realistic recipes for a nutritious kitchen

Ratatouille – End Of The Summer Veggie Stew (Video)

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Those of you who follow me on FaceBook and/or Twitter already know that today marks day one of a 21-day cleanse I have embarked upon.

In a nutshell I’ll avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, and all animal products for the next three weeks.

This is my effort to balance out the over indulging (think bagels, pizza, pasta, and LOTS of margaritas) that I did while in Jersey for the past three weeks.  My goal is to both give my body a break and attempt to feel like a million bucks before my 37th birthday rolls in at the end of the month!

I don’t expect this to be easy.  It’s only the end of day one and I am CRANKY.

According to the book that I am using as my guide, this is to be expected in the first few days and then I’ll start feeling like a rock star.  I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

In the meantime I wanted to share my latest video; Ratatouille.

This is a meal I grew up with.  Both my Mom and Dad made it often and it was always one of my favorites.

Ratatouille has a lot of wiggle room.  The idea is to take all of those end of the summer veggies and make a big one pot veggie stew.  We always topped it with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese which I would highly recommend, but if you are vegan (like my next 3-week self) you can skip the cheese and simply enjoy the flavor explosion of the fresh basil and tarragon that finishes this dish off.

But enough about this weeks video!  Have you ever done a cleanse?  Ever given up caffeine, alcohol, gluten, sugar, and/or animal products for a period of time?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences?  Did you get a headache?  Were you cranky?  Did it get easier?  Talk to me…

Ratatatouille

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant (about 5 cups) cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into half moons
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped up
  • 2 sweet peppers (any colors you like) cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 tomatoes (about 1.5lbs), chopped into bite size pieces
  • 5 cups of summer squash cut into bite size pieces (I used two zucchini and 2 yellow)
  • 1/3 cup veggie broth
  • A fat pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped tarragon
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large non-stick Dutch oven (sauté pan w/ high sides) heat one tsp. of olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the eggplant along with a pinch of salt and cook for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally.  You are looking for the eggplant to brown on the edges and become nice and tender.  Once the eggplant is done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic and another pinch of salt and sauté for another two or three minutes before adding in your peppers and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Allow veggies to cook for another five minutes or so.  You want your onions to become translucent (if they are browning, turn the heat down).

Add squash, tomatoes, and veggie broth to the pan and allow to simmer for about fifteen to twenty mints.  Toss eggplant back in with the veggies and cook another five minutes.

Adjust seasonings and finish with fresh chopped bail and tarragon.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Analysis

Serving Size = 1.5 cups  Calories: 150 Total Fat: 3.2g; Saturated Fat: 0.5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 107mg; Carbohydrate: 29.8g; Dietary Fiber: 9.1g; Sugars: 13.1g; Protein: 5.7g

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5 Responses to “Ratatouille – End Of The Summer Veggie Stew (Video)”

  1. #
    1
    Julia — September 7, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    Hi Dani!
    Lovely recipe, as always, will make it at the weekend! As for cutting off certain foods: due to medical reasons I’ve been avoiding refined carbs,sugar and dairy for a while now. A month ago I also cut out gluten. The difference is unbelievable! When I was eating gluten, I was practically constantly hungry – at least that’s how I interpreted the sensations in my tummy. My mind was constantly on when and what will I eat next. Now that I am gluten free I realized it was not hunger, but discomfort due to mild digestive issues. So I eat less, discomfort after eating is gone, my skin is clearing up, my mood is better, I have more energy and even my flexibility seem to have improved. In one word I am pretty amazed, and definitely can recommend to try and go gluten free if anyone suspects that they have some gluten intolerance. Apparently 60% of the population can’t digest gluten properly. Would love to know what you think!

  2. #
    2
    Mario — September 8, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    This Provance dish includes Lavender, one of the herbs in Herbs de Provance. It makes this dish taste great. MZ.

  3. #
    3
    Julia — September 9, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    It’s me again. Made it for dinner tonight – absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe again. I’ve made similar stews a million times before, but haven’t made it with tarragon before – it definitely gives the dish a funky twist! How is your cleanse coming along? Feeling any better? I am sure it’s worth it, even if you find it difficult to begin with. Let us know how are you getting on!

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    4
    Michelle — February 19, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe… I didn’t have tarragon so I added some thyme and the result was delicious too.

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    5
    Duaa — September 27, 2013 @ 3:28 am

    i tried it yesterday, and my husband and i LOVED it,ate it with baguette ohhh soo yummy and no healthy
    my mom used to do a stew with only tomatoes and eggplants, but this one is soooo much better <3

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