Hi, it’s me again, the to-be human doctor but current meal doctor; to-be MD but current “MD,” you could say!

I am presenting another gluten- and dairy-free meal that is sure to impress your friends, family, and those on your social media, if you post food pictures (not me) instead of science jokes (definitely me). This is definitely Instagram-able, tweet-able, Facebook-able, Pinterest-able, Myspace-able, LinkedIn-able, Snapchat-able. This recipe looks so unique, and it can be served either casually or fancifully, and it tastes very rich. Let me tell you how I decided to try this dish for the first time.

I love movies. Action and horror movies are my jam. But over spring break, I came across a Disney movie bracket — like March Madness, but for Disney movies. Although, admittedly, I had not seen many of them, my husband and I filled it out together. One of our top contenders was “Ratatouille,” the movie with a little rat chef who loves to cook but has to disguise himself while in the kitchen (because, well, humans have a long and very bitter history with rats in the form of the plague, their beady little eyes, the health department . . . enough said).

I loved the movie when I was younger because learning to cook is an important part of my family, which consists of self-proclaimed 100 percent Sicilians who love to cook almost as much as we like to eat! (We are not genetically 100 percent Italian, we learned, but my grandpa insists we ignore the Punnett square and classic genetics in favor of his version of the science.)

So I decided to pick up the ingredients for ratatouille (the French dish the movie takes its name from and which plays an integral role in the movie’s plot) from the store and come up with a recipe to mimic the end of the movie. I made it and it baked while we watched the movie. We loved it so much that we decided to meal prep it the following week, and it passed the ultimate test: it reheats well! This recipe takes a little bit of time to prepare, but it is definitely worth the work for this wonderfully deep flavor. All it requires is a lot of cutting, which the future surgeon in me loves, and some patience while cooking.

So grab yourself a knife, some study materials, and a screen to watch the movie while you’re cooking!


  • ½ onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 squash
  • 3 russet potatoes
  • Red meat sauce
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 pack Original Jimmy Dean Sausage

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