I'm a sucker for everything Bittman ..
Simple dishes .. full of flavor .. easy to prepare .. and just really darn good.
So when his new cookbook came out .. I couldn't resist.
He talks freely about his journey
The switch to a partially vegan diet when faced with a decision: change the way you're feeding your body or enter the world of medication. (He was overweight and pre-diabetic)
He shifted to veggies, fruit, and grains .. following a fairly strict vegan diet. All processed foods were eliminated for the better part of the day, and the things he simply couldn't give up completely were saved for after 6pm .. and (mostly) in moderation.
I bought the book .. not because I buy into the philosophy necessarily .. but because his recipes always provide ideas .. along with a solid base from which to start.
(Personally, I strive for 5-6 small(er) meals every day in a ratio of carbs, protein, and fat .. and give myself grace 10% of the time. It's my sweet spot .. what works for me .. )
So this week .. when I was in the want for quick and easy .. I remembered the recipe I'd flagged .. with the movie title in its name: Ratatouille.
Roasted veggies & chick peas .. healthy .. tasty ..
ps: The Chef is a sucker for movies .. (I really know nothing about movies .. ) .. Would he catch on?
At home I cooked up the cartoon dish created by an imaginary rat. It satisfied my inner Bittman .. while providing the slightest bit of movie entertainment.
To address my mental checklist: “Protein? Where's your protein?” .. The first night we added shredded chicken .. the second .. grilled steak. Both were absolutely delicious.
As with most dinners I'm gravitating toward lately .. it lends itself to lots of variations .. The addition of roughly chopped greens (kale or spinach) .. changing up the herbs .. adding different protein sources .. or using up whatever veggies you have on hand.
(ps: Wikipedia offers up some pretty cool facts about Ratatouille)
~ Adapted from Bittman .. here
Chickpea Ratatouille with Grilled Steak
- 1 lb. small eggplant cut into large chunks
- 1 lb. Roma tomatoes cored and chopped
- 2 zucchini cut into large chunks1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced
- 2 heads roasted garlic
- 1 tsp. saltolive oil
- 3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 3 Tbsp herbes de province
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Combine vegetables, garlic, salt and oil .. spread across 2 cookie sheets .. or a large roasting pan would work as well
- Roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the veggies are lightly browned and tender (The tomatoes will have released a bit of their water .. creating a sauce) .. give it an occasional stir
- Mix in the chickpeas, and roast 5 to 10 minutes more, or until they are heated through
- Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, if desired
- Don't forget to throw in some protein of your choice before serving (we've used shredded chicken & also grilled steak)