We love recipes that give us leftovers for an easy, flavorful brown-bag lunch the next day.
This recipe — from Straight from the Earth by our co-founder Myra Goodman and her daughter, Marea — is a perfect example. The flavors are vibrant when you first make it, but they mellow and marry in a wonderful way when they’re given the chance to really get to know each other overnight in the fridge.
When you bring lunch from home, make it nice, even if you’re stuck at your desk (Bon Appétit names the strategy “Lunch al Desko”). Stash a plate, a glass and some reusable utensils in your drawer so you’re not forced to eat out of the container with a spork you found in the lunchroom. Serve yourself on a plate, pour your drink into a glass…NPR’s The Salt calls it “mental seasoning” — we call it a healthy break, a yummy way to avoid a sad desk lunch!
(No leftovers? No problem. Try our PowerMeal® Bowls — 4 delicious combos of greens, fruits, seeds and whole grains. Balanced nutrition, bold flavor, complete meal. Just grab it and go! Find out where to buy yours here.)
Prep Time: 30m | Total Time: 40m | Serves 4
From Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone by Myra Goodman & Marea Goodman
This traditional French vegetable stew is just bursting with flavor and freshness from a delightful medley of summer veggies and herbs. It’s best at the height of summer when the produce is at its peak; in the winter, Marea recommends canned tomatoes as the best option when fresh are out of season. “Served over quinoa,” she says, “this ratatouille is one of my favorite summer dishes.”
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 cup quinoa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small eggplant, diced small
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onions, diced small
4 large cloves garlic, slivered
2 medium red bell peppers, diced small
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Big pinch red pepper flakes
2-1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, diced small
2 medium zucchini, diced small
2 large tomatoes, diced small
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in cold water. Combine the stock, quinoa, oregano and salt in a medium pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and all the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
To make the ratatouille: Toss the eggplant in a large mixing bowl with the 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Warm the oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the bell pepper is soft.
Add the mushrooms. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
Add the eggplant and cook, covered, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 3 minutes.
Add the zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini is fully cooked.
Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered for another 3 minutes, until all the flavors have melded together.
Remove from the heat. Add the basil and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide it among 4 serving bowls, topped with a few scoops of ratatouille. Serve immediately.
Per serving: Calories 260, Fat 12 grams, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 480 mg, Carbohydrates 36 grams, Protein 7 grams. Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 80%, Vitamin C 260%, Iron 20%, Thiamin (vitamin B1) 20%, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 15%.
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