Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta

Happy 2014! Many of us probably have eating healthier, or some variation, on our New Year’s resolutions list. We are very committed to the cause the first month or two, but things start to change a little towards the third month. Perhaps we just can’t quite make that spinning class, or we simply can’t bare the thought of eating another cold, boring salad. The reasons are endless. Let’s face it – eating healthy is much easier said than done. The trick, however, is to have a variety of easy, healthy and tasty recipes at hand.

That’s why this dish is one of my favorites! I first came across this recipe in a Living magazine. It’s such a nice mix of flavors that are light enough to serve as an app or side dish, but satisfying enough to serve as a main. Imagine Greek salad meets Caprese salad, all on top of a nice grilled slice of eggplant. It’s great to make on the outdoor grill in the summer, or on your stove top grill pan throughout the year. No grill pan? No problem. You can always use the good old frying pan!  Continue reading

Quick and Easy Chicken Ratatouille

My friend, Peggy, is part of a CSA (community-shared-agriculture) at her workplace. Since she went on vacation this week, she arranged for me to pick up her share of vegetables and fruit. I’ve never gotten so many different types of vegetables at once before! There must’ve been at least four pounds each of squash, eggplant, and tomatoes. As I was thinking of what to make that would require using most of the vegetables, one dish came to mind – ratatouille! (You know you want to say it in a French accent. Go ahead, no one’s listening. ;))

There are many debates over the proper way to make a traditional ratatouille, ranging from layering and baking the vegetables in a casserole dish to simply sauteing the vegetables. My version is definitely not a “traditional” ratatouille, but rather a quick and easy way to achieve most of the flavors in a traditional ratatouille. It’s also a great way to use up the vegetables in your refrigerator, such as squash, eggplant, zucchini, onions, carrots, peppers, etc. Obviously, traditional ratatouille doesn’t include meat, but I added chicken for the extra protein to keep me full longer. I chose to use chicken thighs because I like the taste better and it’s extremely inexpensive; however, you could also use chicken breasts instead.

You could serve this dish by itself (which I do on my low-carb nights), or with rice, quinoa, couscous or slices of fresh baguette to soak up all the nice juices! I hope you give my chicken ratatouille a try sometime. It’s such a nice homey meal to make for yourself and those you love most :). Continue reading