The best ratatouille I have ever had was at my favorite restaurant, a little French place tucked away in the Windsor Terrace area of Brooklyn, called Le Paddock. They are just the best! If you are anywhere near that area, you must give them a visit! They have the best mussels and their lamb burger is TO DIE FOR. Admittedly not very vegan per se, but if you’re going to be eating meat it better be mind-blowing. This restaurant, and their damn ratatouille, is likely the only thing I miss about Brooklyn. So I have long been trying to re-create the glory of their particular spin on this classic dish.
And I think I finally nailed it!
It’s surprising how hard it was to find a good ratatouille recipe on the internet! It’s the internet, after all. You would think there should be easy consensus on the hands-down best ratatouille recipe, but not true. In fact, if there’s one thing I learned recently, it’s that with the ease of self-publishing on the internet, it becomes harder to assess the quality of the content, especially when it comes to recipes. I have found so many drastic differences in ratatouille recipes; some are baked, some have mushrooms and loads of onions (ew), some call for tomato sauce….all things I know deep in my heart don’t belong in any self-respecting melt-in-your-mouth ratatouille dish. Oh, and parmesan cheese! Get out!! This dish, done properly, perfectly stands on its own without the need for cheese. I have tried the different versions, been disappointed, and finally found one that does it right. The secret, I discovered, is tomatoes. The vegetables have to slow-cook for an hour in the juices of fresh tomatoes, that’s what brings out the magic! Pshhhhht tomato sauce, puhlease.
Another benefit of this recipe, is that I now know how to properly cook eggplant! That sucker has been my nemesis for a while, but this is the trick for getting your eggplant to cook at the same rate as your better-behaved zucchinis and yellow squashes: toss it with salt and let it soak/drain in a colander for 20-30 minutes to soften up. Voilà! It will now much more readily turn into its luscious moist, juicy version of itself. On to the main event…
FOR YOUR BUTT
"27,000 trees are cut down every single day in order to provide toilet paper for the world, and around 50% of these trees come from virgin forests and old growth specimens that are hundreds of years old or even older. Many of the trees that are used come from primary forests that are sorely needed to help prevent further global warming and increased carbon in the atmosphere. Logging is occurring in forests that are incredibly diverse, and many of these areas contain protected or even endangered species. Toilet paper is filling up landfills in the USA and around the globe at an alarming rate." We're literally killing of the habitat of countless species... to wipe our butt, PEOPLE. (Source: bidet.org)
This is ludicrous, and I am outraged. First and foremost, switch to a bidet, then for all else for the love of god switch to tree-free toilet paper!
So far, I haven't found one that's both 100% tree-free and better (soft, durable) than Ology toilet paper. Does anyone have particular bidet or TP recommendations? Comment below!
FOR YOUR NOSE
Nothing works as well as the now-infamous Poo-Pourri. Once you try it, you can't go without. Fear no more those noxious aerosol cans and artificial smells, lighting matches, burning incense. Poo-Pourri is completely natural and doesn't invade your breathing space with odors. It comes in various scents and sizes, including pocket size. Like I said, can't live without it.
Has anyone tried to make something like this from scratch? Let me know if you have a better alternative in the comments!
Your mouth is the most important part of your body to maintain in a healthy and happy state, as it will dictate the health of the rest of your body
We all know about toothbrushing, flossing, and mouthashing, but few of us have heard of the importance of tongue scraping and the benefits of oil pulling. I'll save the details for the links in the previous sentence, and use this space to instead divulge my favorite recipes and products.
One of our most controversial self-care products, this is a tricky one to get right. The plastic (permanent) waste that toothbrushes create is a major problem for the environment. From everything I've seen you're stuck with either the 100% biodegradable option or the 100% plant-based option. Only pig-hair bristles are truly biodegradable, but they come from China's meat industry. If supporting this is something you'd rather avoid, Brush with Bamboo seems to be the most ecologically-sound option available. Everything about this brush and packaging is plant-based. The bristles are not compostable, but they are working to improve this with their suppliers. Or, you could try a traditional neem chew stick. Some really swear by it.
Forget that Dirt stuff that's been circling the Facebook ads. I've tried it and immediately regretted the decision. Not only does it make you look like a neanderthal while you're using it, grinning with brown teeth back at yourself, but it's messy and very difficult to use. It's gritty and it scratched my teeth. Your toothbrush bristles are enough of an exfoliant, you don't need to make your toothpaste into sandpaper to get the job done. If you want something that feels and tastes like heaven and leaves your mouth feeling amazing, use this instead:
Remineralizing Toothpaste Ingredients
The only con to this recipe is that it leaves your hands and toothbrush a bit oily, and it will be rock solid in cold temperatures. Still worth it to me, considering the incredible result and that you can just wash your hands with soap, especially when I imagine all of the packaging waste I'm saving!
BEST STORE BOUGHT
I have tried all the toothpastes, and none do the trick as well as Jason. My favorite is the Vanilla Powermint. The cheapest you'll ever see it is on Luckyvitamin.com. I still prefer the homemade one to this one!
I used to try to get by with just essential oils and water, but I didn't trust that they were getting the job done. While you can get the original natural Listerine (which is just water, alcohol, and essential oils), I prefer Doctor Tichenor's concentrate instead to use less plastic. You can conveniently get it at the drug store. It says to dilute it with just water, but you know I'm going to add some drops of essential oils - clove, melaleuca (tea trea), and OnGuard. Clove oil is particularly good for gum and oral health!
4. PULLING OIL
You can use plain (virgin coldpressed) coconut oil or sesame oil. I always prefer to add a drop of essential oil to mine, usually peppermint or clove, for added antibacterial support.
5. TONGUE SCRAPER
6. DENTAL FLOSS
I'll always vouch for homemade because it's cutting down on so much waste created by plastic, transportation, printing and packaging, etc.
best store bought
I have tried many natural home brands, and Seventh Generation always takes the cake for their detergents. This is my favorite. It's about 33 cents per load.