Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baked Ratatouille by me

In a continuing quest to eat healthy, get the kids to eat veggies and lose weight I’ve been doing lots of reading. I have 3 books by Marilu Henner, 2 by Suzanne Somers and borrowed another from the library. I also tried a few more from the library: Lose 21 pounds in 21 days; The Cortisol connection; The Sonoma Diet

In Suzanne Somers' book Eat Great, Lose Weight she has a Yummy recipe for “Candied” tomatoes.

I made them a long time ago and remembered how I liked them.

I looked it up and she suggests storing them in olive oil in the frig. I’ve found there is enough liquid to store it fine, without adding more oil (=calories).

They make a terrific side dish or use it over chicken breasts. The can be used in omelets or served over grilled bread or cannellini beans.

To prepare them: Slice in half and place cut sides up in baking pan, drizzle olive oil & then generously salt each half. Bake @ 325 for 2 hours.

While shopping I found a group of 6 tomatoes on their vine at the store; Deep red and looking great. I remembered that this would make a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pan, so I added some asparagus, zucchini cut up small to the bottom of the dish. The results were absolutely delicious!

I like it best over whole wheat pasta or rice.

I made it again 2 days later, adding balsamic vinegar. Again delicious!

I was making it in my Henn 9 X 13 casserole. HPIM4469-1

The next time (only a couple days later) I tried an extra large amount of veggies in the covered baker and it was fabulous. I held a Pampered Chef show a couple months ago just to get that covered baker.HPIM4463

I took a large bowl of my veggies over to a friend's house for her to try (to make sure I wasn’t imagining it). She said they had it over spaghetti and loved it.

Tonight I made it again and layered the zucchini HPIM4467 and yellow squash on the bottom in larger pieces.

Then I laid 2 chicken breasts on top of that. I drizzled a little of pampered chef’s garlic canola oil on the chicken. Then the asparagus followed by diced large tomatoes and a couple handfuls of grape tomatoes on top.

Then add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, pepper & salt. It turned out fabulous. My DH had 2 helpings.HPIM4471

SO I’ve been calling my dish Ratatouille…. to try and get the kids interested in it…. but they haven’t been! I’ve been eating it for dinner and lunches. I think, I hope, it is very healthy and a great way to get my veggies. I’m very happy to eat it if it helps me lose weight.

I looked up ratatouille and it is actually cooked on top of the stove. In a big pot it is like a stew or soup. Some recipes also call for sautéing the veggies before adding the tomatoes and liquid. Plus they always call for eggplant, and I haven’t tried adding that yet.

I looked up braising, which is close. That is done in the oven in a covered baker. It starts out dry and then becomes filled with liquid. The juices cook the food and add flavor. But braising is usually for meat.

I looked up stewing, which it could be. But again, I make it in the oven not on the stovetop.

On Wikipedia I found an interesting article about “Confit Byaldi” which started as ratatouille, and is used as “THE DISH” in the animated Ratatouille movie.

I think it might try it that way. It looks pretty too.

Well you have read this far…. I hope you try my ratatouille and let me know, please, how you like it!

I also wanted to add how much I love the Rice Cooker I got from Pampered Chef. I like how it cooks in the microwave for how long you set it for. It doesn't get forgotten on the stovetop, boiling over, cooking dry, burning, etc. Also the cleanup has been soo easy. I've beenn making 2 cups of rice with 3 1/2 cups of water. I cook on High for 6 minutes then on 50% power for 15 min. Though it is done, I leave it in the cooker with the lid closed until we are close to serving to let it continue steaming. It tastes so much better than the stovetop way too.

1 comment:

Rachel said...


Your Ratatouille looks great. I love LeCruset cookware, so I have a beautiful dish to make it in. It was my mom's favorite dish, but I don't like eggplant, so I usually add extra zucchini. Thanks for reminding me of this dish. It is so good and so good for you. I know my family will not touch it with a ten foot poll, so I could make a bunch and just have some for lunch, everyday, for a week!