Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

In the annals of "Things I Am Practicing So I Suck a Little Less," right up there with roller-skating and tire-changing, right up there at the top of the list, is domesticity.

Not making a ton of progress on the caring-about-dusting side of things. Nor in the needing-a-cocktail-to-have-any-desire-to-cook-dinner factor. Nor in tackling the nagging and persistent "oh man, this makes me feel like such a middle-aged lady" factor.

In terms of engaging the crockpot, though, we're getting there.

Practicing.

Slowly but surely.

Training wheels help.

I found this recipe online about six months ago and have been leaning on it regularly since then. Not only is it vegan, delicious, hearty, and super-versatile, but it's also fairly easy to make (chop some vegetables, dump in some herbs, douse with olive oil), and it lasts for a long time.

Also, I like writing ratatouille.

Funny word.

Make it in the crockpot (shivers of suburbia down my spine) and you're good to go.

(Just remember to plug it in first, which today, brilliantly, I forgot, until 30 minutes in when I wondered why the pot was still freezing cold. Duh.)

Vegan Ratatouille (Serves 8)

2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
1 large eggplant, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 small zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
red pepper flakes, to spice it up

Directions:

1. Layer half the vegetables in a large crock pot in the following order: onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes.

2. Next sprinkle half the basil, oregano, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper on the veggies.
3. Dot with half of the tomato paste.
4. Repeat layering process with remaining vegetables, spices and tomato paste.
5. Drizzle with olive oil.
6. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.
7. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or the vegan equivalent).

Refrigerate to store.  May freeze up to 6 weeks.

You can really switch things up here. Serve it with quinoa or gluten-free pasta. Throw it on a pizza or a baguette. Eat it plain. It's your call.

And feel free to throw in whatever you've got in your fridge. Today I had a bunch of crimini mushrooms and kale, so those went in. Switch it up. Some of the reviews on the original site mentioned using potatoes, celery, asparagus, etc.

Viva las veggies. (Now where I'd put that cocktail?)

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