No, unfortunately I am not talking about Remy the rat who has dreams of becoming a chef—although we do have similar ambitions! Instead I wanted to try my hand at making this popular dish. A little background on this dish you ask?
“Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own (accompanied by rice or bread). Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, zucchini eggplant, bell peppers, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence. There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is to simply sauté all of the vegetables together. Some cooks, including Julia Child, insist on a layering approach, where the eggplant and the zucchini are sautéed separately, while the tomatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers are made into a sauce. The ratatouille is then layered in a casserole – eggplant, zucchini, tomato/pepper mixture – then baked in an oven.” –Wikipedia
I didn’t do any of the following methods! Instead I followed a recipe based on the slow cooker since I could pop it in during the afternoon and 3 hours later I’d have a steaming bowl to eat with supper! I had never had Ratatouille before, but knowing my love for vegetables and all things tomato-based, I placed a sure bet this would become a standard side of mine. I was right—I have made it twice in the past couple of weeks. It does use a lot of veggies though, and due to my money conscience mind, I decided to check out how much per serving I was really paying.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes= $1.00
- Canned Tomato Sauce= $0.53
- Egg Plant= $1.69
- Red Onion= $0.70
- Yellow Squash= $0.53
- Mushrooms= $1.50
- 2 Bell Peppers= $1.99
Recipe Total= $7.94-----6 Servings Amounts to $1.32
When you look at it like that it’s not bad at all! Plus this recipe takes no culinary skills—well besides chopping, but I think you’ll be able to handle it! :-)
Easy, Pleasing Ratatouille
Serves: 6 Prep Time: 15 min. Slow-Cook: 3 hrs on HIGH or 5 hrs on LOW
- 1 small eggplant(about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2’ cubes
- 1/8 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 medium-size red onion, chopped
- 2 medium-size sweet bell peppers, seeded and cut into 3/4’ pieces
- 1 package(10 oz) mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 1 can(14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 medium-size yellow squash, quartered and cut into 3/4’ pieces
- Place eggplant in strainer and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt; let stand 20 min and press out as much liquid as possible.
- In a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Drain diced tomatoes and stir in along with tomato sauce, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or LOW for 5 hours.
- Add squash into slow cooker for last 45 minutes of cooking time.
Nutritionals Per Serving:
- Calories- 82
- Fat- 0 g
- Protein- 5 g
- Carbs- 18 g
- Fiber- 6 g
- Sodium- 446 mg (a bit high, try using reduced sodium diced tomatoes and sauce)
- Cholesterol- 0 mg