Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eat Your Vegetables

By Judith Garfield

Lately I have been trying to eat healthy(er).

This means less white (sugar, flour), more bright (fruits and vegetables). I love eating healthily, but it means I must…wait for it…cook. My husband makes delicious meals; however, healthy is not a big priority for him. Even if a recipe does not include a lot of butter he will add it. This is also a man whose staples include Wonder Bread and peanut butter, and only the kind that Annette Funicello used to sell. He’s a loyal Mouseketeer. And he gets very cranky if his ice cream is without a whip: Dream, Cool or Redi.

When I really feel the need for a flavorful, low-fat vegetarian meal, it’s up to me. So I was very happy my good friend M. came over last week, looked at my hugely overgrown garden and said, “Judy, time to make the ratatouille.” My husband snickered, but could not stop saying the word in his best (i.e.) annoying French accent. For those of you unfamiliar with the word, the phonetic pronunciation is Rat-a-too-ee. Have fun saying it over and over to whoever is pretending not to hear you.

I missed Ratatouille, the animated Disney film about Remy, the rat who wants to be a chef. I heard it was charming, but after living thirty years in Manhattan the last thing I wanted to see in my kitchen was a rat.

This is a dish that lends itself to improvisation, and there are hundreds of recipes you can find. It’s a perfect dish for mid to late summer when tomatoes, eggplant, and squash are in season. It’s a one pot or skillet meal, cooks in less than thirty minutes, and contains not one white ingredient.


In a skillet, heat olive oil, garlic, and a sliced onion until it is transparent. Add the following diced ingredients:

1 Eggplant

1 yellow squash

a container of sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper

4 tomatoes (fresh if you have them or one 14-ounce can diced)

small jar of pitted calamato olives (drained and cut in half)

Cover and simmer till everything is tender. Season with salt and pepper and lots of oregano. Red pepper flakes if you like it hot. Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.



Anonymous said...

I must say your veggies look delicious. Your recipe sounds easy enough ----but I would just as soon eat them raw! Now, that's the healthiest( and easiest) of diets.

Big Shantz said...

oh man. i just ate & yet i want some of this ratatouille. & i daresay it sounds easy to make &, yes, healthy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lonesome,
I love ratatouille and your recipe sounds great and easy to try. But as I was reading I happened to think what a super salad that would make. Just take the raw ingredients, mix with Romain, add BLEU or FETA CHEESE and your favorite lite dressing. And for a substantive lunch add Tuna or Salmon. Yummy and healthy.

Anonymous said...

Your vegetables do look delicious and the receipe sounds like a piece of cake...while being just about the furthest thing from a piece of cake. Thanks LC.

Anonymous said...

I was playing games online however for reading this post more interesting thanks for the share please do keep it going great job....Loveing this.



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