Garden Fresh Ratatouille

photo (1)Fall is by far my favorite season for many reasons: the air is fresh, the clouds are more dynamic, it’s a new academic year, sweaters, boots, backyard bonfires, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, farmer’s markets and crock pot cooking (to name a few)! Onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes are all ready to be harvested in our garden and one of the best ways to enjoy the bounty is to make a delicious ratatouille!  Ratatouille is a traditional French cuisine that originated in Nice.  The dish roughly translates to vegetable stew and it is oooh soo yummy! You can really throw any vegetables you want into a stock pot, let simmer for a few hours and it would qualify as ratatouille, but today I am going to share with you my favorite mixture of vegetables that are guaranteed to warm you up on cool autumn nights!

Ingredients:

Serves 4

Ratatouille

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered

3 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced or cubed

3 zucchini or yellow squash (or both), cubed

2 eggplants, cubed

2 sweet yellow onions, peeled and quartered

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup organic vegetable broth

4 6oz marinated chicken breasts, cubed (optional)

Tomato Basil Marinade

1 cup organic tomato juice

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

4 Tablespoons of organic fresh basil, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

For Marinating Chicken

  • Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl
  • Brush the bottom of an oven safe baking dish with a Tablespoon of marinade
  • Place uncooked chicken in dish and poke all over with a fork (this allows the marinade to soak through the chicken)
  • Pour remaining marinade over chicken, use a brush to cover evenly
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or leave overnight)

Baking Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator, remove cover, drain any extra marinade and place in center rack of over
  • Cook for 18-20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 degrees
  • When fully cooked remove from oven and set aside to cool

photo

 For Ratatouille

  • In a large stock pot add olive oil
  • Add onions, zucchini, eggplants and bell peppers, cook over high heat for a few minutes
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and add tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about an hour.

*While veggies are simmering this is a great time to cube up your chicken

  • Add minced garlic, vegetable broth and cubed chicken (optional) and cover, simmer for another hour
  • Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

 *If the ratatouille is too “soupy” for you remove the cover and turn up the heat.  This will reduce it to a more stew-like consistency.

 *In my home we love this recipe so much we often double or triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers for lunches and last-minute dinner options!

 *Nutritional information:

  • Marinade, 10 calories per tablespoon
  • Chicken, 194 calories per 6 oz
  • Ratatouille, 134 calories per serving

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I love being able to go out into my backyard garden and pick all of the ingredients for diner (minus the chicken), but if you don’t have a garden I would recommend visiting your local farmer’s market or co-op.  Organic and heirloom veggies taste so much more vibrant than the generic, dime-a-dozen veggies available at the big box grocery stores and I feel it’s worth the investment. So why not whip up this tasty dish this weekend?!  Pair this meal with a nice red wine and don’t forget to serve it with a crusty bread to soak up every last delicious and nutritious drop!

 What are some of your favorite fall recipes? What types of veggies do you add to your ratatouille?

Cheers,

Amy

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3 thoughts on “Garden Fresh Ratatouille

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