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A nutritious low protein lunch that can be adapted for the family

A house with different dietary requirements can lead to different meals being cooked for different people or everyone sifting to the lowest common denominator leading to a less optimal diet for some family members. Whilst it may be beneficial to people with Parkinson’s to restrict protein it remains important to the rest of the family and particular consideration is needed for children who are still growing and the elderly as older people metabolise protein less efficiently.

This week’s recipe is a good basic ratatouille. What is good about ratatouille? It is packed full of antioxidants, easy to prepare (if chopping is a problem trays of these vegetable mixes are available ready prepared and even frozen) and is very adaptable.

Serves 4

2 aubergines

4 small courgettes

2 red peppers

4 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 - 4 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

small bunch basil, roughly torn

1 tin of tomatoes

Cut the aubergines and courgettes into 2.5cm/1in slices/cubes. De-seed the peppers and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and very tender. Add the aubergines and courgettes, increase the heat slightly and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the peppers, garlic, some salt and pepper and half the basil and mix well. Cover and cook over a very gentle heat for 20 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes. Scatter with the remaining basil and serve.

(This can also be liquidised and used as a pasta sauce. Freezes well.)

The ratatouille can be served with pasta, rice or quinoa as a low protein meal.

For extra protein add one of the following

  1. Once cooked mix in a tin of kidney beans or chickpeas cook for a further 5 minutes

  2. Once cooked make 1 - 4 dents in the ratatouille. Into each dent crack an egg. Cover, then cook for 2-5 mins until set as softly or firmly as you like.

  3. Serve with a fillet of fish

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