Happy Tuesday everyone! Today is an extra special post about a couple extraordinary bloggers and a very important cause.
Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the day her Mom passed she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. The ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honour of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.
I have been fortunate to not have been directly touched by heart disease in my life, but I know that the statistics are against me. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women – that’s why its so important to raise awareness and talk about ways we can all fight back, one healthy meal, morning workout, or meditation session at a time. It’s stories like Jen and Kim that humanize heart disease and remind us all to take extra care of ourselves and others.
I did a post earlier last week with my Maple Glazed Salmon recipe (SO yummy!) with a whole shlew of heart healthy tips from Ashley, RD. So check out the link here for a refresher on one of my fave fish recipes and some new moves for your health routine!
At the bottom of this post you’ll also find a gigantic list of the other fabulous bloggers participating in Kim and Jen’s Heart Health event and their yummy Heart Healthy recipe.
My contribution is one of my favorite vegetarian meals – Sauteed Ratatouille with Quinoa. It’s definitely a little bit more labor intensive than my usual recipes – give yourself at least 2 hours, start to finish, but I promise it is absolutely worth it. The vegetables are perfectly caramelized with a delicious blend of fresh herbs and juices. Served with quinoa this is a complete meal packed with nutrient dense veggies, heart healthy olive oil, and protein filled quinoa. It’s enough to serve about 6 people – so for a family of four or just a couple roommates this will last you a few days!
This is one of those dishes I so desperately wish I could package up and FedEx to you all! If you’ve got a free Sunday afternoon or a day off of work you need to try this ratatouille. Its the absolute yummiest way to devour a plate of veggies – hearty, filling, and so so yummy!!
This recipe is packed with fresh herbs – I would not recommend substituting dried for fresh here, in a pinch you definitely can, but the fresh herbs really truly make the dish!
Yields about 6 servings
- 1 lb. eggplant (1 medium globe), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 3-1/2 cups)
- Kosher salt
- 5 1/2 teaspoons
- 8 oz. onion (1 medium), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 lb. red bell peppers (2 medium), peeled (as much as possible with a vegetable peeler; serrated works best), cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 lb. zucchini (3 or 4 small), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons (about 3 cups)
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic (6 to 8 large cloves)
- 1 lb. tomatoes (2 medium), cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
- 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- Few drops hot sauce
- 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil
- 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
For the Ratatouille
- Toss the eggplant with 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander and let sit in the sink or over a bowl while you prepare the other vegetables.
- Sauté the vegetables one at a time: In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, the thyme, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deep golden brown, 15 to 20 min. Scrape into a clean colander or large strainer that’s set over a bowl to catch the juices.
- In the same skillet, heat another 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften and get browned around the edges, about 5 min. Add the rosemary, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re extremely soft and sweet, another 10 to 15 min. Gently fold into the onions in the colander.
- Heat another 1 teaspoon oil over high heat, and as soon as you see the first hint of smoke, add the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Shake and stir to distribute the zucchini slices evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until tender and nicely browned on both sides, 5 to 7 min. Add to the colander and gently fold with the onions and peppers.
- Finish with the eggplant and tomatoes: Dump the eggplant onto some paper towels, and pat to blot up surface water. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet over high heat, add the eggplant (no additional salt), and shake and stir to distribute the cubes evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until lightly browned on several surfaces, about 5 min, and then lower the heat to medium. Cook until the eggplant is very tender–not at all al dente–another 13 to 15 min. Fold into the other vegetables.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and all their juices and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook until the tomatoes collapse slightly and the juices thicken and darken a bit, 3 to 5 min. As you’re cooking, scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze all the cooked-on vegetable juices. Add to the colander, scraping out all the juice from the skillet, and fold everything together.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and hot sauce to the juices caught under the colander. Combine juice mixture , vegetable mixture, basil, and parsley in a large bowl. Now make the quinoa:
For the Quinoa
- Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and let sit 5 minutes. Serve with finished ratatouille.
Nutrition Information (per serving, ratatouille + quinoa); Calories: 273, Fat: 10 grams
Nutrition Information (per serving of just ratatouille); Calories: 113, Fat: 5 grams