the dish, not the animated rat

im always looking for easy dishes, things that i perhaps can make ahead, forget about, and then VOILA its dinnertime and i dont have to do more than spoon it on a plate. 
enter the crock pot.
such a friendly little guy.  i need to give him more attention.  hes just so darn NICE.

i recently found this ratatouille recipe simply by googling "organic natural foods crock pot".
just trying to find healthy stuff using fresh ingredients {you can make it organic or not based on what you purchase}.
it was GREAT.
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2 onions, cut in half and sliced
1 large eggplant, sliced, cut into cubes
4 small zuchinni, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large bell peppers, deseeded and cut into thin strips {i used one red and one orange cause i dont like green}
8 oz mushrooms, sliced {i easily could have -and should have- added another 8 oz}
2 lbs stew meat {i think its two pounds...i used one package and they are usually in about 1 lb increments. it definitely needed another package of the meat}
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 6oz can tomato paste

1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
olive oil {it says 1/4 c, i didnt measure}
red pepper flakes to taste {be careful with these...heat from the dish makes the spicy flavor intensify!}
freshly shaved parmesean cheese 
fresh parsley, chopped

1.  layer half the veggies/meat in large crock pot in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, meat, tomatoes.
2.  sprinkle half the basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper on veggies.
3.  dot with half of the tomato paste.
4.  repeat layering process with remaining veggies/meat, spices, and paste
5.  drizzle with olive oil
6.  cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours

there are so many ways to serve this.  for the first night, i toasted a demi parmesean loaf of bread, sliced lengthwise and cut it in half to have four pieces of bread.  i placed the bread toasted side up in a bowl, poured ratatouille over it, and topped with parmesean cheese and fresh parsley
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i couldnt eat all my bread but stephen gobbled it up.  so so good and good for you.

last night i took the remainder of the ratatouille, poured it in a blender, and blended it into a tomato type sauce.  i sauteed some shrimp, boiled some whole wheat tight spiral noodles, and combined all {topped with parmesean and parsley of course}.  another hit.
i still have a ton of this noodle dish left but it will be great for freezing and using in the weeks to come.

the ratatouille would also be good as a base for a pizza, served over rice or pasta, or just by itself.
it could also easily be halved to produce a more...manageable portion :)



  1. that sounds DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!

  2. 1- i didnt know you had a crock pot! i love mine & always want new recipes for it

    2- i LOVE the movie ratatouille and didnt even know what the dish consisted of

    3- i am making this new week

  3. hi natalie. just saw this recipe pop up tonight. i'm sure you already know about this site but this looked wonderful!


    hope you are feeling great! congrats on the next baby boy!

    jana (jill lyons cousin-in-law)

  4. Couldn't be happier about this post since we LOVE Ratatouille but I've never attempted it in a crock-pot (my other love!)- what do you think about opting out the meat since we aren't big meat eaters.

  5. that sounds fantastic, delightful, as in YUM! And, utilizing leftovers for a new dish is downright creative!
    yeah, that little fellow sure is cute. so are your babes! ;)


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