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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