Monday, August 26, 2013

Ratatouille and French Women for All Seasons

A few months ago, I re-read French Women Don't Get Fat, and I really enjoyed the book as I find that Mireille Guiliano’s approach to healthy living makes sense and is doable. I especially appreciate her focus on eating (for the most part) simple, seasonal foods and creating balance in a no-nonsense way.

The other day, I remembered that many months ago I also bought French Women for All Seasons for my Kindle, but I had never read it. So I started reading it, and I’m really enjoying it. Mireille expands on a lot of the points she wrote about in French Women Don’t Get Fat and also responds to some of the feedback and criticism she received after writing the first book.

The main focus of the book is, as the title implies, living and eating according to the seasons. In addition to recipes and menus for each season, there are also fashion and general living tips. Like in French Women Don’t Get Fat there are many anecdotes, which I very much enjoy reading.

Reading French Women for All Seasons reminded me that there was a recipe in French Women Don't Get Fat that I had planned on making in the summer when homegrown zucchini and tomatoes are plentiful: ratatouille. I remembered that Mireille’s recipe was very simple.

There are basically three ingredients: eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini. You slice each into thick slices and layer them in a big pot, starting with the eggplant, followed by the tomatoes and finally the zucchini. Then you repeat the layers. I seasoned the layers with salt, pepper, jalapeno slices (not in the original recipe) and garlic. Turn the heat to low and let cook for about two hours. There is no need to add any oil or water. Here is a link to Mireille’s simple, original ratatouille recipe on the French Women Don’t Get Fat website. The French Women Don’t Get Fat website has lots of Mireille’s recipes, tips and advice. It’s fun to check out.

Ratatouille

I loved the ratatouille, but it was too spicy for the kid, and hubby liked it okay but wasn’t the biggest fan. 

Questions: What’s your favorite tomato recipe? Tomatoes are my favorite food, and I love eating them straight off the vine, like an apple. But I also enjoy them in a nice caprese salad, as tomato soup, and they are certainly great in ratatouille. What are you reading right now?
 
Be well,
Andrea

24 comments:

  1. Looks delicious! These days you can buy everything year round. People don't eat according to the seasons anymore. Strawberries that are Summer fruits can be bought the entire year but don't taste that good in Winter. I buy them only during Summer.

    That's also why I'm thinking about a subscription to a box delivered to home with fruits and vegetables from the season, grown by local farmers. Haven't decided yet but I might just do it.

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    1. You are so right. Summer fruits and veggies are not the same at all in the winter. My mom never bought summer produce in the winter when I was growing up, and I didn't understand her. Now I completely agree.

      The produce box sounds good.

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  2. I just finished a FAB FAB MEMOIR called MOTHER DAUGHTER ME.

    love it.

    xo

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Carla! I'll have to check it out!

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  3. I remember reading French Women Don't Get Fat during my first semester in school for nutrition and doing a presentation on it. That was so long ago, it seems! I enjoyed it, and I had no idea there was a sequel! I'll have to check it out.

    Your version of the ratatouille looks so delicious! Love the addition of garlic and jalapeno :)

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    1. I'm enjoying the sequel a lot.

      Have to use up all those jalapenos we are growing... ;)

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  4. I liked the ratatouille a bunch. It's just that I liked the other available dishes more. :)

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  5. Oh that looks delicious! I've wanted to try making this for a long time.

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    1. It was on my "make list" forever. I'm so glad I finally made it; it was so easy, and I liked it a lot.

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  6. Hi Andrea! It sounds like a great book--and so different than how Americans think. I actually do eat seasonally, and it makes you look forward to what's on sale in the produce section. Just when you think you're getting bored, it's a different season full of new goodies. The apples and squash of fall. The oranges and grapefruit of winter. etc.... :D

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    1. Yes, eating seasonally is a lot of fun and a lot more exciting than eating the same things year round.

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  7. I read that book several years ago, loved it. Now I am reading "Taste What You're Missing", I highly recommend it!! It's all about why and how food tastes that way it does. It's amazing.
    I love the combination of tomato and zucchini. This sounds wonderful.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Gina. I'll definitely check it out. And, yes, tomato and zucchini is a great combo.

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  8. I remember seeing this book a while ago, but never had the chance to read it...I like what's in season, not only for the price, but the product are at their best. Your ratatouille, and I sure like the spice in it.
    Have a wonderful week ahead Andrea :D

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    1. Have a wonderful week, too, Juliana!

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  9. I just made a veggie juice with fresh heirloom tomatoes, and I ought some today to make a caprese salad later this week. What I'm really excited about, is seeing dry farmed tomatoes at the store again today. They are only available late summer/early fall, and they are fabulous! I will be honest and say that for some reason, even though I like tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant, I really don't care for ratatouille that much-kind of strange, I know :-). I hope you have a wonderful week Andrea!

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    1. I think not liking ratatouille may be a texture thing (it is for the kid), and it's totally okay. :)

      Have a great week, too!

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  10. I think it looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Pam! Hope you are having a great week!

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  11. Looks yum! I like tomatoes in things but not plain - I KNOW! ;) Salsa - does that count! ;)

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  12. Looks yummy! Tomatoes are big in the garden so we use them in lots of dishes - cooked and raw. The best thing is tomatoes freeze so great they can literally last an entire year in the freezer in different varieties. Is there anything better than pulling diced tomatoes out of your freezer in February while it's snowing that you grew in the summer? Love tomatoes!

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    1. I've never thought of freezing tomatoes! I'll have to do that. There are plenty more to come...

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