Low and Slow with a French Twist

Hi everyone! The road warriors have returned. We had a fabulous road trip across more than 1,500 miles. We began with a “five on the clock” as Mr. N would say. Which means we were up and getting ready with a “four on the clock.” Or getting up in the middle of the night as Miss A declared. mini road warriors

The day before and the first day of road trips are my favorite. The packing, the anticipation, the waking up bright and early (the only time I like to wake up early), the excitement, the buzz around the house…it’s exhilarating. road warriors

We had a great time visiting friends (more on that to come), going to museums, amusement parks, wineries and just generally lying low and taking it slow. It was perfection. No phones, no emails (at least as they pertained to work) and no texts. How often does that get to happen?! Certainly not often enough. first dinner

It was pure family time and pure fun. The kids have gotten older since our last road trip this direction, even since our last road trip. As we know, time flies. Miss A is certainly going through a new developmental stage and Mr. N literally aged on this trip (more on that to come). family dinner

But before I get to those fun little tidbits and while I get all our vacation pictures organized, we thought we’d share another French recipe with you all. Can you tell we’re enjoying our little foray into French cuisine! Well, who wouldn’t?! So like our trip, this recipe is one that you’ll want to cook low and slow. It’s a slow cooker twist on a traditional French Provençal vegetable stew – Ratatouille. eggplant

I believe we adapted the recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens dish, but truthfully I don’t remember and I can’t find the recipe that I used. It came on vacation with us (as I had intended to post this while we were away), but it either didn’t make it home or it’s lost somewhere in a suitcase. In any case, we used traditional ratatouille veggies – eggplant, onion, tomato, pepper (we chose red) and zucchini. ratatouille veggies

Along with our veggies we used garlic, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, oregano and herbs de Provence. seasonings

Everything was simply tossed into the slow cooker and set on low to cook for 5 hours. slow cooking ratatouille

All told, the only real time you spend cooking this dish is the time it takes you to chop the veggies. Not to mention there’s only one pot to clean at the end! This is my kind of weekday meal for sure.

Now there are many ways to serve ratatouille. It can be a served as a side dish or a main course. It can be served over rice, bread or pasta. It can even be served on its own as a stew. ratatouille

The veggies will shine regardless of how you serve the dish. As for us, we wanted a little protein with the meal, so we served ours over omelets. omelets with ratatouille

It was a fresh, flavorful and rather healthy meal. Mike and I both feel omelets are a great way to load up on veggies. health dinner

I gave the slow cooker ratatouille 3 spoons. As many of you know, I’m a picky veggie eater, but I’ll gladly eat them this way and feel good about it. Mike, however, would have preferred the ratatouille over rice. He enjoyed the stew, but felt it really needed a carb to go along with it. So he only rings in at 2-1/2 spoons. ratatouille and eggs

As for the kids, well, we let them skip this one. They’ve tried enough dishes to know they don’t like eggplant, peppers or tomatoes…yet. I’m still holding out hope they’ll develop a liking for them though, but for now it’s a bit hard to hide the veggies in the ratatouille. They did enjoy watching the movie, Ratatouille, on vacation though. I suppose that counts for something. ;)

Print this recipe: Slow Cooker Ratatouille

We’ll be back next week with our vacation highlights and then onto a few more fun recipes, followed by our traditional summer celebrations. Have a great week everyone!

Spoiler Alert: Miss A has become obsessed with farms and farm life.

Spoiler Alert: Miss A has become obsessed with farms and farm life.

Spoiler Alert: One (or two) of those celebrations might involve a birthday!

Spoiler Alert: One (or two) of those celebrations might involve a birthday!

21 comments on “Low and Slow with a French Twist

  1. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Whoa, Mr. N in first picture looked so matured that for a second I thought I had mistaken his age! Love love loooove your family pictures and thanks for sharing stories about your family and family events all the time. So fun to peak someone’s life like this (and hide myself… just kidding). I rarely share my life except for Instagram, I think. Slow Cooker Ratatouille, now that’s a delicious comfort food!

  2. cecilia says:

    I love ratatouille and grow veges in the garden especially for this dish. Slow cookers are perfect for hot summer too! So in a month or so i will be making this for sure. Welcome home and looking forward to your next installment! c

  3. i love the first pic of Mr N with his legs crosssed with a look on his face that says Let’s get this trip started! LOL! So glad you had a wonderful time and I love love this veggie dish! Ratalouille is one o fmy favs

  4. Karen says:

    I think topping the omelet with ratatouille is a very French thing to do. A family road trip creates so many wonderful memories…you all deserve it.

  5. Purely.. Kay says:

    Awww you guys seem like you had the best time ever. And Kristy you definitely deserved that vacay. And I must admit, I am amazed at how beautiful Miss A looks. Just like her mom ;)

  6. I am totally with you! I love the buzz and the excitement before a trip almost as much as the trip itself!
    Can you believe I have never made or tried ratatouille! I need to change that as I love all the ingredients
    Can’t wait for the trip pictures and stories

  7. Getting kids on the road and the show on the road before 5 am is a big task. May I ask did they ask you like every 5 minutes, “Are we there yet?” I hope because according to Miss A you got them up in the middle of the night they slept a great deal of the trip. I hear you loud and clear about letting kids skip the ratatouille or maybe just let them watch the disney movie on it to get them in the mood. I think however putting your ratatouille on eggs is a great low carb idea. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip. Take Care, BAM

  8. Road Warriors indeed! You guys are my heroes. Welcome Home!! It must feel great to return to the comfort and familiarity of your home (or perhaps that’s just me ;-)). So nice to see all of your smiling faces and delighted to hear that the trip was so successful! Very much looking forward to your recountings… Your ratatouille looks positively succulent. I cannot believe that I have never made ratatouille… this is the perfect inspiration.

    p.s. Congrats Blackhawks on a hard-fought and well earned Stanley Cup victory! What a thriller too. (Did the whole family watch the big game?).

  9. Charles says:

    Oh, what a coincidence… I just finished eating ratatouille for dinner tonight. Made some homemade baguette to go with it which is usually a good carby addition for it I think, but my father used to slice potatoes into it which is also good because the potatoes take on all the lovely veg taste.

    Your road-trip sounds like so much fun! I’m glad you all had a blast – really looking forward to seeing the photos!

  10. Mary says:

    I adore ratatouille so will love giving your recipe a whirl! Everyone looks SO excited to be on a road trip – what a blast – looking forward to seeing more pictures :)
    Mary

  11. French cuisine is just absolutely wonderful! This recipe looks both healthly and extremely delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  12. sallybr says:

    Another ratatouille lover here, I love everything about it, including saying the word, with a nice job on the R and the LL.. :-)

    I once learned how to make it in a beautiful country home in Provence, from a French/Egyptian man, his 100% French wife standing next to the stove and rolling her eyes to the ceiling at his instructions…. they are still married, and I wish I had written the recipe, it was delicious, but he did dirty every single pot in the kitchen to make it :-)

  13. hotlyspiced says:

    Miss A has the most beautiful hair. I love getting up early in the morning (more like the middle of the night) and heading off with the car packed to the rafters for a family holiday. Our kids were always so excited. I’m sure you had a wonderful family time but you sure did cover some miles! xx

  14. Raymund says:

    I love ratatouille specially when its infused with lots of basil and oregano, the smell and taste is just amazing!

  15. I cannot believe how grown up Mr N looks in the first picture! Both Mr N and Miss A are growing in leaps and bounds.
    What a perfect break you all enjoyed Kristy – fabulous! What precious memories – ones that make you all warm and fuzzy inside,. :-)
    Your ratatouille looks fantastic and what a great idea serving it over omelets.
    Have a beautiful week ahead. :-) Mandy xo

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    That looks like a great ratatouille that you created, Kristy. I enjoy anything with eggplant and so this dish would get 4 spoons from me, to be sure. I’m eager to hear all about your trip, as well as finding out about those 2 teasers. The SousChefs sure are growing up fast. I think you’re feeding them too much food and pretty much all of it is healthy. Stop that! :)

  17. Oh that ratatouille reminds me of the Syrian moussaka! I hope you enjoy your road trip – I certainly loved mine in Malaysia! :)

  18. Norma Chang says:

    Lovely, lovely photos of you and your family. I too am looking forward to reading about your trip.

  19. Dawn says:

    I love ratatouille – and it freezes really well!! Glad you had a great vacation, looking forward to reading all about it!!

  20. Aww this road trip sounds absolutely perfect my friend :D
    And that ratatouille is calling my name!

    Cheers
    CCU

  21. Eva Taylor says:

    What a beautiful photo of you and Mike! I’m looking forward to reading all about your road trip! And the stoties about the kids.
    We love ratatouille and often have it in the wintertime, but putting it over an omelet is genius!

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