Adding more vegetables to your daily plan is one of the best ways to help with weight loss because they fill you up without adding many calories. All those nutrients are also good for heart health, blood sugar control, and way more! Plus, making ratatouille is one of the best ways to take advantage of the summer harvest.
You might as well get to benefit from all the time you put into making ratatouille. Here is how to make it, and how you can enjoy it all day.
Basic Recipe – 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
2 large or 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped basil or parsley leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the onion and garlic. Add the eggplant, and in 10 minutes, add the other vegetables, basil or parsley, and spices. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 more minutes.
Make a breakfast wrap by cooking an egg and adding it and the ratatouille to a small high-fiber, whole-grain tortilla.
Low-carb or Paleo: Skip the tortilla and make it a scramble with 3 ounces all-natural ham or 1 ounce parmesan cheese.
Vegan: Mix the ratatouille with tofu instead of an egg.
Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free wrap.
Make a 1-bowl (or 1-container, if you’re on the go!) lunch with ratatouille, ½ cup garbanzo beans, ½ ounce cashews or walnuts, and 1 ounce of parmesan cheese.
Vegan or Dairy-Free: Swap ½ cup light tofu for the cheese.
Paleo: Use ½ cup cooked cauliflower and 2 tablespoons pureed avocado instead of garbanzo beans.
Add 20 ounces cut chicken breast or white fish (such as tilapia or halibut) with the eggplant when cooking your ratatouille, or mix 3 ounces cooked chicken breast or fish to a single serving of ratatouille for your dinner. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, and top it with 1 ounce of low-fat parmesan cheese.
Vegan or dairy-free: Substitute tofu, meatless chicken, or tempeh for chicken or fish, and top it with a slice of soy cheese.
Ratatouille has veggies and healthy fat, so pair it with protein or a high-fiber starch or fruit for a low-glycemic, calorie-controlled snack. Try these snacks under 200 calories!
· Spread it on 1 ounce of whole-grain crackers or whole-wheat toast.
· Top 1 small baked potato, sweet potato, or ½ acorn squash with ratatouille.
· Have it with ½ cup cottage cheese.
· Melt 1 ounce of swiss cheese into it.
· Add ½ cup black beans.
· Mix it with 2 tablespoons of walnuts or sliced almonds.