Flexitarian. That not so new trend. The one which basically means a bit of balance – but someone had to name it. Not eating meat everyday, shaking it up with more veggie dishes, and even a bit of vegan cuisine here and there too. Balance. Diversity. Not a straight up vegetarian, but one on days.
Yep, I jumped on that bandwagon. I mean if someone asks me if I’m a vegetarian when I order something veggie or vegan when out, I just say “No, but I quite often pick those options as they’re delicious and sometimes more creative”. I never actually use the word flexitarian. Alex actually laughed when I explained what it was.
At home I’m trying to cook myself more veggie options too. Alex still has meat with every meal, but I regularly try to find an alternative now. Something just as yummy, if not more so. And a lot of the time cheaper too – meat costs so much!
Recently, I had a bit of leftover chilli pesto from pasta night. I LOVE a chilli pesto and was dying to use it up. The potent, nutty flavour. The slight flavour of pepper.
It actually goes beautifully with cheese. A creamy, mild variety. And so my roast aubergine, chilli pesto and mozzarella came about.
Served with couscous, spinach and pomegranate, it was a delicious mix of roasted and fresh flavours, with little bursts of juiciness. It was reasonably light, although filling just the same.
The mild flavours of the aubergine, potent pesto and mozzarella combined well. It was little more soft than a meaty options, as you can imagine, but I didn’t miss that texture in my meal at all. Even with Alex tucking into a chicken version next to me.
The recipe is below. As always, let me know how you get on.
What’s your fave veggie dish to cook?
Roasted Aubergine, Chilli Pesto & Mozzarella Slices
Chilli pesto & mozzarella = a delicious combo. These are perfect instead of meat on a roast! Or served with cous cous and salad for a lighter meal
- 1 aubergine medium
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 30 g chilli pesto (I used a jar from M&S)
- 100 g mozzarella thinly sliced
- 100 g cous cous for serving
- 60 g spinach for serving
- pomegranate for serving
- salt and black pepper for seasoning
Preheat the oven to 220° celsius. Line a baking tray with foil.
Top and tail the aubergine, and slice into circles approx. 1.5 cm thick. Lay out over the lined baking tray, brush wit oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in the centre of the oven for 25 - 30 mins until almost cooked through - you don't want them to go too soft!
Remove the aubergine slices from the oven, spread the red chilli pesto over each slice, and top with mozzarella. Put back in the oven for roughly 10 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted, and is started to go golden in places.
Whilst the aubergine is finishing, prepare the cous cous - place in a bowl, cover with 120ml water (mixed with all purpose seasoning if preferred), cover and leave for 7-9 mins.
Fluff up the cous cous once soaked. Serve between the two dishes, with the spinach and roasted aubergine. Sprinkle with pomegranate and season with black pepper. Enjoy!