November 8th, 2011

ChopChop Magazine and Eggplant: Roasted Ratatouille

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healthy roasted vegetables

Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch with Sally Sampson, the author of 20 cookbooks and the founder of ChopChop Magazine.  ChopChop is a fun cooking magazine that encourages families to cook together and share healthy meals together.  The magazine is filled with fun and healthy recipes, games and food facts that promote healthy eating.  ChopChop recently spent some time doing a photo shoot at the White House for their fall issue!

blogger lunch bootcamp

An intimate group of bloggers, organized by MommyNiri, were gathered together in one of the many kitchens at  The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) for a Lunch Bootcamp. Chef Dot Jacobson from the CSACA prepared a few delicious recipes taken from the fall edition of the magazine, while we discussed how to support healthy eating habits in our families.

Put a group of bloggers together with a chef and the editor of “a fun cooking magazine for families” and there’s no doubt you’ll walk away with some great tips for healthy eating.

Here are a few tips for cooking/preparing meals with kids:

  • Let your kids be active participants in the cooking process. Yes, their age will dictate how much or how little they can participate. Adult supervision is recommended when they are using knives or the stove.
  • Make food interesting and fun.  My favorite tip was to take roasted cauliflower and put it in a movie popcorn container. It looks like popcorn-but its cauliflower!
  • Take their favorite food and add something new. They will be more likely to try it.
  • Make meals they can assemble themselves such as tacos and burritos.
  • Let them make their own lunches. My kids have been doing this for a few years. I supervise and help with cutting and packing. It’s part of their daily routine and I rarely get a complaint.

chopchop lunchNot only was a delicious lunch served, but I was able to spend a little time with a few friends. Here I am with Jennifer from Savor the Thyme. My driving partner was Annmarie from Trendy Mommies.

lunch time in Boston

Here is my favorite recipe, courtesy of ChopChop (Fall 2011):

Eggplant: Roasted Ratatouille

Hands-on Time: 45 minutes Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 yellow or red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 small or ½ large eggplant, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 cups canned or fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, cut in four quarters


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Put onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini bell pepper and tomatoes in large mixing bowl and mix with thyme, oil and salt.
  • Spread vegetables into single layer on large baking sheet with sides.
  • Bake until everything is softened-about 45 minutes.
  • Serve hot and squeeze lemon over it just before serving.

My variation

I make variations of this recipe all the time using organic vegetables that show up in our CSA box.  It’s great served over pasta or rice. Enjoy!


Do you cook with your kids? What’s your favorite veggie dish?

26 Responses to “ChopChop Magazine and Eggplant: Roasted Ratatouille”

  1. Mmmm….ratatouille is my favorite! And I’m a big fan of ChopChop Magazine too! I reviewed it as part of a “getting kids to eat their veggies” series I did last year:

  2. Thanks for sharing your post Micaela. The magazine definitely has lots of creative ways to get your kids to eat veggies. The ratatouille was delish with lots of garlic!

  3. This sounds delicious. I wonder if I could get anyone else in the house to eat it. I like the idea of the magazine, I will have to check it out. I really want to get the kids more involved in the kitchen.
    Sounds like it was a fun lunch.

  4. I think you could Marsha! One tip that Sally from ChopChop gave was to mix in foods that your kids really love. So maybe start off with some veggies that they like. Are there any ? 🙂

  5. This sounds so yummy. I am always looking for more veggies dishes. I cook quite a bit with my kids, but it’s usually dessert type things (like cookies) or our weekly Saturday morning pancakes. I need to get more veggies into them.
    The problem with getting them to try something like this – they hate to mix their foods – so something like this, soup, stews, etc are usually a no go. Just have to keep trying….

  6. I typically bake with my kids too Kristina. We have now graduated to making eggs and toast 🙂 The ratatouille recipe is great because you can really make it with any vegetables. What if you just roasted one single veggie that they love? Start there and then mix in more? If they help make it maybe they would be more willing to try it? My middle guy hates mixing food together too.

  7. Yum, ratatouille is one of my favourite dishes to make when I’ve got eggplant on hand! Never tried roasting the veggies, though. I’ll have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

  8. You’re welcome Andrea! I love any type of veggie roasted.

  9. I haven’t made ratatouille in years, and I have an eggplant just “waiting” in the refrig.. thanks for inspiring me! I have two little boy chefs in my home! Read my story if you want:

    Bless you and thanks for encouraging parents to teach their kids to cook. I am in awe as to what my kids can do. My boys will be excited to help chop these veggies to make ratatouille!

  10. U look fab in those pictures Lori! I totally have to learn to let go when it comes to the boys doing things, especially making their own lunches…hmph another ting on the list! 🙂

  11. Looks so yum, Lori! 🙂

  12. Thanks Stephanie! It really is delicious and simple to make. The best part is you can use any vegetables you have at home. There’s nothing like roasted veggies. Let me know if you try it out.

  13. Awww-thanks Tiffany! It was a fun afternoon. Your boys would be awesome at making their own lunches! And think how helpful that would be for you. I know, it’s hard to let go…..give it a try!

  14. Hi Carrie! Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for stopping by. It truly is amazing what kids are able to do if we just give them a little leeway. Enjoy the ratatouille-let me know how it turns out!

  15. Mmm, sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of eggplant.

    My son is almost 7 and loves to help cook. Some vegetable recipes he enjoys making and eating are vegetable sushi and Red & Green Pockets with tomatoes and peas.

  16. Thanks for sharing the recipes Becca. 7 is the perfect age to cook! Really any age works….Thanks so much for stopping by.

  17. […] one of my favorites-I add garlic to almost everything from pizza to roasted vegetables and broccoli. Garlic adds flavor to so many dishes and it also is known for being anti-fungal, […]

  18. […] my kids to be active participants in the cooking process has always been important to me. They stir, they pour and they help in every way possible. My […]

  19. […] is one of my all-time favorite spices. I add it to almost everything from pizza to roasted vegetables and broccoli. Not only does garlic add exceptional flavor to food, it also has several other […]

  20. […] This dish is a staple in our house and something we  make for almost every holiday. Generally I use whatever vegetables are in my refrigerator, chop them up and roast them with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Sometimes I make two separate veggie dishes-one with potatoes and one without. You can see the veggie roast/ratatouille recipe HERE. […]

  21. […] 11 year old LOVES to cook. I’ve been a fan of ChopChop Magazine for quite sometime. Now they have this fantastic cookbook to help inspire kids of all ages to work […]

  22. […] so important to let your kids be active participants in the cooking process- especially if they show an interest. If they cook it they’re more likely to eat it and […]

  23. […] is one of my all-time favorite spices. I add it to almost everything from pizza to roasted vegetables and broccoli. Not only does garlic add exceptional flavor to food, it also has several other […]

  24. […] is a big part of our family life. Over the years we’ve allowed our kids to be active participants in our kitchen. They stir, they pour and they create. They are allowed to help in every way possible. There are […]

  25. […] so important to let your kids be active participants in the cooking process– especially if they show an interest. If they cook it they’re more likely to eat it and […]

  26. […] is a big part of our family life. Over the years our kids have become active participants in our kitchen. We also belong to a CSA so they can see where their food comes from. I’ve found that if my kids […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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