5:2 Fast Day Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine:
Adding yet more into my collection of 5:2 diet recipes with this easy vegetarian supper. For a while quinoa (pronounced key-naaw) was very much in vogue. I was keen to explore how it might work for a 5:2 fast day diet meal. Regarded by many as a ‘superfood’ it has a relatively high level of balanced protein (the body can get all of the essential amino acids it needs from quinoa in similar proportions to what is required) fibre and minerals. It has a low to medium level GI load too, so it should help you stay full for longer. And when it’s cooked it makes a good ingredient to use as part of a stuffing mix – finer than rice but with a texture that works very well mixed with chopped vegetables.
Generally in the past I’ve used Quinoa to make an alternative to couscous when I’ve had veggie friends visiting and have wanted to give them something a little more substantial. But, I’m trying to have one fast day a week when I stick to a vegetarian diet, so this particular dish was intended to let me do just that.
Anyway, the result was rather splendid, so I’m sharing the recipe in case anyone else is interested in making it. The stuffing mixture would work well in peppers, courgettes or marrow too. And if you like a spicier dish, add a few chilli flakes to the stuffing mixture – I know I will be trying that next time I make this dish. Oh, and if you are a die hard carnivore, you can always substitute half minced lamb or beef for half the quinoa (20g dry weight makes up to about 100g when cooked, so you will need 50g of meat) Just remember the calorie count will change!
- 1 Medium Aubergine If you are in the US, this is eggplant. Medium = about 250g
- 20 g Quinoa cooked according to packet directions
- 1/2 Red Onion chopped
- 1 Carrot chopped
- 1 stalk Celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 40 g Mushrooms chopped
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped
- 1 pinch Tumeric
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Rose Harissa
- 1 handful Fresh Coriander cilantro if you are in the US. Finely chopped
- 15 g Parmesan Cheese finely grated
- Prick the aubergine skin lightly and then bake in the oven for around an hour (you can do this stage in advance - e.g when you are making another dish!)
- Allow the aubergine to cool, then split in half and scoop/cut out most of the flesh to leave two shells
- Chop the flesh roughly
- soften the garlic and onion in a pan for 5 minutes or so, then add the spices and cook for a further two minutes. Now add in the remaining vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or so.
- Stir through the harissa, quinoa and tomato puree. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper
- Stir through the coriander and then use the mixture to stuff the aubergine shells
- top with grated parmesan
- bake in a pre-heated oven at 190c for around 20 minutes. Serve garnished with a little more coriander
My vegetarian stuffed aubergine recipe produces a substantial dish with around 300 calories, so serve it with a small green salad for a perfect 5:2 fast day supper