Vegan Ratatouille

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m definitely not vegan. But my boyfriend is, so as a vegan + meativore household, I’m always on the search for recipes that will satisfy his dietary restrictions and my need for delicious, flavorful (i.e. meat lover friendly) food. Most of the time, I can tweak a regular recipe to fit the bill or find some kind of middle ground between a vegan and non-vegan recipe. This is the latest addition to my collection of “vegan recipes that don’t suck”: spiraled ratatouille, made with fresh summer vegetables.

*Note: If you own a mandoline, this is a great recipe to use it. I don’t, so I used the vegetable slicer on my food processor.

Vegan Ratatouille

Ingredients
2½   tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence (substitutes: dried parsley, thyme, rosemary or basil)
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 small green pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1 eggplant, cubed with the skin on
1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce (I used garlic flavored sauce)
2 tomatoes (I used heirloom tomatoes, but Roma tomatoes probably would work perfectly), sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup shredded vegan cheese (SoySation Mozzarella style “cheese” seemed to work best—it’s pungent like a Parmesan, and it actually got melty in the oven)
Salt and pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and use ½ tablespoon of olive oil to grease a baking dish. Pour the can of tomato sauce in the baking dish, and spread evenly. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized pan, and once hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are wilted and getting translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 10 minutes. Once cooked, pour the eggplant mixture into the pan, and spread evenly over the tomato sauce. Top with ½ cup of “cheese.” Layer the slices of tomato, zucchini, squash and green pepper in a spiral. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence and ¼ cup “cheese.” Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.

*You can pair this dish with rice or noodles, but I like to eat it with my Super Easy Garlic Bread.

Super Easy Garlic Bread

Ingredients
6 pieces of pre-sliced French bread
3 tablespoons of butter (or Earth Balance, to make vegan)
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Directions
Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Put garlic and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave approximately 45 seconds. Stir and spread evenly on the bread. Put it in the oven with ratatouille for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

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