My mother-in-law, Rose, is a worrier, and since she lives in Boston and my husband and I live in California, we get lots of worry calls. Like when there was a fire in San Diego a hundred miles from us, I heard about the fire, are you guys okay. In fact, she worries so much that we’ve never told her that we live near San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Why worry her unnecessarily?
When my husband and I went vegan, we hesitated telling Rose about it – we knew she’d worry. Eventually, however; we had to tell her. As we expected, the worry floodgates opened. Are you getting all the nutrients you need? How are you getting enough protein? Don’t you need dairy for calcium?
We answered all her questions and gave her the books, The Engine 2 Diet and Eat to Live. After a while she seemed to accept that we weren’t going to drop dead from a lack of protein.
Then one day she surprised us and told us that she was going to start following a plant-based diet at much as possible herself (which meant as much as my father-in-law would allow). We were excited, and encouraged her hoping that it would help with her long-standing health issues.
For whatever reason, the diet didn’t stick. We were disappointed, but at least she doesn’t worry about the way we’re eating anymore and even cooks plant-based for us when we’re visiting.
In fact, visiting her is a treat because she makes us wonderful plant-based meals. While we were there recently, she made a pizza that was delicious. I asked her if I could share her recipe on my blog and she happily agreed.
So here’s my mother-in-law’s Vegan Ratatouille Pizza recipe:
Vegan Ratatouille Pizza
1 small to medium zucchini, diced
1 small to medium yellow summer squash, diced
½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons dried basil
16 oz jar eggplant caponata
Frozen pizza dough
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped kalamatta olives
Preheat oven according the directions for the pizza dough you’re using.
Saute squash, tomatoes, onion and basil in water until almost cooked, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Spread eggplant caponata on pizza crust. Top with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with parsley and olives.
Say a little prayer over the pizza (yes, my mother-in-law does this!) and bake according to pizza dough directions.
Okay, so this made me click on it for multiple reasons, which, I will now delineate for you! (hehe)
1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ratatouille
2) My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie Ratatouille (which I call Rata-tata-tooie cause I can never seem to say it right!)
3) I love pizza as much as I love Rata-tata-tooie
4) I really wanted to find more vegan pizza options that were super yummy
So… win, win! I just added the ingredients to my grocery list. We JUST got a Sprouts in my city and so I’ll be checking it out today or tomorrow!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I love the movie Ratatouille too!! I’m sure, by the name alone that your kiddos will love this pizza, and it’s soooo healthy! I’m so glad this recipe is a win, win for you – that’s great to hear! How cool that you just got a Sprouts – I love them!!
Always a pleasure to hear from you January! Celeste 🙂
I’m a worrier too but your mom in law is taking it to a high level!! I agree, why worry anyone if unnecessary. 🙂
I’m a worrier too – I think it’s an enormous club!! Celeste 🙂
I love ratatouille too! I serve mine with a rice and current blend medley. yumm…
Brilliant, caponata as a base! I will try this sometime. Kudos to Rose. Pinned 🙂
Awesome – glad you like it! Celeste 🙂
Great recipe. Many thanks to you and your Mum for posting this. My wife loves pizza, but being Vegan and a pizza lover is a bit like being a fish out of water.
Speaking of worry- I was talking to an aged care home nurse yesterday who told me that the majority of the residents in her facility are there because of anxiety and the consequences of worrying.
My mother was one such case- a complete worry-wart. While she was still living at home, her doctor’s solution to keeping her calm was to feed her en endless supply of Valium, and her husband’s solution was to keep her boozed up.
She ended up never worrying again a few years later when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and had to be put into a full time Alzheimer’s care facility where she basically went downhill for the next 6 long years.
My memory of her last chapter in life is what motivates me to live my life free from self-destructive habits including meat, dairy, caffeine, drugs, alcohol, etc.
So far , so good. I only wish I could have started earlier in life.
Hey there Wardie!
What a sad story about your Mum – so sorry to hear it. As a psychotherapist, I know how rampant worry and anxiety are. My personal belief is that drugs are not the best approach, in most cases, to treat this issue. I suppose that’s a post for another day.
Anyway, it’s heartening to hear that, if nothing else, your mom’s suffering inspired you to live healthier. And I know you live healthy!!! I hear you about wishing you started earlier in life – sometimes I feel that way too. Then I think about all the people I know who are older than I am who continue not to take care of themselves. It’s better late than never!
I always love your comments Wardie!! Celeste 🙂
Thanks for the thoughts Celeste. I forgot to mention that while my mother inspired me to take responsibility for my own health, my father inspired me to stop drinking. He used to open a bottle of wine and pour two glasses and the bottle was finished. Big glasses they were, and the second bottle disappeared pretty quickly too.
He once told me that “the worst things I ever said and did to your mother (they were divorced after 21 years together) were done when we were drinking” That stuck with me and was really the tipping (no, not tippling) point 6 years ago when I quit drinking and traded in many of my social friends for new ones. I have ever looked back since with an ounce of regret.
Keep up the great blogging. Always interesting, always worth reading.
Your dad had some BIG glasses Wardie! Alcoholism is such a tragedy. Living with an alcoholic is one of the hardest things to do, and when it’s a parent what choice do you have? My grandfather was an alcoholic, but I was fortunate that my dad didn’t carry on this tradition.
Congrats on six years sober!! That’s a HUGE accomplishment. You were smart to get new friends. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I know that’s an important key to success. You’re really an inspiration Wardie. Thanks so much for sharing on here! Celeste 🙂
Vegan Ratatouille is making me miss Spain more! I had Pisto empanadillas (Spanish Ratataouille filling) and they are so good! How sweet that Rose made you guys a wonderful plant-based pizza – it certainly looks so delicious! And I have a worrisome mom, too, she wanted to make sure that I have enough sleep or watch out for the road/street – but I’m already in my 20s!
I guess we’ll always be like little kiddo’s to our mothers!! 🙂
My mother is a crazy worrier. When they first moved back to the area after retirement, she would insist that I text her whenever it was raining hard or snowing to let her know I was okay. I finally had to tell her that while I appreciated her concern, I wasn’t going to do that… 🙂
And that pizza looks awesome! Put kalamata olives on anything and I’ll eat it!
Haha – I guess it’s nice to know that your mother cares for you, but still! Celeste 🙂
Yum! Im glad you have family that is at least willing to try, that’s great! Even if she can incorporate more vegan foods in her regular diet that is a step in the right direction. And you never know, she may give it a go again one day.
It’s great that your mother in law came round to accepting your diet and that she makes you such delicious meals! I love the caponata addition, yum!
YAY for Rose!!! Good for her 🙂 This pizza looks incredible! Wish my grandma would go plant-based!
This will please Rose and all who share the pizza.
I hope so!
Mmmmmmm,…What a great & tasty idea!!!!! 😀😀😀
This looks beautiful! What a great pizza topping.