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Ratatouille: Not So French Anymore!

I’m so glad I didn’t bore you all to tears with the my Morning Routine post (my fear when I was writing it!).  I’m also glad to know there are many other former Saved-by-the-Bell-watchers out there.

I’m sure that at least all the Americans reading this remember the time in our nation’s history (oh-so-long ago in 2003) when it was decided that enjoying anything French made a person un-American. Suddenly, French fries became Freedom fries, French toast disappeared from menus, and French kissing… Call me unpatriotic, but I never bought into this boycott. However, a few days ago I did something that would’ve made Representatives Ney and Jones (the ones behind the anti-French movement) proud.

I “de-Frenched” one of my recipes: Little Vegan Rat-a-tat-ouille.


Even though it’s summer, and ratatouille is normally served hot, I love the dish cold. Not only does it taste delicious, it’s also such a simple, quick dish to make. So no way am I missing out on of my favorite meals for an entire half year just because the weather’s warm!

This past week, I made a trip to an awesome place—the Asian market—where I scored some amazing deals, such as shiitake and enoki mushrooms, kabocha squash, and a stash of baby bok choy the size of a house (for just $2!).  However, when I arrived home, I was hit with an urge to make… ratatouille! So I went with it. But as the peppers, garlic, and zucchini were sautéing away in the pan, my eye caught sight of that baby bok choy. It seemed a shame to leave something so beautiful out of such a tasty dish.  And so… in went the bok choy. At this point, I figured what the heck and threw in the shiitakes (and a small splash of shoyu) as well. Behold: Asian-ized Rat-a-tat-ouille!


(Added bok choy, shoyu, and shiitakes.  Subtracted tomatoes, eggplant, onion, and basil)


In case you were worried, please rest assured that I am definitely not unpatriotic.


God Bless America!  (France too!) And long live French Kissing!

Published on August 20, 2009

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says

    Your asian inspired Rat Tat looks awesome! I am a member of a CSA and am always kinda bok choy’ed out after the first 5 or so of the season…always nice to see a creative use of bok choy! Now if I can just remember this when bok choy season rolls around next spring in San Diego 🙂

  2. Devan Newman says

    Saved By the Bell = amazing!
    YOU = amazing! and talented!!
    Rat-a-toulie = SO AMAZING yum!
    I love bok boy and shitaki mushrooms together! so delish.
    How do you enter the spirilizer contest??

  3. broccolihut says

    Isn’t bok choy delicious? It’s like a lovely sweet cross between spinach and celery. I bet it’s awesome in ratatouille!

  4. carolinebee says

    Katie your message is toooo sweet!! I’ve been reading your bloggie religiously of course 😀 And I honestly *forget* to comment on so many of my staple blogs! I mean where else would I get a weekly dose of hilarious photo-shop and/or Henry pics?? ;D

  5. mihl says

    I am German and I think at that time we were in the same boat as the French. I ate extra amounts of fries at that time 😉

    I love all your ratatouille ideas, especially the Asian one. Wow!

  6. Liz says

    Oh wow Katie, I’m going to have to try the Ratatouille with salad sometime soon. Yum!

    And you’re so super nice to keep the Spiralizer give-a-way open to us international bloggers. The shipping must cost you a packet! Generous and a whiz in the kitchen, haha 🙂

    PS. You’ve officially turned me into an oatmeal freak – always blended, and using the melted banana trick. I’m coming up with new variations every day and I’m going to do a massive post about them all sooner or later! I can honestly now say that I wish I could eat oatmeal at least for two meals a day 😀

  7. Amanda says

    I laughed myself silly reading this post! I wish that someone, in a very serious voice, had asked during the whole freedom fries thing, “but sir, what should we call french kissing now?”!! he he he! I’m glad that Obama has you on his staff too..the fate of the nation will be so much better chocolate-covered =)
    I love your stirfrys!!

  8. ~Jessica~ says

    That has to be the creepiest Obama-like I’ve ever seen! I’d be too scared to get as close to it as you did…

    Great idea having ratatouille cold. It makes sense when you think about it, as the flavours aren’t too different from gazpacho.

    I can never, ever get the hang of chopsticks…too clumsy and stubby-fingered!

  9. Cassie says

    I hate how I can hardly ever use my oven these days, in the hot weather!! I miss baking foods and yummy, fall soups and stews with fresh homemade bread…mmmm. I’m super excited for fall, but by then I won’t even have an oven to use (I’ll be living in a dorm)! Oh well.
    P.S. I love cold mashed potatoes and roasted veggies!

  10. prettyladycmu says

    Yay for SBTB references! 🙂

    The ratatouille looks delicious and I love your asian-ized version. I bet it’s wonderful when it’s cold, like you suggested!

    Have a great day

  11. garbanzogirl says

    I’ve been wanting to try ratatouille ever since I saw that movie. And Asian ratatouille sounds so good. I should really make that soon, we have a ton of zucchinis from our garden that need to be used up 🙂

  12. CoconutGal says

    That photo is just a little too realistic… can’t tell if you’re in wax museum or you used your awesome photo editing skills and made that photo. Either way, you look pretty in blue 🙂

  13. Maria says

    Haha I love that picture of you and Obama! I am always amazed at your photoshop skillz 😉 Love all that blue too!

    Asian ratatouille is creative and sounds delicious! Leave it up to Katie to turn a French dish Asian, haha!

  14. Shelby says

    Fabulous variations of such a classic dish. I love how creative you are in the kitchen girl!

    Ahh the wonders of Photoshop, I wish I had it!

  15. justine says

    Love it Katie! I also like to eat things cold. Really I cant think of anything I like hot that cant be enjoyed cold? Really I dont think I have ever had Ratatouille. I must make this for dinner! Thanks babe. Hope you are having a great week 🙂


  16. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) says

    Ratatouille is totally one of those things I used to dread my mom making when I was growing up, but now I LOVE IT! Mostly because it tends to combine my ultimate fave veggies. Thanks for the reminder to do this one again! With all these veggies (and alternate flavors, thanks for the Asian idea) involved, I could care less that it’s a hot dish during the summer. I’m not afraid to broil!

  17. Mia says

    I loved your asian interpretation of the ratatoiulle! It looks absolutely delicious – I think I’ll be adding some mushrooms and bok choy to my leftovers 😀

  18. Bianca- Vegan Crunk says

    Believe it or not, we have a restaurant in Memphis that specializes in French-Asian fusion cuisine. The chef is Asian, but he was trained in classical French culinary arts…so he combined his native food with French food. Despite the Frenchiness, Umai (that’s what its called) very vegan friendly. The chef will make a special vegan dish upon request.

  19. Jenna says

    Mmm…bok choy always reminds me of the time my Korean friend’s mom made me a special kimchi with no fish, using bok choy instead of cabbage because she knew it was healthier. It was the sweetest thing ever, and my first taste of bok choy – ever since then I’ve loved it. This ratatouille looks amazing too! Any dish crammed with flavorful veggies is a friend of my stomach.

  20. Christina says

    I never bought into the boycott either. French fries will always be french fries!

    And I seriously love your photo-shopping skills. That picture is so funny!

  21. Emily says

    I want to make your ratatouille even more now! I was all set to cook some up when the power went out. It was a tragic, tragic day. This weekend, I’ll go to the farmer’s market again and pick up some more eggplant.

    You are talented with the photoshop, lady!

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