‘5 Minutes in the Pan’ Stuffed Aubergine

Aubergines are really underrated. “People just don’t know what to do with them,” is what someone said when I told them of my idea for this week’s recipe. I had to agree with him. Aubergine is a versatile vegetable (although technically it’s a fruit) and it even has its own emoji, yet it is not something I tend to see on menus and seems to be an ignored vegetable in supermarkets.

The recipe below is one of my favourites which include aubergines and is ideal for when you have a little more time on your hands to prepare a meal and want to try something new. If you currently feel indifferent towards this vegetable, hopefully having tried this, you will appreciate aubergines more.

Ingredients: Half an aubergine, three spoonfuls of tomato sauce, 70g of beef mince, half an onion, ten green beans, a pinch of salt, teaspoon of oil.

Slice the aubergine into two halves, storing one half in the fridge. Take the other half and use a knife to make criss cross patterns in the aubergine flesh, making sure that you don’t cut through the aubergine skin. Add a teaspoon of oil to the aubergine flesh evenly then microwave the aubergine for five minutes.

Meanwhile, start cooking the mince in a saucepan, gas mark 5. Dice the onion and green beans, adding them to the mince while it is still slightly raw. Cook them all until well cooked and add the tomato sauce, turning the gas mark down to 2 to let it simmer.

After taking the aubergine out of the microwave, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the aubergine flesh out as it will be very hot. Then, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out and add it to the other fillings in the saucepan, putting the gas mark back up to 5. Cook for a few minutes before pouring the mince and vegetables into the aubergine. Eat while hot and enjoy!

You can also add some grated cheddar, sprinkling it on the top of the stuffed aubergine and putting it in the grill for 5 minutes, gas mark 6.

Tesco aubergine – 50p; Poundland Bolognese Sauce 725g – £1; Lidl Beef Mince 500g – £1.75; Tesco Brown Onion – 16p, Tesco Fine Beans – £1.40; Tesco Saxa Table Salt 750g – 80p; Tesco Olive Oil 250ml – £1. Total cost: £6.61. Cost per serving – £1.13

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