Saturday, September 14, 2013

Easy Ratatouille


    The word Ratatouille always brings my mind back to the beautiful city of Paris, with it’s glamorous tower, renowned breads, and small rodents cooking for food critics.  Yes, the first time I was ever introduced to this dish was when I watched the animated character Anton Ego take a bite, then dramatically drop his pen in slow motion as he savored the delicious taste.  Now, several years later, we are cooking our own ratatouille, and it is good!  Its flavor didn’t cause me to go into shock and have a flashback of my childhood…but it probably would have if I had ever had ratatouille when I was younger! 
    This meal is a great way to get rid of all that squash you have piling up in your refrigerator, and you can cook it as a delectable side, or serve it over rice as a wonderful main course.  Bon Apatite!


1/4 Cup olive oil
1 1/2 Cups yellow onion, diced
1-2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (The spice works if you don't have fresh)
1 Cup green bell peppers, diced
1 Cup red bell peppers, diced
*3 Cups zucchini squash, diced
1 Cup yellow squash, diced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Harissa sauce (optional, if you like spiciness)


Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the thyme, green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash.  Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, and Harissa (if you want it spicy), and cook for 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either as a side, or on rice as a main course.

*Note- if you like eggplant, you can substitute 2 cups of eggplant and only use 1 cup of zucchini.  Add the eggplant before the peppers, zucchini, and squash and let it cook for five minutes.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

  Once again, we come to that wonderful time of year when all of us are panicking about how we can get rid of the truckload of zucchini we found in our garden.  Perhaps an obstacle you are facing is that the children at your table aren't thrilled about the taste of zucchini!  Time to sneak some of this squash into their lives!  These zucchini muffins are a great side or dessert to add to your meal, and they are very simple to make!  Just make sure your kids don't wander into the kitchen while you're making them, and they'll love these muffins without ever realizing what kind of squash they're digesting!  Enjoy!

Zucchini Muffins

2 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 Cup flax meal 
A healthy, sweet, and hardy dessert or snack!

2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 Cup agave (Add more if you want it really sweet)
3/4/ Cup soymilk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Cups Zucchini, shredded

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 12 muffin tin with paper liners, or spray with non-stick spray.  In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth all the way through. Mix in the zucchini.  Scoop 1/3 cup of the batter into each prepared cup, almost filling it.  Bake on center rack for 23 minutes.  Poke with toothpick to test.