Recently I have been experimenting with vegetarian meals in a bid to cut down on my meat consumption. I could never totally give up meat – i value the protein, nutritional content and my roast dinners too much but am trying to have at least 2 veggie days per week especially on days when i dont exercise.
Aubergines are an excellent aource of vitamin C – good for healthy skins and cells and wound healing. Aubergines also contain Vitamin K and B6 which are needed for healing, healthy blood cells and energy.
This meal was made up of food needing to be eaten from fridge and stuff already in the cupboard and was quick, easy, light and very tasty. It was also surprisingly filling so if you are looking for a light dinner give this a go.
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp honey or agave
1tsp lemon juice
60g Couscous (bulgar or quinoa would also work)
20g Feta – cubed
Handful of Greens – i used tenderstem broccoli, asparagus and runner beans
Handful of pomegranate seeds
Halve the aubergine and score the flesh with a knife into criss-cross pattern. Mix together the olive oil, harissa, lemon juice and honey and generously brush over the flesh of the aubergine. Place in the oven at 180degs for 25 minutes or until softened. To assemble the salad, cook the couscous to instructions – I usually cover with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes until cooked through. Steam any greens that you are using. Simply mix the grains, greens, feta and pomegranate seeds adding a little lemon juice, oregano and sumac for extra zing and flavour.
Serve with the aubergine on top for a tasty, healthy, vegetarian dinner.
My mum recommended this recipe to me – it’s a Jamie Oliver one from The Sunday Times this week. After a big workout yesterday aswell as a training session this morning, last night seemed as good a time than ever for some carb loading. This pasta dish is fresh and light and contains 3 of your 5-a-day.
Aubergines are packed with antioxidents and are good to balance blood sugar levels which, through slowing the release of glucose into the blood stream keep you feeling fuller for longer. Tomatoes contain plentiful amounts of vitamin c and e which are good for heart health and potassium which reduces water retention.
I used wholewheat spaghetti as its a better carbohydrate and more wholesome source of protein but normal pasta or courgetti would be perfect here too.
Onto the recipe then!
2 aubergines – chopped into 5cm chunks
400g cherry tomatoes – halved
2 red onions – sliced
4 Cloves Garlic – sliced
2 tbsp capers
3 servings wholewheat spaghetti pasta
Juice one lemon
1 Handful Asparagus – sliced in half
Grated parmesan for serving
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degs and pop the aubergine, onion, basil stalks, garlic, tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil into a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for an hour covered with foil for the first 30 minutes. Cook the pasta until al dente, sieve and keep the water.
Meanwhile mix the rocket, asparagus, lemon juice and another drizzle of olive oil with some salt and pepper and leave to one side.
Once the veggies have cooked through, place the roasting tray on the hob on a low heat and mix the spaghetti in. Add some of the pasta water if necessary to create some sauce.
To serve, remove from the heat and add the rocket and asparagus and mix together. Finally, scatter with parmesan if you wish and devour!
It was a frugal evening at home tonight making the most of leftover pork mince from the Mee Krob aswell as making sure we were eating plenty of veggies after a big few days holidaying in Mallorca (lots of bread, wine, tapas, paella and crisps – my holiday staple!). I decided on Mexican as we haven’t had it in a while and its a good variation to all the asian and spanish flavours i’ve been eating recently. I took inspiration from a Rick Stein idea of Middle Eastern lamb stuffed aubergine and made it Mexican….with Pork!
Onto the health part – aubergine helps to remove toxins from the body providing a good balance of blood sugar and water levels. Aubergines have digestive benefits and are good for the heart. This recipe also has a fair bit of chilli im it. I used fresh green chilli, dried morito chilli and chipotle chilli paste. All varieties of chilli, including dried contain the oil capsaicin which provides both the strong, spicy flavour as well as antioxident and anti-inflammatory effects. These, in turn, give chilli the powers of lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar and supressing appetite which are all good for detoxification. Whilst pork mince isnt the healthiest meat to use, pork generally is a good source of vitamin B and had useful amounts of zinc and iron which are good for energy release. I used extra lean mince to further reduce fat content.
The dish is spicy and smokey to taste, balanced by the creaminess of the feta and sweetness of the tomatoes. It is light, carb free and gluten free.
Start by halving the aubergine lenghthways and scoring the flesh. Lay skin-side down on a baking tray and roast in a 200deg oven for 30 minutes.
Whilst this is cooking, heat some olive oil in a pan and start to fry the onion, as it softens, add the pork and cook. Once the pork is cooked add in the pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and chopped red and green chilli. Mix well and combine the chopped tomatoes and chipotle chilli paste. Once the aubergine is softened, gently scoop out the flesh (be careful to leave the skin in tact on the baking tray) and mix in with the pork mixture.
Place the mixture back into the aubergine skin, scatter with feta cheese (as much or as little as you like!) and pop back in the oven to heat through for 10 minutes.
Serve with extra veggies or brown rice if you fancy a carb kick!
Elix and I have just demolished a dinner so delicious i wanted to blog about it straight away. It was healthy, nutritious and easy aswell as tasting fresh, authentic and yum!
Our total dinner as you will see in the picture below comprised baked falafels, babaganoush, fattoush salad, courgette and mint dip and flat breads. We used recipes from the Moro book and Honey & Co as inspiration but I went with taste and look in the end.
Falafel Recipe (makes 10 falafel)
1 tin chickpeas
30g quinoa (cook on the hob for 15mins in 200ml water)
Handful of parsley
Half an egg
1 Clove Garlic
1tsp Ground Cumin
Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until incorporated but retaining some texture. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Take the chilled mixture and roll into 10 pattie shapes. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and cook in the oven at 200 degs for 20 minutes until crispy on the outside.
3tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic mince
Pomegranate Seeds & Pomegranate Molasses to serve
Char the aubergine over a gas hob (the aubergine can sit directly on the flame) or under a grill until the skin is charred and crispy. Elix came home to me mid-babaganoush-making and was worried I was in the process of burning the kitchen down but don’t worry the burning smell is fine and upon removing the skin the flesh inside the aubergine is soft, creamy and smokey in flavour. To make the babaganoush mix all ingredients together adding more lemon juice or tahini to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with the molasses.
I don’t think there is much point in giving you a fattoush recipe because each one i’ve come across is different. I picked my favorite veggies from each for ours and chopped up small including cauliflower florets, diced cucumber, radish discs, quartered cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions and spring onions, chopped parsley, coriander and mint. The dressing is simply a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, and sumac but you can adjust this to taste.
We ate all of this with a simple yoghurt dip and flatbreads but would also work well with wraps and some chilli sauce wouldn’t go amiss for some heat!