Easy Ratatouille Recipe: Delightful Vegetable MedleyBy foodjoyaOur easy ratatouille recipe uses diced tomatoes and a delicious tomato sauce. This dish is perfect for the vegetables from your prolific summer garden. Do you know what "ratatouille" means? According to one source, this vegetable stew likely originates from Provence and has become most popular in Nice. Dating back to 18th century, it means "stir up." Ratatouille usually consists of various vegetables, such as eggplant, onion, zucchini, pepper, tomatoes and garlic, cut in bite sizes. Some chefs cook all ingredients together, while others separately sauté each vegetable. A similar dish exists in other countries in Southern Europe and Mediterranean. Thus, for example, a close relative of ratatouille in Moldova (where we were born) is a "ghiveci," often made with cauliflower. Our easy ratatouille recipe can be used for making a side dish or main dish with grains or, better yet, with grain-free, flourless Simple Mills crackers. Polish Borscht Recipe: Beet Elixir You Will Delight InBy foodjoyaThis rich, savory borscht takes only 10 minutes of your active cooking time. Are you skeptical? Don't be. The Polish Borscht recipe is a traditional, time-tested and beloved way of cooking the festive beet soup in Poland, where my husband hails from. Of course, this borscht has a secret: it requires an extraordinary amount of brightly colored beets and a reduced cooking time. The borscht will not turn out if the beets are not brightly colored. Similarly, when cooked longer than suggested here, it will lose its scarlet color and flavor. Richly infused with simmered vegetables, the borscht is a delightful elixir of health. It is no wonder that my toddler demands his red beet soup every time, and happily sips it from a cup or devours it spoonful after delicious spoonful. Cabbage and Leeks: Unexpectedly Decadent, Sweet, TenderBy foodjoyaEver wondered what to do with the seemingly boring white cabbage? Ever thought you could turn it into a decadent dish? This recipe accomplishes just that: In 50 minutes of rather passive cooking time, you will have unexpectedly tender and decadent sautéed, semi-caramelized Cabbage and Leeks. With plenty of parsley and thyme, you will be biting into a mouthful of delicate spring flavors. Best yet? This dish is easy (and inexpensive). Did you know that leeks-cabbage-thyme are a well-established triad? Jamie Oliver roasts Leeks with Thyme. The New York Times Cooking column offers a splendid recipe for a Cabbage, Potato and Leek Soup. Lastly and before you get to cooking, note that the recipe calls for fresh herbs; no substitutes please! Roasted Brussel Sprouts: How to Make Them PerfectBy foodjoyaHow do you like your Brussel sprouts? Or not at all ....? That's how I felt until, after years of trying, I perfected the roasting method for Brussel sprouts. Most roasted Brussel sprouts I had tasted before put me off with their pesky burned leaves and undercooked core. Or they were swimming in liquified butter. Or they were bitter. Yet, this is not how roasted Brussel Sprouts should taste. When properly cooked, roasted Brussel Sprouts are intensely flavorful, with sweet nuttiness reminiscent of cabbage, a butter-tender interior and crispy outer leaves. The cooking method in this recipe will inevitably take you to that perfection. Every time.Herbed Cauliflower, Zucchini, Carrots: Tender DelightBy foodjoyaHerbed Cauliflower with Zucchinis and Carrots is a dance of elegant, silky veggies with just the right crunch. Enhanced with the herbs, our cauliflower develops a complex flavor with only a hint of sweetness. Because it’s cooked on the skillet, the cauliflower remains juicy and firm, not dry or mushy. With the help of the herbs and a leek, the herbed cauliflower develops a spectacular flavor. Though cooked without any cream or butter, it feels velvety. Are you curious what inspired this dish? Only one thing: My Mom’s love for the veggies and herbs. Make this recipe yours and enjoy! Asparagus with Indian Spices: a Perfect MatchBy foodjoyaThere is something poetic in shiny asparagus spears arranged in a row. But wait until you try our broiled Asparagus with Indian Spices. After a crunchy bite, you discover succulent, steaming core ... and you are in heaven! In our experience, broiled asparagus is the juiciest of all. To complement the caramelized skin, we use coriander and cumin. We brighten up the color of the broiled asparagus with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. In just 10 minutes of your time, you are ready to admire and chow down the Asparagus with Indian Spices.