I haven’t planned well, the extra and assorted vegetables on the counter or in the frig call out to me like a siren song and invite me to make them into dinner. There is always the stir fry or curry approach to a variety of unclaimed / unplanned for vegetables, but this time, with an eggplant, a sweet onion, and a can of tomatoes on hand I decided to go in a different direction.
According to Wikipedia: “Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by pasta, rice or bread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence.”
My Super-Step-Mom introduced me to ratatouille and while she always made it with a tomato base and an Italian feel, there was still variety in what else went into the saute. I decided to experiment with the North African spice mixes I blogged about a few weeks ago in our ratatouille. Although it has not been tested on the younger crowd yet (he was away at overnight camp when I made this), my husband and I loved it. We had potatoes on the side but did not bother mixing it with anything – it stood (okay, lay still on the plate)… on it’s own!
Saute the onion and tabil in oil until onions are translucent
Add eggplant and saute until soft
Add tomatoes, harissa and cinnamon
Cook for another 10 minutes or so.
Serve plain or over toasted bread or rice – or favorite grain.
Those multi-colored potatoes on the side were roasted with coconut oil and to my surprise they did not take on a noticeable coconut flavor – just rich potato flavor with a little crisp. I think this ratatouille would also go nicely with hummus. Little Sis has some incredible hummus variations including a black bean with orange version that I have only recently tried. It is excellent.
Enjoy this twist on the old French favorite…. but most of all enjoy your vegetables. They really do bring along vitamins, vigor and vitality. Just ask Popeye.