I LOVE eggplant!
Eggplant seems to be one of those vegetables people are somewhat divided on. People seem to either love it or hate it. Honestly, I just don't understand the eggplant haters. It's just such an interesting vegetable that is so great at absorbing flavors. I do also have a fondness for the color purple...so maybe that's it. But, either way, I LOVE eggplant!
Most of the eggplant recipes I had tried before I began eating whole food plant-based involved soaking the eggplant in a great deal of oil and/or smothering it in breading and/or cheese. It was delicious this way, of course...but, when prepared this way, I definitely never walked away from the table feeling satisfied in a health-promoting sort of way. So, I'm always interested in finding new and simple ways to prepare it healthfully.
I just LOVE cooking with color!
Well, deep purple eggplant, bright yellow summer squash, and deep green zucchini to the rescue! ...and just in case that's not enough, this dish adds bright red grape tomatoes, too! I seriously get almost giddy even thinking about it! 🙂 I just LOVE cooking with color! <3
In addition to the enticing eye-candy these dramatic colors provide, this ratatouille-inspired dish is just packed full of health-promoting phytonutrients (plant-nutrients) that are served up perfectly in their whole food package.
Mise en place
Prepare your mise en place for this recipe by dicing and slicing your veggies, measuring out your spices, and pre-preparing your chosen whole grain or pasta. Prepping things like this ahead of time just makes the cooking process so much less stressful and so much more enjoyable.
I chose to prepare polenta (corn grits) for this dish, this time. It is also delicious over brown rice. I think it could be wonderful over a whole grain pasta or stirred into a tomato-based pasta sauce as well. So many options!
Stir and cover and stir
You'll find that once the veggies are diced and sliced, this recipe involves stirring and covering to allow the veggies to cook, then stirring again, on repeat. You'll begin by adding the diced eggplant, zucchini, & summer squash to a non-stick saute pan. I like to add a little salt to the veggies to bump up the flavor and to help them release their juices while they're cooking, but this is up to you. Feel free to adjust to your taste and health needs.
This recipe is pretty simple, really, and you get to enjoy all of the pretty colors while you cook, too! 🙂
Add the spices
Once the vegetables have begun cooking down a bit, you'll add the other spices and continue cooking. Once the rest of the veggies are just tender, add the sliced grape tomatoes and stir in, uncovered, for a minute more. I like to remove the dish from heat once the tomatoes are just heated.
Serve & enjoy!
This recipe is quite flexible in that it can be served alone as a side dish or over a whole grain or pasta. The options are nearly endless! Serve & enjoy! 🙂
In the photos here, I used Japanese eggplant. However, any type of eggplant can be used in this recipe. Try several different types & decide which you like best!
Easy Ratatouille Inspired Veggie Bowl
- non-stick saute pan
- 3 cups eggplant, diced small
- 2 cups zucchini, diced small
- 2 cups summer squash, diced small
- 1 tsp french grey sea salt or to taste
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning I used Penzeys "Italian Herb Mix"
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 4-6 servings of your whole grain or pasta of choice, prepared
Prepare your mise en place
- Dice or slice each of the vegetables as listed and measure out your spices before you begin heating the pan. Also, prepare the whole grain of your choice to serve this with. Brown rice, polenta, or whole grain pasta would be great choices.
- Preheat your non-stick pan to medium heat. Add diced eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash. Also add the salt at this point, if using, as it will bump up the flavor and will also help the veggies release their juices.
- Cover for 4 minutes and stir.
- Cover for 3 more minutes and stir.
- Add the Italian seasoning, onion powder, and white pepper, then stir again and cover for another 2 minutes or so until the vegetables are nearly cooked through.
- Add the sliced grape tomatoes cook for 1 minute more, stirring occasionally.
Serve over your choice of whole grains or pasta
- Serve over brown rice, polenta, or even whole grain pasta. This easy ratatouille inspired veggie bowl would also be delicious stirred into your favorite tomato sauce and served over whole grain pasta.