Bonjour mes amies! Le blog du semaine!
Well I'm back all refreshed, bright eyed and bushy tailed from a relaxing week off! (OK I'm back shattered, bleary eyed and partied out from a fab week with my besties from uni!) We've been in my friend's gorgeous chateau in a tiny hamlet near La Rochelle and have indulged in the most amazing local food and wine you could possibly imagine. As we were out in quite a rural area and we were a party of 12 with kids, no one was too bothered about going out much so we just cooked lots, drank lots and swam in the pool lots! This meant plenty of trips to the local hypermarche to top up le vin rouge et champagne supplies, daily visits from the Boulanger for fresh baguettes and pain au chocolat, and visits to the farmer's market for fresh fish, veg, cheese and meats...oh mon dieu!!
As I am wheat and dairy free I had to abstain from many of the temptations thankfully, but was able to take full advantage of the fabulous fruit, veg, fish and meat. I was in heaven! Apart from the goat’s cheese and copious amounts of red wine and fizz, I was able to stick to MC&L principles quite easily with lots of fresh veg, greens and protein every day.
So this week's blog is a homage to a week of snapping picture of courgettes (whilst everyone else was taking pictures of their kids outside the abbey) and cooking up a lovely French dish with a twist to turn it into a protein rich supper or fab fast breaking brunch on a MC&L fast day. We're having ratatouille with baked eggs. Bon appetit!
I have deliberately chopped my veg very small in the interest of whipping up a quick dish after school/work but if you were to do this properly, you would keep the veg much chunkier, sprinkle salt on the courgette and aubergine and weigh down with a heavy plate for several hours to draw out the moisture, roast the tomatoes before adding to the dish....etc. Alternatively, chop them really small and chuck it all in! The ratatouille keeps brilliantly in fridge/freezer and I have had baked eggs 3 times this week with leftovers!
Ratatouille with baked eggs
1 courgette chopped
- 1 pepper chopped
- 1 small aubergine chopped (I have small yellow aubergines...quite a find!)
- Cup of fresh cherry tomatoes
- Cup of chestnut mushrooms, chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 2/3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tin plum/chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Handful fresh basil torn
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green chilies to taste (optional)
- 2-6 eggs depending on number of people eating
1. Heat coconut oil in large pan until melted.
2. Add garlic and onion and fry until golden.
3. Add all veg apart from cherry tomatoes, season well, add herbs and mix.
4. Cook on medium heat until most of liquid drawn out of veg but not too soft, nothing worse than mushy veg (you can add mushrooms a little later if you prefer them to keep their shape.)
5. Add fresh and tinned tomatoes and purée and cook down until sauce a thick consistency.
6. Heat oven to highest temperature and find a suitable baking dish (I use a large rectangular one when cooking eggs for family, or individual ramekins when cooking brunch pour moi!)
7. Spread a good layer of ratatouille and make indentations with the back of a spoon for your eggs.
8. Crack eggs into indentations and place in top of oven.
9. Cook for anything between 5 mins and 20 mins (my oven takes ages). You want the whites to set but yolk to remain runny. Keep checking them as rubbery over cooked eggs are not good.
10. Serve with whatever your MC&L meal plan allows, some fresh spelt bread, spelt crackers (my choice on this occasion) or sweet potato wedges. All great dipped into the hot yolk and flavoursome veg.