Bon Appetite!

Bonjour! It has been too long since I’ve posted. I’ll blame that on papers, homework, and children in general (but absolutely worth becoming a teacher someday). Summer break has finally come! A glorious week of sleeping in, getting sun kissed, laughing with friends, Netflix, and naps. And trying some new recipes, of course!

Since I last made Ratatouille, I’ve decided to experiment. I’ve combined two new recipes– a simple Allrecipes.com and a Parisian Chef’s version– into a sort of American-French hybrid. The sauce and flavor turned out amazing! So if you are looking for a relatively simple version of Ratatouille with authentic French flair, then you’ve come to the right place.

And did I mention that it’s Paleo/GAPS friendly?

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Disney’s Ratatouille Recipe– http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/?mxt=t06rda

Cooking with Kurt- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56d1J_oCl04

How to chop eggplant (because let’s be real, chopping veggies can be confusing) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaX8MDsJkc

INGREDIENTS

Veggies:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatos, thinly sliced

Spices/Oil: 

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic OR small handful of fresh basil, chopped (I’ve been having trouble with garlic lately, but found basil to be a delicious alternative)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil  (1 at beginning, 3 tbl at end- or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste

PREP-45 min
Cook- 45 min
Ready In 1 h 30 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 

DIRECTIONS

PART ONE: Preparing the sauce

  1. Chop 2 carrots and cook in a large pan with oil.
  2. Meanwhile: Optional- for a nice smoky flavor, turn the red and yellow peppers over the stove until they are crispy on the outside (see youtube video above). Then set peppers aside to cool.
  3. While the carrots are cooking and peppers are cooling, begin to chop the other ingredients: onion, tomato, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. You want THIN slices.
  4. Once carrots are looking tender, you’ll want to add the chopped red and yellow pepper to the pan. If you have smoked the peppers, removed the charred outer layer before chopping. Let the carrots and pepper sizzle together for several minutes or until softened.
  5. Next, toss in the onion. Stir and let sizzle for a couple minutes.
  6. Now add your tomato paste, basil/garlic, water, salt &pepper, and extra olive oil. You want a sauce that is thick and creamy but not chunky or watery. (See pictures below..my sauce right before I added a couple tbl of water)
  7. Once everything has simmered for 5-10 minutes and the vegetables look tender, set aside to cool. (If you want to speed up this process, pour into a bowl and cool for 5-10 minutes in the fridge/freezer.)

PART TWO: Preparing the pan & creaming the sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil the bottom of a 10×10 pan.
  2. Make sure the rest of your vegetables are sliced and ready to go: the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomato.
  3. Now that your sauce has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy. It should have a sweet and slightly smoky/spicy flavor…yum! I think it’s the sauce that really makes or breaks Ratatouille.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan, spread evenly. Dash on a bit of salt and red pepper.
  5. Now you can begin making your rainbow. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  7. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30- 45 minutes. This will be even faster in a toaster oven.
  8. If you’re able to eat dairy, serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

BON APPETITE!

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Ratatouille-2007-Movie-HD-Free-Download

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GAPS Zucchini Muffins/Bread!

These have been my favorite snack to grab n’ go this month! And my coworkers at Amai Day Spa love eating them too! They’re moist and melt in your mouth. And might I mention guilt-free?

Thanks to Danielle Walker @ Against All Grain. Here is her original recipe: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/04/24/almond-flour-zucchini-bread/

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Below are my couple alterations. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some alternative ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
    • (Although other flours may substitute, almond is essential for the moist yet light texture)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 eggs, beaten (or 2 eggs, with 1/4 cup of warm coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini
    • 1/2 cup zucchini & 1/2 cup carrots shredded is also delicious!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. I mix everything in one big bowl to avoid extra clean up. First, whip eggs with a fork, then add in other WET ingredients. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add the DRY ingredients over the wet, and stir only the top layer of dry ingredients gently. I find that doing this slowly mixes in the spices, salt, etc into the flour well enough.
  4. Mix all together thoroughly. I find a large spoon or spatula works great.
  5. Spray or grease: 2 mini loaf pans, 1 big loaf pan as needed. I like to use coconut oil. 12 muffin tins work great for on the go- my favorite!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until clean toothpick poke.

ENJOY!