Tuesday, January 24, 2012

FREE COOKING: Quinoa w/ Rattatouille

Eggplant has been one of my favorite vegetables for many years now. I simply love any dish with it. And this particular dish I believe is my favorite of all with eggplants. 

You can eat it warm or cold, and it's amazing! You can eat it with rice, quinoa or bread and it's sure to satisfy you. It's also VERY easy to make. 

This day I tried doing it two different ways, one batch I put in the oven and another I did in a non-stick skillet. I preferred the one in the skillet. The one in the oven got a little too dry for my taste! And that's the one I used in the photos. But you could do it whichever way you prefer.

I started this dish thinking of making a French Rattatouille recipe (yes...France again, but this will be my farewell to it, at least for now!), so I looked up recipes online and got all the ingredients. But I was not in the mood for preparing it exactly how the recipe called for, because it sounded too time consuming, with too many little steps, and I just wanted to toss it all in a pan and that be it!

And that is what I did! I simply chopped all the ingredients (large) and tossed in the skillet!

Ingredients I used:

  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Potato (used the colorful mini ones)
  • Tomatoe
  • Onions
  • Garlic (put whole, peeled)
  • Bell pepper (red, yellow, green)
  • Thyme (dried and fresh-b/c I had some)*
  • Rosemary (dried)*
  • Parsley
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Olive oil (lots of it!)
  • You can add a little bit of lemon juice to it too-totally optional!* 
*I would have added Kalamata olives if I had it, b/c I LOVE this dish with it! I think it makes it taste even better!* 

*Not part of the original recipe

If you're in the mood for some "real" French Ratatouille, here is where I got the original recipe that I didn't end up following: ratatouille

How to prepare is SUPER easy! I added a bunch of olive oil to all the cut up vegetables in a bowl, than added the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Then dumped it all into the skillet and covered it until tender, then removed lid and let the water dry out and brown a little. Once done, I removed from heat and added fresh parsley and thyme.

If doing in the oven, just put in an oven proof dish and place in the oven under 375F. I think if you cover with foil first until the veggies are tender, then once tender you remove the foil and let it brown a little, this may take care of the dryness I mentioned earlier.

For the quinoa, I cooked as if I would rice (the Brazilian way). 
  • First washed/rinsed quinoa  
  • Then stir-fry some finely chopped onions and minced garlic with a little bit of oil.
  • Add rinsed quinoa and add salt of preference (I use a garlic salt). Let it stir-fry a little with the onion and garlic.
  • Finally add water (2 cups for each cup of quinoa)
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer.

Turned out AMAZING! Definitely one of my favorite vegetable dishes, if not my very favorite!:)

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