Simple and hearty, this vegan ratatouille stew is perfect for rainy spring days and tastes great with quinoa and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese!
This past week has been an interesting shift in chaos. While my normal days off are with both kids running around, endless cooking and washing dishes, and also attempts at throwing together blog posts, the past few days have been different. Luna is back in day-care, the same one that she was in as a toddler, because it’s basically pre-K and she needs to be back on a schedule of sorts for Kindergarten in the fall. No more staying up super late, sleeping in until whenever, and it’s also a chance for Apollo to get used to Luna being gone for the majority of the morning and afternoon. Today it was just me and the little man, Fred was at work and Luna was in day-care. It was so strange, I forgot what it’s like to have only one child around. He was definitely a lot more relaxed and we were able to run a few errands, even in the nasty weather. We even made a trip to Ikea, where we bought a toy cooking set with stuffed vegetables, mini pans and utensils because he loves to pretend to cook. He usually just grabs whatever he can find to play with, but this way he can use more realistic toys and not play with my shoes or Easter eggs stuffed with My Little Pony figurines as his cooking equipment. I was expecting him to ask for Luna a lot more, but eventually around 3 pm he had enough and really wanted to know why his sister wasn’t around.
Apollo took a nap, which left me all alone and in a “what the hell it’s too quiet in here” state of mind, so I grabbed some produce and started chopping. I was finally able to use two gigantic zucchini and one large eggplant to make a vegan ratatouille stew, plus I added some left-over quinoa to help soak up some of the tomato juice. This is super simple, but really tasty and I made the whole stew using only one cast-iron pan. To simplify this even more, I used canned whole tomatoes which are already seasoned with basil, so it eliminates having to add additional tomatoes to the dish, and you already have the delicious basil flavor cooked into the tomatoes. Apollo saw the ratatouille after he woke up from his nap and immediately pointed to that one tomato in the picture to eat first. The little tornado boy knows what he likes!
One more thing to note: this makes A LOT of food. I easily filled three large containers, and that was after I ate a big bowl myself. Also, you can substitute the quinoa for any other grain, like rice or even pasta, plus I highly encourage dipping bread in a big bowl of warm stew (oooh, yeah!) and adding a couple pinches of vegan parmesan cheese on top.