Finding the time to bake, create, and design recipes that meet a multitude of diets is fun, but time consuming. There are days that I forget to make dinner for my husband because I’m making food for the blog instead. As I wrote on Friday, balance doesn’t come easy, and the start of the school year adds another challenge.That’s why preparing meals in advance is so important. We all have a few extra minutes here or there that we could combine and use to make a meal in advance.Ratatouille, the famous French dish, is a perfect meal to make ahead of time because it can be reheated in the oven (covered) for 30 minutes at 275℉ right before dinnertime. I like that it can be prepared 48 hours in advance and that it uses all Summer vegetables!I first made this dish a few weeks ago and was nervous because I thought that it would taste terrible and I would just end up throwing it all away. But it was delicious! The fragrant aroma in my kitchen made me happy and excited to make the recipe again.
To make recipes work, it takes balance between each of the ingredients. It’s a good reminder for each of us to find our own balance during this hectic season. So plan ahead and make it over the weekend.
- 1 lb. Eggplant
- 1 lb. Summer Squash
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 lb. Tomatoes (peeled and deseeded)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
- 1 Purple Onion
- 1 Thyme Spring
- 2 tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ C. Olive Oil
- ½ C. Chevere (optional)
- With a mandolin, thinly slice the summer squash, eggplant, bell pepper, and onion, then place in individual bowls.
- Cover the Eggplant and Squash with 1 tsp. of Sea Salt and set aside for 30 min.
- While the sea salt is helping remove the excess water from the vegetables, peel and deseed the tomatoes. Set them aside
- Bring a saute pan to Med-High heat. Add ¼ C. of olive oil. Add your thinly sliced onions. Sautee until golden brown, 10 mins. Add your garlic. Cook for 1 min.
- Add salt and thyme. Stir.
- Add ½ the amount of bell peppers and all of your tomatoes. Stir together until the tomatoes have broken down and you have a paste. Remove from heat.
- PreHeat oven to 350℉.
- Wash eggplant and Summer Squash. Dry thoroughly.
- Cover a 9” cake pan or a casserole dish with olive oil. Place all of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Layer the vegetables on top. Press the vegetables down. Cover with olive oil, sea salt, and thyme.
- Cover with foil and cook for 30 min.
- Top with chevere.
Now, as promised in the last blog, tips for preparing you and your kids for the upcoming school year:
Going back to school can give kids and parents a headache! Now, add the fact that the kid might be suffering from food allergies…TOTAL NIGHTMARE! The fear that your child might share food with another kid before asking about the ingredients is a reality that many parents deal with.
- Make sure that the school nurse knows your child’s food allergies.
- Bring EpiPens to school and give them to the nurse
- Label all of your child’s food
- Make sure that the teacher knows your child’s food allergies
- Teach your child NOT to share food!
- Prepare their lunches