Get Stuffed: Stuffed aubergine with lemon infused quinoa

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This vegan recipe is stuffed with protein-packed lemon-infused quinoa; rammed with a wealth of health benefits.

Aubergines are a perfect veggie for us gal’s. For centuries, aubergines have been a source of food to help control diabetes, this is thanks to the high fibre content. They have heart-healthy benefits too, as they may lower our ‘bad’ cholesterol. Bursting with bioflavonoids, aubergines are known to relieve stress and control high blood pressure.

You can easily substitute the quinoa for couscous, we went for quinoa as a gluten free option.

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Serves:          4

Prep time:     10 minutes

Cook time:   55-60 minutes

Extracted from Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin

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ingredients

  • 3 large aubergine
  • 6 tsp harissa
  • 6-8 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g quinoa, or couscous
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • pared strips of zest from 1 of the lemons
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted
  • 30g flat leaf parsley, chopped, save a little for garnish
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish

for the tahini dressing

  • 200g tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan oven) and lightly oil a baking tray. Rinse the quinoa and drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, score the aubergine flesh diagonally both ways, creating a diamond pattern. Place on the baking tray. Spread a teaspoon of harissa over each half, covering all the crevices. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over each, season generously and bake for around 40 minutes until the flesh is completely soft, checking halfway through to ensure the skin doesn’t crisp or dry out.
  3. Place the quinoa in a sauce pan with the lemon zest strips. Add 800ml of lightly salted boiling water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let it steam for about 5 minutes. Discard the lemon zest and fluff with a fork.
  4. Scoop the flesh from the centre of the halved aubergine, leaving 1 cm around the sides to keep its shape. Place in a bowl and roughly chop the flesh. Stir through the couscous along with the lemon juice, smoked paprika and remaining olive oil. Season, then add the toasted pine nuts and parsley. Divide the mixture evenly between the aubergine skins. Return to the baking tray and bake for a further 15–20 minutes.
  5. To make the dressing, place the tahini in a bowl with the lemon juice, oil, maple syrup or agave nectar, salt a 4 tablespoons water. Whisk until smooth, adding a little more water if necessary – use a hand blender.
  6. Remove the stuffed aubergines from the oven and serve with a dollop of tahini dressing and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and parsley.

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