Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vegetarian Comfort Food

It's no secret that I like Meatless Mondays and vegetarian dishes.  They are colorful and healthy and delicious.  And the zen of chopping vegetables is relaxing.  Recently I made a vegetable stew, a play on ratatouille of the French Provence region.  A quicker version, for sure.  The original stews for hours.  I prepared and cooked this in under an hour.

The basic ingredients include the Japanese eggplant I got at Produce Junction in south Jersey, zucchini, onion and red pepper.  Garlic, salt and pepper, canned diced tomatoes and some water complete the recipe.

I chopped the eggplant and placed in a collander.  Salt it and let set for about 20 minutes.  This pulls some of the water out of the vegetable.  I rinsed it and patted it dry.

Meanwhile. . . . . 

I chopped the rest of the veggies and added some pre-diced organic garlic from a jar.  (I like easy short cuts that don't compromise taste).

Start sauteing in a large frying pan, turning often.  When the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes, add 1/2 cup water and continue cooking until they are cooked through.

I then added two cans of diced tomatoes, with the juice, salt and pepper and simmered for about 35 minutes until the liquid evaporated and  all the flavors melded together and the vegetables were very "stewish", stirring occasionally.

This is the completed dish.  It can be served cold as a condiment, but I like it warmed and over a grain. I used a prepackaged quinoa on this night.   
It can stay in the fridge for up to a week, and the flavor improves as time goes by.

Here's the completed plating.  I must say we both had a very good night's sleep.  So comforting and healthful.  The next day I heated the leftover ratatouille and had it with a vegan burger.  It was DIVINELY delicious.

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