What is ratatouille? It is a vegetable dish containing eggplant, zucchini, tomato and onion. This classic culinary specialty of Nice, France is not only a winner in the movie, but it is also a winner if you are trying to watch you weight! Served traditionally as a side dish, one serving of this recipe is 100 calories. We recommend pairing it with pasta, rice or bread to be more filling if you’d like it as a main course.
Fruits & Vegetables
We have reached the time of year that is defined by cooler weather, shorter days, flannel, crunchy leaves, bonfires, and spiced fruit. Warm Spiced Fruit is one of my favorite desserts for this time of the year, and this recipe is super easy to make. Grab some friends, create this treat, watch some football, and just enjoy the positives of this season.
Although the official start of Fall is still a few weeks away, the Halloween displays in the grocery store and the pumpkin spice in coffee shops are out in full force. Surprisingly, the leaves are already starting to change in Atlanta even though it’s still above 80 every day. All of this change is making me chilly nights on the couch curled up watching a movie. So last night I turned down the AC and pretended it was already Fall with this wonderfully hearty barley dish and a copy of Spider-Man 2.
This is the perfect dish for the transition between fresh Summer vegetables and hearty Fall grains. Just one cup of cooked barley provides the same amount of protein as a glass of whole milk, so this naturally vegan casserole doesn’t need much more; but you can add a serving of chicken breast if you like. Three ounces of chicken adds about 200 calories a serving to the dish.
One of the only errands I actually look forward to on the weekends is my trip to the local Farmers Market. In Atlanta, we’re lucky enough to have one in almost every neighborhood and at least one open every day of the week. They’re always chock full of beautiful local fruits and vegetables, not to mention all the wonderful small batch yogurts, cheeses and breads. We are blessed to have an incredible network of local farmers in Georgia and so I’m very excited to share this recipe as part of National Farmers Market Week.
If the Farmers Market isn’t a part of your regular routine, how about shaking things up this weekend and checking out your local market? The USDA has an easy search tool to find the closest one to you. Many people think buying from a Farmers Market is out of their budget, but prices are usually comparable to the grocery store and many markets nationwide accept SNAP benefits- sometimes even double or triple the value so you can purchase more!
So, on to the recipe right?!
We’re closing in on the end of the most bountiful fruit and vegetable season and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to all the beautiful tomatoes, peppers and peaches this year. If you have a backyard garden or just find yourself with lots of leftover, raw veggies, pickling can be a great option.
Unfortunately many pickling recipes contain LOTS of sugar. The lighter, healthier version below transforms the taste and texture of these fresh vegetables into more complex flavors, which taste delicious with a variety of different foods such as fish, game and cold meats. Pickled vegetables can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year, and they make a great gift.
For best results, use the freshest, crispest produce.
Makes 4 pints
2 tablespoons salt
1 pound small Kirby cucumbers cut into 1/4 inch slices (3-4 inches each)
3/4 pound small white onions, peeled
1/2 pound green peppers, cored and seeded (about 2 medium size)
1/2 medium size head cauliflower cut into florets (about 1 pound)
3 cups white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 pound green tomatoes, sliced (2-3 medium size)
1 tablespoon Sweet ‘N Low or your favorite zero calorie sweetener
Combine vegetables in large bowl and toss with salt. Let stand overnight in refrigerator; drain. Transfer mixture to large saucepan. Add boiling water to cover and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain. Combine flour and spices in a medium size separate saucepan. Add enough of the vinegar to make a smooth paste, then gradually add remaining vinegar, stirring well. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat, add Sweet ‘N Low, and cook until thick and smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Add vegetables and stir until coated. Spoon into 4 hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal according to manufacturer’s directions. Process 10 minutes in hot water bath. Cool before storing.