I tried this delicious dish at the Vegan Cooking Retreat and absolutely loved the intensity of flavours! As I don't eat meat, I find aubergine to be a great substitute, it's really filling and although some folks find the texture a bit strange, I love it and this is a great way to cook it.
Aubergine, along with potatoes, peppers and tomatoes are part of the nightshade group of veggies (Solanaceae) which also contains Deadly Nightshade, which is as its name suggests is poisonous & deadly. However I can assure you this group, like all veggies have many benefits for your health!
There is however, some anecdotal evidence that this group of veggies can exacerbate gut issues and cause inflammation and joint pain in people with autoimmune disease, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
If this is you then you may wish to avoid these and note if your symptoms improve.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean Diet is among the healthiest and contains copious amounts of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, along with lots of garlic, onions, olives and good quality oils, which have major benefits for our health. The vast majority of us can happily eat veggies from the nightshade family without any problems!
This dish actually contains aubergine, tomatoes and red pepper so a lot of nightshade action going on! It also has lots of garlic and good fats and bags of flavour!
I love the versatility of this dish. We had it for lunch at the weekend on toasted sourdough, our healthy version of Bruschetta.
A lovely organic poached egg is a great additional topping with some seaweed flakes for extra minerals and flavour. I use Mara
Alastair embellished his with anchovies and feta cheese and scoffed 4 slices for lunch yesterday!
Laura took the leftovers with some couscous and toasted seeds for her packed lunch today. Its delicious served cold as part of a tapas or hot as a topping for a baked potato or stirred through pasta or quinoa for a lovely dinner!
I just adore food that tastes better the next day and the flavours intensify beautifully in this dish.
Just a wee observation on aubergines, so many folks think you have to salt the slices and leave them to draw out bitter juices so although this used to be required, the modern varieties of aubergine are much less bitter so its generally fine to omit this time consuming step. Feel free to do it if you want but I never bother and the aubergine always tastes delicious.
Similarly the skin can be a bit tough and many recipes discard it but from a health perspective the skin is high in antioxidants and personally I don't find it bitter or tough so I eat it!
Aubergine is a great source of fibre, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and other beneficial minerals and can protect against oxidative damage and lower cholesterol so well worth including in your diet!
We actually had two delicious aubergine dishes at the retreat and this is a kind of combination of them both. I hope you enjoy it!
Here is the recipe!
2 medium aubergines, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil or olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 or 3 sticks of celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
4 large tomatoes, chopped or a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
50 g sultanas or raisins
50g green olives, stoned and sliced
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional but delicious)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
sea salt and black pepper
a good handful of flat leaf parsley or mint, finely chopped to finish
.....your health in your hands......
🍃 Health educator🍃