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Ratatouille to You-eee!

1 medium yellow onion, sliced into thin rings or chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium to large eggplant, cubed
2 - 3 bell peppers, seeded and cubed - you pick the colors!
1-2 zucchini, cubed
1-2 yellow squash, cubed
4 roma tomatoes, chopped or 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
¼ dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Over medium heat, heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed saucepan.
Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.

Add tomatoes, squash, and herbs; mix well.
Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender.

Serve as a stew, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, along side crusty bread and salad, or serve over pasta, egg noodles, or fresh boiled potatoes.

*Notes:
- Do use this as a learning time and let the kids help shop for, select and prepare the vegetables. Let them smell and sample the herbs. The time together is food for the soul!

FUN Notes from suite101.com
Have your kids seen the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille? Take this opportunity to create a simple dish (and maybe even get kids to eat some vegetables!)

Ratatouille is a French dish. The name is comprised of two components:

"rata" is slang from the French Army meaning "chunky stew"
touiller, "to stir"
Thus, the meaning of the word is a chunky stew that is stirred.

What is ratatouille?

Think of ratatouille as is more of a concept dish than a specific recipe. Similar to American "stew", it can take on a number of forms and is open to interpretation and experimentation. Let your tastes and preferences inspire you to create your own signature version of ratatouille!
The basic components that define the ratatouille are:

tomatoes (the main ingredient)
zucchini
eggplant
garlic
onions
herbs
These ingredients are traditionally sauteed in olive oil and can be served over rice, pasta or potatoes, preferably with a crusty French bread and a salad.

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