I love eggplant. Yes, we know this. I love Italian flavors. Who doesn’t? I love ratatouille cause it basically is those two things with some zucchini thrown in. Party time…. Excellent…. (cue the Wayne’s World guitars). So last night it was no big surprise that I was craving these mmm mmm flavors. I decided I wanted to make a fancier version of my beloved ratatouille, which I pretty much like all the time, from anywhere. I decided to make said ratatouille into a casserole featuring vegan cheese, fresh tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, sauteed onions, and of course, mi amor, eggplant. The results? Ummmm new favorite dish hands down. Better than my yam and millet burgers and even better than the carrot cake. Seriously. I am becoming such a whiz in the kitch (and humble too).
ARIELLE’S RATATOUILLE BAKE (adapted from this recipe)
(Serves 6 or 3 very hungry people)
- Oilve oil cooking spray
- t. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped into rings
- 4 baby italian eggplants or 2 regular eggplants, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 zucchini
- 2 yellow squash
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 can stewed tomatoes or your favorite tomato sauce (I like Whole Foods’ Eggplant Marinara)
- Oregano, rosemary and any other seasonings you like
- Daiya mozzarella shreds
- Himalayan pink salt
- 1-5 T water
Nutrition Facts: (with 1 cup Whole Foods’ Tomato Sauce and 2/3 cups daiya cheese) 167 calories, 5.6 g fat, 9.3 g fiber, 11.8 g sugar, 5.5 g protein
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Chop the eggplant into small cubes. Salt and put into a bowl. Supposedly salting the eggplant before you cook it helps to draw out the bitterness through osmosis. I dunno the validity in this claim, but it sure tasted good later.
Slice the zucchini and chop the pepper. Place in separate bowls.
Chop the onion.
Spray a frying pan with olive oil spray and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Heat over low heat and add your minced garlic.
Sautee garlic until brown over medium heat. Then add the onions, sauteing for a few minutes.
Next add the eggplant and any Italian seasonings you like. I added rosemary, oregano and basil.
Add water as needed in tablespoon increments to help cook without burning or sticking. Sautee until eggplant is soft which should take about 10 minutes. Salt again.
Spread the eggplant mixture evenly in the casserole dish.
Add a layer of daiya cheese. Then layer the zucchini and add a layer of the cheese again.
Do this with the yellow zucchini and the red peppers, cheese-ing in between each layer.
Finally add your sliced tomatoes and por over them your can of stewed tomatoes or your favorite tomato sauce (I ended up using Whole Foods’ Eggplant Marinara). GENEROUSLY sprinkle with cheese. (Next time I think I’d like to add a basil layer so you can do that before the tomatoes if you like).
Cover with foil and bake for 45 min, removing the foil for the last 10 so the cheese gets a little browned.
Uncover and enjoy over spaghetti squash or your favorite gluten free noodle!
I served my ratatouille bake over spaghetti squash with a simple arugula salad and roasted cauliflower.
I went back for seconds…. and thirds. That good! (Although are you surprised?).
Too bad it’s almost all gone now….
Anyone else have a sick obsession with a certain vegetable? Ya’ll know mine are eggplant and kale, what are yours?
Your Vegan Girlfriend