Tag Archives: vegan recipes

Crock Pot Ratatouille

No I didn’t put a little mouse in my crock pot… (I know that’s what came to your mind when you read ratatouille, right?) I have been so busy lately and just haven’t had time to cook so I figured I would dust off the ‘ol crock pot. There’s so much to love about it, and you can’t really appreciate it until you try it. The directions are always the same. Throw your ingredients in, set the timer and come home to dinner ready and an apartment filled with the aroma of whatever it is your cooking. I served mine over noodles but you can eat this in many ways, as a side dish, with meat or fish, stuff it in a red pepper, acorn squash or potato, or just alone with some crackers. It’s a great go-to meal and is awesome for using up those veggies that have been in the fridge a while and are bordering questionable edibility (made up word, cuz it’s my blog and I do what I want!).

Crock Pot Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, cut in half and sliced (I used a leek that I had in the fridge too)
  • 1 large eggplants, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 4 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large red or green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips (I only had one)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges (or chopped cherry tomatoes. Canned tomatoes work too)
  • 1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (I used Nunaturals NuStevia – not pictured)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, to spice it up 

Directions

Layer half the vegetables in a large crock pot in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes.

Next sprinkle half the basil, oregano, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper on the veggies.

Dot with half of the tomato paste. Repeat layering process with remaining vegetables, spices and tomato paste. Drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.

Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or serve with pasta like I did. I used Dreamfields pasta which is lower in carbs.

And the random photo of the day….


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Stuffed zucchini

So I recently found out that I will soon be working from home again. I did this at a different firm a little over a year ago and it was not has easy as it sounds. Sure it was nice to not have to get dressed up every day, pack a lunch, race out the door, etc. But there would be several days, even weeks, I wouldn’t so much as step foot outside of my tiny apartment. One can get a little cooky and stir crazy, let me tell you…. I will enjoy being with my dogs all day, the flexibility in my schedule and I think this is my solution to missing my daily workouts! The thing that is looming over my head however is that I need to turn my apartment into a dual purpose space. It needs to remain a sanctuary but also be a place where I can be productive. I don’t necessarily want those lines to be crossed but I want my desk space to fit with the rest of the decor of the apartment. I have been looking at some ideas for home office space via Pinterest but if anyone has any great ideas, please feel free to share!

On to the good stuff. After my empanada/”pot pie” incident, I had plenty of leftover lentil mix that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. I have seen people make stuffed zucchini before but I was skeptical. As luck would have it, I had two zucchinis in the fridge that were bordering throw-away-time so I decided to give it a try.

Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients 

You can use any mixture you like. A quinoa with veggies would be nice, beans and brown rice. This is a great opportunity for you to get creative and use the materials you already have in your kitchen. Tomato paste was great for flavor, texture and to keep all of the ingredients together. I also would suggest sprinkling some cheese on top to give it that extra punch of flavor.

Directions:

1. I took my pre-made mixture and tossed it in a pan with some tomato paste over medium-low heat.

2. Meanwhile I cut my zucchini in half lengthwise and scooped out the seeds with a spoon to create a moat to put the lentil mixture in. Spoon mixture into the moats.

3. I sprayed a pan with cooking spray and laid the two stuffed zucchini pieces side-by-side. I baked them at 425 degrees for 15 mins then reduced the temp to 300 sprinkled the cheese and put them in for another few minutes until the cheese was melted.

And for your random photo of the day viewing pleasure, I give you, another pug pic….

….Cracks me up every time….