Purging along {& bakin' ratatouille}.

since friday night, book shelves have been thinned, stacks {and stacks} of magazines (all of which i intended to read- cover to cover... none of which have been) recycled, garbage bags filled, barbies purged, walls scrubbed, drawers- bins- closets- keepsakes- organized, ...4 large truck loads to the good will later... and this is only the beginning.

ryan's almost finished listening to simplicity parenting, and man- all we can think is- how the hell did life get so OUT OF CONTROL in the past 2 years???  how did we (we, who pride ourselves on deshittifying) accumulate so. much. sh*t?

much more to come on this topic, but for now, onto lighter fare... 


it was last night's dinner, and- talk about simplicity.

now that summer's just around the corner {10 more days!?!}, i am declaring that it be added to the weekly rotation (also a key learning from the aforementioned book, but more on that later).

zucchini... squash... tomatoes... basil... bell peppers... a summer garden, captured all in one pot.

{and so hearty & flavorful, the kids don't even remember just how "healthy" it really is... & just how many dreaded bell peppers are mixed in.  we've been eating only vegetable-based dishes, and in an effort not to make two separate meals, we no longer omit them- or cut them super huge so they can pick them out... & tonight, for the first time- they both ate the entire meal- bell peppers & all!  guess they figured it wasn't worth all of the effort to dissect each bite.  proud parenting moment :).}
baked ratatouille
*adapted from the master your metabolism cookbook, by jillian michaels

serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil (I used grapeseed oil, & then drizzled a little olive oil on each dish just before serving)
1 medium chopped red onion
1 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (used only a tiny bit)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 bell peppers (used one yellow, & one orange), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch-thick half-moons
2 medium summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch-thick half-moons
2 (15-oz) cans beans- cannellini, chickpeas... (I used leftover pinto beans from a big pot I made on Monday night)
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
20 basil leaves, torn in 1/2, plus a few extra for garnish (I had a lot to use up, so I used 30 leaves)
salt & pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan, optional (I omitted this)

Preheat the oven to 400.  Have a 3-quart baking dish ready.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute more.  Add the peppers and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the drained tomatoes, the zucchini, squash, beans, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese, if using.  Bake until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.  

Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves & a lovely drizzle of olive oil.
good stuff, i tell ya.


  1. That looks yummy! I need to add that book to my list. Have been meaning to for weeks now!!!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to try it! My kids will hate it but oh well! ;)

  3. Ok now I really need to get back to reading Simplicity Parenting. I took a break...actually didn't mean to..just got busy. But I want to finish it. I wonder if I will be doing some purging too? And the recipe Torrie! It looks so healthy and delicious. Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes. I would definitely make this.


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