Ratatouille with Lemon Pepper Quinoa

I had a great meal planned for last night. Slow cooked ginger scallion pork was to be turned into pan fried dumplings with crunchy sesame cabbage. That dish will happen, perhaps tonight. But the two of us were so under the weather, that even the thought of the smell of the pork made me want to faint. I didn’t feel like eating anything with meat in it, and my poor husband could not fathom the thought of food at all. So instead of making cute little dumplings, I instead dug into my Wine & Food Affair cook book once again, and came out inspired by a recipe for ratatouille with lemon pepper polenta.

I decided to make it with lemon pepper quinoa and veered off on my own, making a massive pot of food that will be good for us, once our appetites are back. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that while I was cooking, I may have snacked on a Syrah chocolate cupcake and ruined my appetite for dinner. The fudgy goodness was worth it.

ratatouille

My ratatouille was a simple mix of chopped eggplant, zucchini, and red pepper, a bunch of dried herbs and spices, and a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.

canned tomatoes

Since I abhor eggplant that is not cooked all the way through, I started it sizzling by itself in my Le Creuset French oven, coated by a generous drizzle of olive oil. As you would imagine, the eggplant started soaking up the oil, and after awhile, I just had to add some wine, leftover Syrah from the cupcakes. Wine always comes in handy.

eggplant

I cooked and cooked the eggplant, then poured in the tomatoes and cooked it for about 20 more minutes, slowly adding dried oregano, garlic powder, and this Napa Valley herb mix that includes lavender and dried lemon peel.

dried herbs

I added in the zucchini and peppers, stirred it up, and then let it simmer for 30 more minutes. Somehow, the eggplant still was not cooked enough for my liking!

ratatouille

While the ratatouille simmered, I started on my quinoa. I simply made it according to the package directions, then, at the end of cooking, added the juice of one juicy lemon and about a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.

quinoa

I served a ladle of the ratatouille atop the peppery quinoa and garnished it generously, very generously with kalamata olives. I could eat olives with everything. These kalamatas from Mezzetta are incredible.

kalamata olives

There you have it, my Meatless Monday meal. It was nice to get a bunch of veggies and grains in. Fingers crossed I will not follow suit with the rest of my family and many of our friends who have been stricken with the stomach flu. I will stick with a regular old sniffles, cough, aches and pains flu, thankyouverymuch.

Do you actively participate in Meatless Monday? Or just often find yourself eating vegetarian after big weekends meals?

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Tags: eggplant, healthy, Meatless Monday, quinoa, recipe, Syrah, vegetables, Vegetarian, wine

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    I’m impressed you did this while both sick. I keep soups and stews in the freezer just so I can have something made when I’m sick. Ratatouille with quinoa sounds great.

    Reply

  2. Michelle’s avatar

    Aw, I hope you two both feel better soon!

    Reply

  3. Erica @ In and Around Town’s avatar

    I was actively doing meatless Monday, but then with the CSA it started happening more often. I start making more of an effort this winter again…

    I hope you start feeling better – something nasty has been going around.

    Reply

  4. Daisy’s avatar

    I hope you and Eric feel better!!

    Reply

  5. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Looks so cozy! I sort of abhor eggplant in general but would love to make this with extra zucchini. (btw, I had a stomach bug on Saturday – hope you avoid it – not fun!)

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Ohhhh. . . I got it! :( I hope you are feeling better. It is not fun.

      Reply

    2. wishful nals’s avatar

      ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes – especially this time of year!

      Reply

    3. Megan’s avatar

      Love ratatouille. I never make a point of eating vegetarian, but it usually happens once a week.

      Reply

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