The Healthy Chef whizzes up a refreshing drink to put a spring in your step and shares her take on a comfort food that’s bursting with goodness.

The Perfect Ratatouille

Some of the best things in life are simple culinary pleasures that use fresh ingredients, cooked lovingly to nourish the ones you care about. Ratatouille is one such meal, and is a staple in my home. It is pure goodness and its versatility is endless.

What’s great about it?
Tomatoes are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, C, K, beta-carotene, potassium and manganese. The lycopene (phytonutrient) in tomatoes has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer. Zucchinis are a good source of B group vitamins, which are essential for energy metabolism. The vitamin C, beta-carotene and phytonutrients give zucchinis their antioxidant properties. Capsicums, be they red, yellow, green or orange, all contain the natural painkiller capsaicin, clinically proven to be useful against arthritic pain. Capsicums are an awesome source of beta-carotene, potassium and vitamins C, B6 and E.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour (includes 45 mins simmering)

1 red onion, chopped
good splash of olive oil
4 zucchini (small or medium) cut into rounds
2 red capsicum, roughly chopped
1 eggplant, medium sized, chopped
1.2kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
handful fresh chopped parsley or basil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Gruyere cheese, grated to serve

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and sauté lightly until softened. Add zucchini, capsicum, eggplant and tomato and mix through. Add about ½ cup of water and cover, simmering over a lowish heat until the tomato starts to collapse and mingle into a delicious sauce. Simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and stir through gently. Season with salt and pepper. Add freshly chopped herbs or torn basil right at the very end. Serve in generous bowls topped with a little Gruyere and enjoy.

For extra goodness you can add a few handfuls of shredded kale while simmering.
Serve leftovers with soft poached organic eggs for breakfast or Sunday brunch. Just crack in a few organic eggs 8 minutes before serving, cover and gently simmer until the eggs are just cooked, but with runny yolks.

Iced Matcha Tea with Coconut Water & Lime

If you’re tired of the usual pre and post-workout drinks then consider this fresh and nutritious alternative that harnesses the antioxidant richness of matcha, a very high grade of green tea. The matcha powder is made from very finely ground green tea buds which have been partially grown in the shade and had their stems and veins removed to optimise flavour and nutrient content.

What’s great about it?
This drink is high in antioxidants to support health, energy and vitality. Matcha has the ability to boost immunity, control stress and promote fat loss.

Serves: 2
Time: 3 mins

1½ cups coconut water
1 tablespoon lime juice
pinch of Healthy Chef Matcha Green Tea

Combine coconut water, lime juice and matcha. Mix well and strain to remove any matcha solids. Pour into two glasses and serve cold with ice.

Add a little muddled fresh mint for an extra fresh zing and nutrient boost.

Teresa Cutter, aka The Healthy Chef, is one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking. An experienced chef, as well as a nutritionist and fitness professional, she combines her knowledge of food, diet and exercise to develop delicious recipes that maximise health and wellbeing.