Last night, I end­ed up eat­ing veg­e­tar­i­an, which is unusu­al for me, but there are some dish­es that are fill­ing enough and good enough to give up meat for, at least for a meal or two. One of my favorite dish­es is Rata­touille. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, while I had sum­mer squash and zuc­chi­ni on hand last night, I didn’t have any egg­plant. An easy sub­sti­tu­tion and I had a dish that was just as won­der­ful.

Orig­i­nal­ly, I had planned on hav­ing a ham­burg­er because I made Crispy Lemon Gar­lic Chick­en Strips for James. I made the rata­touille to be a side dish, but it smelled so good, and I always enjoy it so much, that I decid­ed to for­go the ham­burg­er and just nosh on veg­gies.

Since I didn’t have egg­plant, I sub­sti­tut­ed cau­li­flower, added a clove of minced gar­lic and a half cup of quar­tered kala­ma­ta olives. While the fla­vor wasn’t exact­ly the same as tra­di­tion­al rata­touille, it was sur­pris­ing­ly close! As always, it was a very eco­nom­i­cal dish. In spite of the fact that I only used two small zuc­chi­nis, two small squash­es and twelve ounces of cau­li­flower, there was enough for six to eight serv­ings.

The chick­en I made James was very easy to pre­pare. I took two chick­en breasts and pound­ed them flat with a mal­let. Then I tore the meat into strips. I then mar­i­nat­ed the meat in a mix­ture of lemon juice and Gar­lic-Pep­per­corn Sal­ad Dress­ing for about 45 min­utes. Once the mari­nade had a chance to soak in, I dipped the chick­en strips in Panko bread crumbs and fried them in veg­etable oil. Since I had pound­ed them thin, they didn’t take long to cook and the panko insured that they got nice and crunchy.

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