Sunday, May 06, 2007

Chickpea Ratatouille

Yeah, I'm BACK! Last week I was wiped out after finishing the manuscript, and had to catch up on so much with the kids and home. Still do, but at least I'm more even-paced and have a bit of a breather. So, posts will be more regular now - until time comes to do all the food photography for Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

So, let's get to it. First, the winners of the contest... Veg-A-Nut and bbElf (a.k.a. panda). Congrats guys!! E-mail me asap with your mailing address, and which cookbook you'd like.

Next, for a long time I've wanted to post my Chickpea Ratatouille from Vive. It is one of my all-time favorite dishes, though I haven't made it much with all the recipe testing I've been doing. But, a couple of weeks ago I had a ratatouille hankering!

Why do I love it so:
1) Tastes FABULOUS!
2) Though it has a long-ish cook time, prep time/work is minimal.
3) Very healthy, tastes great eating it, and feels good after eating it.
4) Usually a lil' leftovers that can be quickly reheated or tucked into tortillas for a burrito-style meal.

Once you've prepped the ingredients, you toss them all into a big casserole dish, like so:

Then, into the oven for about an hour (stirring once through cooking), then it's ready to serve with quinoa, rice, pasta, flatbreads, or whatever you like. The flavors are abundant and complex without much fuss. This dish is quite low-fat. There is just 2 tbsp of oil in the entire dish, and this can be reduced to 1 or even none if you prefer.

I sometimes mince the garlic with my chef's knife, but this time I used my handy-dandy kitchen rasp. What a marvelous tool this is. Inexpensive, and goes from grating garlic to chocolate to citrus zest (um, not all at the same time!) Get one of these tools for yourself, you won't regret the purchase.

I had some mini-bell peppers on hand so I used the red and orange ones instead of a regular red pepper. I like these little guys, and I've picked them up on special a couple of time. The outer skin is thinner than some bell peppers, and they're cute! See how miniature they are next to this clove of garlic.

There you have it. A simple, ultra-healthy vegan dish. Beans are good for you, and so are the other seasonings and ingredients in this dish. Make it. You'll love it!

Last word: Needed a 'blog makeover'. I like my new look! You will notice that the Google Ads are now at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately, the 'click to give' campaign has not been as successful as I had hoped. You can continue to click over the next few days, but then I will be removing the ad since it is not generating enough clicks to keep blabbering on about it. Whatever we have earned before I remove the ad, I will match that amount to donate to Project Hands. Thanks to those of you that have been clicking all along...


aimee said...

Welcome back, Dreena! I looove this ratatouille! Pretty much anything with chickpeas will do it for me! I made you chickpea sensation patties again (changing up a few things to make them spicier!) and they remain sensational! I baked a few this time and they come out a little firmer and chewier (which I like).
Thanks for all your great recipes and your friendly sharing!

Michelle.D said...

Glad to see you posting again dreena!

maybepigscanfly said...

Dreena, you must be so relieved and also excited to have the cookbook off to the presses. (Although I might be more excited!). Do you know when we are going to be able to pre-order it?

I'm definitely looking forward to photos of your favorites from the other two books. So far my favorite recipe is also chickpea ratatouille. This dish is magic and I could eat it up every day. I even enjoy it as is without the grain accompaniment. Thanks for always sharing!


Melissa West said...

Great to see you back Dreena! I love ratatouille. Why haven't I tried this recipe yet? Looking forward to the photo shoot for the new book. Can't wait to see all the pictures of the fantastic new food!

bazu said...

Yay for finally sending off the new book! I hope you've been doing some celebrating!

Ratatouille = one of my all-time favorites.

Chickpeas = one of my all-time favorites.

Put them both together = perfection!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on completing your book. You must be proud!! The food pix are fantastic. Everything looks great. I am very excited for you.


The Veggie Vixen said...

I've been thinking about making this dish. It's one of the few recipes from Vive that I haven't made. I love any dish that I can prepare in advance as a casserole.
I like the new look. It's fresh.

Dreena said...

Thanks Aimee, I love to hear that you are making some of your own modifications to the chickpea patties that you enjoy even more - totally great! I love chickpeas too - probably my fave bean along with lentils.

Thanks Michelle.

Hiya Teresa. Yes, relieved and so enjoying a bit of a change of pace not being glued to the computer or "having" to test a recipe. It's nice. Still have editing to come, and other details, but my big chunk of work is done. Not sure about pre-ordering, but when I do know, I'll post for sure. I'm with you, I love the ratatouille on its own. It can take the spotlight with maybe a bit of bread on the side!

Hi Melissa! I think this is a dish you'd like. Full of flavor and big on healthy elements. Now... congrats to you!! I haven't been able to keep up with the blogs much, but I see you're doing work with a pub to create new menu items. VERY fun - how awesome!! I'd be giddy about that... you'll have to keep us up to date about the "Melissa dishes" they add to their menu. :) Congrats!

Thanks Bazu! Well, our family took a trip to the city the weekend for the 1st time in months. Had lunch, did some shopping, so that was a celebratory time for me (it's only about a 50 minute drive, but we rarely hike on in there with the kids - shopping and lunch is not really their idea of fun. Day at the park on the other hand...)

Thanks Angie, that's sweet of you. :)

Veggie Vixen, I think this is a dish you'd really like. Get the prep work done and off to the oven so you can forget about it! Yeah, I think it's fresh looking too... now, to work on *my own* fresh-looking makeover - ha!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Your Chickpea Ratatouille is one of my favs -- especially left-overs wrapped up in a burrito as you mentioned. Congrats, Dreena, on progressing to the next phase of your new book! :o)

Michelle said...

whew, i survived.. just barely ;) yea for 3 more non-in law months!

oh, and you KNOW that i'm a chickpea ratatouille kind of girl! i would buy vive a hundred times over, just for this one recipe!

Dreena said...

Thank you Vicki. I think I can wrap up just about anything burrito-style, bake it up and love it!!

Hey Michelle... breathing huge *sigh of relief*, huh?! You must be utterly pooped with all the cooking and hosting you did. I give you credit, girl! Esp being preggo!!! Woohooo, I can congratulate you here now... saw your post over the weekend. What a cute post too - that's a keeper recipe for sure - one that can't be improved upon. :)

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Yum -- that looks fantastic! Chickpeas are underrated in my book, so yay for another way to eat them. Oh, and thanks for the contest; can't wait to see the other yummy recipes in the book!

hyphen_helena said...

I just made this tonight after reading your post yesterday. Yum! It's as good as you described. My favorite dish used to be chicken cacciatore and this dish reminded me of Mom's a lot. My mom loved the ratatouille and I will definitely be making it again.

Veg-a-Nut said...

What a wonderful dish. Anything with chickpeas is a winner in our family.

Congrats on sending your book off to the press. Your posts have tempted our taste buds and I know we are all eager to order it.

Yah! I won. Thanks I am so excited. I never win anything. Yeepee *happy dance*

tommymakestapes said...

ooo I want a kitchen rasp!

Dreena said...

Congrats bbelf, & you'll find quite a few chickpea (and other bean) recipes to play with in Vive!

Hi hyphen_helena... YAY, fabulous! Especially that your mom enjoyed it too, always good to have dishes that a few family members really enjoy. Thanks for the note.

Congrats, Veg-A-Nut, well this time you've won something! You might have luck on your side, maybe time to enter a few more contests... :)

Tommymakestapes, they are worth the few dollars you spend on them. Makes grating garlic, ginger, chocolate, nutmeg, citrus, etc... a cinch!

scottishvegan said...

Glad to see you back! The ratatouille is also one of my favourite things from Vive! It’s just so simple and tasty!! Love your new look!

laura jesser said...

Dreena, this is Bob's favorite recipe of yours... and very close for me too. In fact, we'll be making *a lot* of this very soon... We're in charge of food for a mission trip of 14 people, and I cannot think of a better thing to serve everyone! :)

Glad you're back! Though I'm going to be away for awhile now... :) I like your new jazzed-up look a lot!

Jennifer Randall said...

What a great idea! Thanks! Love the photos. They make *all* the difference.

Just to let you know, I added your recipe to my ratatouille recipes page.