Got cabin fever?
Its hard not to get the munchies!! To battle the junk food, I want to share a recipe for Ratatouille that my family loves. If your tummy is full of warm goodness, the hungry horrors will stay away just that much longer.
My family is not really the eggplant loving types. But this versatile stew is a big hit.
Disclosure: I meant to take more than one picture – BUT we were hungry & just ate it instead. LOL
I want to share my biggest hint to making Ratatouille taste good:
DON’T JUST THROW EVERYTHING
INTO THE POT AT ONCE!
I have seen recipes where you prep everything, throw it together, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer until thick. While I agree that this can be a time saver, its usually what produces the “ick-factor” where the kids won’t eat the mushy, oddly textured veggies.
This stew is meant to be one of layered flavors. Your zucchini is not supposed to be soggy!
This can be a great family activity as there are things that need to be chopped and measured: onion, zucchini, bell peppers, & tomatoes.
This is one of those meals that takes a bit longer to cook. You’ll be in the kitchen from 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on the speed of your prep and how many helpers you have.
And speaking of helpers, this could double as a great activity for a day when you’re stuck inside with the kids too. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
I’m pretty sure that triumphing over cabin fever with a healthy meal that is prepared together falls in the category of “wise woman-hood”!
Things like tomatoes need sharp knives to cut neatly – so these might not be the best to assign to your littlest ones. But zucchini is easy to cut without the sharpest knife. Also you could put the younger ones on peeling duty.
Please note, not everyone peels their zucchini and eggplant. The last time I made it, I did not peel my zucchini but did peel the eggplant. Next time, I may forego the peeling altogether. I think the peel staying on allows the veggies to withstand the heat of cooking much better.
This recipe is for 6 servings. You can adjust up or down as your needs require.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 large onions, chopped medium
2 medium bell peppers – remove the centers/seeds and sliced (Use 2 different colors! Preferably red, yellow or orange)
6 medium tomatoes, cut each into 8 pieces
3 medium eggplants, peeled if desired, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds. And then cut each of the rounds in half
3 medium zucchini, peeled if desired, and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/4 packed cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
1/4 packed cup basil roughly chopped
6-8 sprigs thyme – fresh
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Optional – for families with meat-lovers, add 1.5 cups chopped up chicken