If you’re trying to cut back on meat, you are not alone. Meatless Monday’s are catching on like wildfire. If you are trying to cut back on your meat consumption, or eat a mostly meat free diet, vegetarian recipes can get boring after awhile. Look in a lot of vegetarian cookbooks and you’ll likely find a lot of pasta and egg dishes.
While these are good, and easy, they don’t have to be the end all to your meat free diet. Get creative in the kitchen, and try new foods. You’ll find that you can eat a delicious meal and not miss the meat at all.
Ratatouille is traditionally a French dish of simmered vegetables, usually consisting of tomatoes and eggplant. It can be eaten as a side dish or served over pasta. A lot of versions use lots of ingredients such as herbs and wine, but I’ve found a good flavorful marinara can net the same results with a lot less prep.
My version is super simple to put together and is so delicious. While you can serve this over pasta, I highly recommend trying it with the whole-wheat couscous called in this recipe. Couscous is actually pasta in itself, but it’s formed in tiny granules that make it seem like a grain. Cooking it is a breeze, simply boil the water, add your couscous, cover and turn off the heat. Let it steep for 10 minutes or so, and you’re done.
The goat cheese in this dish adds a tangy creaminess without a lot of calories and fat. You don’t need a lot, a small dollop will do when you plate. For best results, you’ll need to slice your vegetables as thin as possible. A mandolin or really sharp knife is key for this.
Ratatouille with Couscous and Goat Cheese
1 medium eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 small red onion
2 cups your favorite marinara sauce (I use Rao’s)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh slivered basil leaves for garnish
Fresh goat cheese
2-3 cups cooked whole whole wheat couscous
Slice your vegetables as thin as possible. Layer them in an 8×8 casserole dish in any order, seasoning with salt and pepper between layers. Pour sauce overtop vegetables and drizzle with the olive oil. Cover dish and bake in a 400¼ oven for about 45 minutes until vegetables are tender. After they’ve been in the oven for a half hour, get your couscous ready.
To serve, spoon a generous portion of the veggies over the couscous, top with about an ounce of goat cheese and some fresh basil.
Try this fantastic dish and share your results below.