Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pending Next Chapter

My youngest has announced she will be joining the masses and going to the local middle school for 8th grade next August.  I am sad.  My youngest has never attended a brick and mortar school.  She has learned her ABCs and 123s at home since she was in diapers.  
Learned to read in the library with Dr. Seuss.  
Watched PBS with its endless educational programming.
Borrowed videos from the library and learned about Ancient Egypt and the science of roller coasters.
We have so many good memories and I'm sure we will make more good memories in the next chapter of her life.

This recipe will go great in a 4 quart size slow cooker.  Cooking time is 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.  It's very short and is great to prepare and have ready while watching a movie at home or out shopping. This recipe serves 4-6 and is great with steamed rice and cornbread.

Slow Cooker Ratatouille
(adapted from the Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson)

2 tbsps olive oil
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 diced yellow onion
1 seeded and cut into 1/2 inch diced red bell pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
2 zucchinis cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds (or go ahead and cut it and half and cut into half moon rounds)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice 
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
3 tbsps pesto

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, until softened for about 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant into the slow cooker.
Add the remaining oil to the same skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion, cover and cook until softened for about 5 minutes.
Add the onion to the slow cooker along with the bell pepper, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, and thyme.  
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook.
Just before serving, stir in the pesto......

Homemade vegan pesto
2 large peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nutes
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine the garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the basil, salt, and pepper to taste and process until ground into a paste.
With the machine running, if you can, add the olive oil until well blended.

I added the whole batch in the slow cooker because I just love the stuff.


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