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Layered Baked Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a vegetable side dish filled with wonderful flavors.  Every time I say the word ‘Ratatouille’ I have to smile and think of the Disney animated film Ratatouille. The young rat, Remy, dreams of becoming a famous French chef.  Such a funny film, great to watch with children, grandchildren or in the privacy of your own adult home…no one needs to know you’re watching a cartoon!

Celebrate after watching the film by enjoying the real deal!

LAYERED BAKED RATATOUILLE

2 cups (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dry) (plus more for sprinkling)
½ tsp. salt (plus more for sprinkling)
¼ tsp. pepper (plus more for sprinkling)
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced*
2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced*
2 small eggplant, thinly sliced*
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1” squares
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, to top (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Spread 1 tbsp. olive oil in the bottom of a 9 inch cast iron skillet. In a small bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the base of your skillet.
  • Layer the sliced vegetables vertically around the skillet, packing them as tight as you can. (We find that it is easier to layer the zucchini, squash, and eggplant in the skillet and then go back in and tuck the red peppers within the layers after the other vegetables have been filled in.)
  • Season the top of the vegetables with additional salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle with more olive oil.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and the vegetables are softened and starting to brown slightly.
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe from Curiouscuisinere.com

Family · Family Favorites · Skinny

Layered Mexican Dip…Low Cal Style

Our family was gathering for a late Sunday afternoon dinner and Mexican food was planned.  I needed a good starter but wanted something that wasn’t high fat/high calorie.  I have had 7 layer dip many times and this is a low cal twist to that recipe.  I used 2 cups of refried beans and 1 cup salsa for the bottom layer and otherwise, used the recipe as below.

It was a great little dip and I like it served with vegetables (especially Jicama) along with the chips.

MEXICAN LAYERED DIP

1 cup refried beans, vegetarian/low-fat
1/2 cup salsa
1-1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 avocados, pitted, peeled & mashed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
juice from 1/2 lime

TOPPINGS:

1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced black olives
cilantro sprigs

DIPPERS:

raw vegetables spears; red/yellow/orange bell peppers, jicama, daikon radish, carrots, celery, etc.
tortilla chips or strips

  • In small bowl, combine and stir beans and salsa. In separate bowl, combine and stir Greek yogurt and taco seasoning. In third bowl, combine and stir mashed avocado, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Use a 8×8″ pan or bowl or similar size.  Place bean mixture on the bottom, guacamole  in the middle, yogurt mixture on top; smoothing each into an even layer using the tip of a table knife.
  • Sprinkle on toppings: shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions, olives. Top with a sprig of cilantro.  May be assembled, covered, and refrigerated up to 6 hours in advance. Serve with veggie spears and/or tortilla chips.
Recipe slightly adapted from Yummy Life