About five years ago, I saw the Pixar animated film “Ratatouille” about a rat that loves food, winds up in Paris, and cooks for a five star restaurant by befriending the garbage boy. A rat cooking for a Parisian restaurant is about as far-fetched as you can get. However, as the restaurant’s deceased head chef that comes back as a ghost to mentor the rat (compelling stuff) says, “Anyone can cook!” One of the dishes the rat serves to a highly regarded food critic and villain of the film is ratatouille. The meal is a big hit, and essentially everyone lives happily ever after. The animation of this movie is incredible so the ratatouille looks absolutely delicious…like heaven on a plate.
I often look through health magazines to find recipes because I find them to be easy to make and not incredibly complicated. I came across this ratatouille recipe by Liza Schoenfein in Fitness Magazine and was thrilled because I adored the movie and was excited to bring a part of it into our home. This dish is healthy, filling, and unquestionably delightful. It’s also a great dish to make a huge batch of, serve to a big group (was a big hit with my girlfriends who came into town a few months ago) or bring to lunch with you the next day. I’ve tweaked the recipe to my liking (I omit the mint, thyme, almonds and olives). Here it goes:
- Red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 28-ounce can chopped/diced tomatoes
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned1.
- In a large pot, coat the bottom with olive oil and cook the red onion in it for about 5 minutes. Use medium heat so nothing burns.
- Mince the garlic and add it to the onion, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Within the last 2 minutes of the 20 minute simmer, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the shrimp on each side. Once cooked, add into the ratatouille.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese to serve and voila! Makes about 4 servings.
Also, this is a great dish to toss with whole wheat penne if you’re feeling in need of carbs!