Ah, our good friend, the Healthy Dinner. In the name of impending wedding as well as better health in general, most dinners in our house have been of this type in the last ten months or so, so there is a big fat stack of “recipes to try” that fit neatly into the healthy category. Having been tempted by on-sale eggplant at the market, and knowing that GP would never permit the long and hot oven journey to an eggplant parmesan (a recipe that is, now that I think about it, not new to me– hence, not WIU-eligible– but is a favorite nonetheless. I’ll share later.), I knew what I had to do: ratatouille!
Not just because we are rabid Pixar fans (seriously, friends, we have all the movies and the shorts, and an unhealthy obsession with John Lasseter), but because we are enthusiastic eggplant fans, I knew this would be a hit. I chose a non-traditional recipe that contained chicken because GP is so rarely enthusiastic about meatless meals (in a very “Where’s the beef?” sort of way). Without further ado, I give you…
(adapted from a SparkPeople.com recipe)
4 medium chicken breast halves, skinned, and fat removed, boned, and cut into 1″ pieces
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1″ cubes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, but into 1″ pieces
4 medium tomatoes, cut up
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried crushed basil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in large Dutch or French oven. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to pan and saute about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Add zucchini, eggplant, onion, and green pepper. Cook, covered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, and pepper; stir and continue cooking about 5 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Et voila, you have ratatouille for days! Seriously, this recipe makes a ton.
Was the recipe easy to follow? Yes! It is as simple as “cut stuff up, put it in a pot until you think it’s done, and eat it.” While that would read ridiculously in a cookbook, that is basically how this one goes. I saved myself some time (I think) by prepping everything ahead of time, cooking-show style, all cut up and in little bowls. Take that, Giada!
Was it good? It was a hit! We are still eating it a few days later, and it has only gotten better– definitely one of those dishes that improves as all the ingredients hang out together.
Would you make it again? Sure would! I can see myself adding and subtracting ingredients based on what’s on hand and what’s in season. I think I could even manage to sneak a meat-free version under GP’s nose…those eggplants were beefy!