My gorgeous friend Jill came over for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I decided as the weather was turning colder to make something hot. I was also making this for my case study and lovely friend Louise Redknapp who had to go off for her dance rehearsal . Louise is a vegetarian who is exercising hours daily so she is the perfect case study for a healthy eating course. I am always looking for a new way to get delicious filling nutritious dishes into her to accommodate all the exercise she is doing at the moment.
My lovely friend Jill is similar to me in that she loves delicious food, so I knew if she liked it we would all be good! I used vegetarian stock but I would also use bone broth for meat eaters as it adds real depth.
As a meat eater I look to eat meat less and less but I don’t think its something I want to give up totally. I like it for a start and I also think we need certain nutrients from it. But I don’t think we need to eat it daily and I think its good for your body to have a break. I develop vegetarian dishes now that I enjoy and where I don’t think I am missing out on meat. A long time ago I would of turned my nose up at vegetarian dishes but I now think a lot of them are better than meat dishes. Even if you are the meatiest meat eater I think you will love this dish.
This dish was influenced by a wonderful book called Palestine on a Plate bought for me as a gift from my lovely Jordanian friend Nafisa. We both share a interest in foods of the world and laughter. I have adapted my version to suit my kitchen and my ingredients. This book is beautiful and if you like cook books add it to your collection.
The quinoa I made with the dill bought the whole thing to life and now this meal is firmly in my top 3, I absolutely love it. It turns out Jill loved it too and we managed to finish a whole pot between us. It was also one of Louise’s favourites as she loves Aubergine so a win win for this gorgeous vegetarian taste sensation.
Recipe for aubergine stew:
- 2 aubergines cut into medium thin circles
- 6/7 skinned tomatoes (place tomatoes in hot boiling water and leave for 5/10 mins take out and peel skin off)
- 3 small red onions peeled and halved
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 small courgettes yellow and green cut into batons
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 small red chilli
- 1 tin of plum tomatoes
- 1 red chill (hot) deseeded and top taken off
- 3 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of unfiltered raw olive oil
- 1 cup full of vegetable stock or bone broth
Recipe for quinoa:
- 125g of quinoa
- 1 thinly sliced fennel
- 1 handful of sultanas
- 1 handful of dill
- 1 handful of pomegranate seeds
- 1 handful go kale
- Feta cheese crumbled
Dressing for quinoa:
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp of organic red wine vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- Whisk together
- Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan, grate one clove of raw garlic and add to the pan, add the sliced aubergine brown on both sides add a little salt and gently fry for 8 minutes swapping sides. Meanwhile heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Meanwhile grab a baking tray brush some coconut oil on the bottom and place all vegetables on here except tin tomatoes and chilli.
- Take the aubergine out of the pan and add to this baking tray, cook all in the over for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the quinoa as per instructions. Blanch the kale, add all the ingredients together and mix in the whisked dressing, don’t drown it in the dressing add little by little to see if its enough for you.
- Pull the vegetables from the oven except the courgettes. Put to one side while you heat a pan with the rest of the coconut oil. Once melted take the baked garlic and add to the pan swirling it around to release all the flavours after 6/7 minutes add all the vegetables. On a medium heat stir around and let the juice from the oven work its way out to release the flavours for 10/15 minutes
- For next bit use a hand blender, empty the tin tomatoes in with the hot red chilli and blend to a passata style sauce.
- Add this to the vegetables in the pan. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, when the sauce gets thick add the stock and the courgettes cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Let the sauce get thicker but not dried up on a low heat and 5 minutes before the end add 1 tbsp of organic cider vinegar and stir.
- Plate up with quinoa and stew side by side finish it with crumbled feta and enjoy!!!!!
I also add my pumpkin houmous to this dish as a delicious dip.