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?

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