Monday, 24 March 2014

Aubergine Lasagne

Hello all!!

It's been a while since I last posted one of my recipes. I cook every night (almost every night) and never buy ready made meals. Only occasionally do I do take away so I know exactly what I eat. I know what I put in my meals, and I always have at least five vegetables every day. 
So, here is a healthy but super delicious recipe, with one of my favourite and most versatile vegetables; the mighty aubergine.

I first came across a version of this recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books. But, as I am not that good at following recipes, I followed the basic formula, but made up my own sauce. His original recipe was a bed of grilled aubergines with a layer of tomatoe sauce on top.
Well, I "corrupted" his version, and came up with something even better.

First, take 3-4 aubergines, peel them, cut them in circles and grill them. This is how they should look once they are done:

In the past, I used raw peppers, but this time, I grilled two red peppers, peeled them and then cut them into small pieces.

You can use any vegetable you want. I had a courgette in my fridge this time, so I used that:

Once you prepared your vegetables (you can put more if you'd like, or chuck in anything you have in the fridge), move onto the sauce. Take two tins of tomatoes and cut them in pieces. Add oregano, bay leaf, cube stock, two cloves of garlic and one chili (optional). Set the sauce aside while you do the first part of cooking:

Add a splash of olive oil into the pan, and then put one onion and a carrot. Once it is slightly brown, add red paprika. I was going to make this a vegetarian meal as a vegetarian friend was coming for dinner. But as they cancelled at the last minute, I decided to add chicken to my dish. So, once the carrot and onion were done, I added one piece of chicken breast, cut in pieces. I cooked it until the chicken was brown.

Once the chicken was done, I added my chosen vegetables; peppers and courgettes:

I cooked that for two minutes and then added my tomatoe sauce, already prepared earlier:

I left that on the hob for the next 5 minutes and then proceeded to make my aubergine lasagne.
In an oven dish (any size or shape will do), I first layered half of my grilled aubergines:

I then put a layer of my sauce on top of the aubergines:

I continued until I ran out of all my grilled aubergines and the sauce:

At the end, I put on some grated Parmesan cheese (this is optional). 
Once you have prepared this, put the dish in the oven, (200 degrees) for about half hour. And voila, it is done:

I will admit, this dish is somewhat time consuming and preparation time is probably a good half hour. However, it is worth it. It is not only very delicious, but it is very healthy and if you use as many ingredients as I have suggested, you will have at least four meals out of it. I don't make this dish very often, but when I do, I am reminded of what home cooking and fresh ingredients can do. 
I call this dish a lasagne dish because of the layering, but, trust me, it is more delicious and more healthy then your average lasagne (although I do have a recipe of a very healthy lasagne too. That is to come soon.). 

So, how often do you cook? Do you know exactly what you put in your body every day? Are you a fan of ready made meals, or do you like a home made meal?

Whatever the case, enjoy your food. Bon apetit.

Red xx


Monday, 17 March 2014

A Weekend of Firsts at the Borough Market

Hello all!!!

I have been absent from the blogging world for over two months now. As some of you bloggers know, it is quite a commitment, and it is really easy to get caught up in every day life and not find the time to even do things you like. But I am back and will definitely try and write once a week as I did before.

So, I'll resume my blogging diary by sharing a weekend of firsts. Few weekends ago, we went to Borough market in South West London. Around ten years ago, British chef Jamie Oliver made it popular by filming bits of his first TV show in there and surprise, surprise, the market became very "in" with Londoners and tourists alike. I go there every 3-4 months and every time I do, I wonder why I don't visit it more often.

It is always buzzing with people. Some of the stalls are open throughout the week, but proper working days are Fridays and Saturdays. When we went there two weeks ago, the place was so crowded, you could barely move. Although the prices are dear and some of the stuff is definitely overpriced, you can still find affordable food. If nothing, you can browse around, graze and enjoy the atmosphere. The quality of food is exceptional, the provenance of the products is always known and you can find a great variety of food from all over the world.

This time, we decided to try things we have never tried before. 

P had them before, but these were my first oysters ever. Locally sourced and delicious:

Gone in 5 seconds. I find that just swallowing them doesn't do it for me. Adding a bit of Tabasco sauce and a squeeze of lemon, I like to chew them, two or three times, in order to really appreciate their goodness. 

Onto a fruit neither of us ever tried. I have heard of it, but never tasted it. 

Mangosteen is sweet, tangy and somewhat fibrous. And very delicious and soft. Modest looking on the outside and quite expansive and vulgar from the inside:

Another first, for both of us, were goose eggs:

So much bigger than chicken eggs and I have to say, that much more delicious too. Here is how they compare to the chicken eggs in size:

The yolks are huge and bright orange:

Our breakfast was delicious and very filling. 
Scrambled goose eggs went well with mushrooms cooked on aromatic garlic we got at the market:

And here is our breakfast the next morning:

I might do a separate post on other food from the market, but for now, enjoy the feast of the firsts.

Do you like trying out new things? Are you adventurous with food, or do you stick to what you know and love best? And what about markets where you live? Do they offer good food?

Have a happy week and thank you for visiting. See you very soon.

Red xx