Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne Recipe

I made something healthy, hurrah! Okay, so I served it with a most definitely unhealthy homemade vegan garlic bread but the thought was there. This vegan aubergine and chickpea penne is a dish I’ve made before but I’m going to post it again because it’s Veganuary and, as you might have noticed, I’m posting each – or at least almost each – day to show you what I’ve eaten and if I don’t post what I ate last night, all you’ll have to look at is this photo of the kiwi, frozen summer fruit, cashews and dates Nutriblast I had at lunchtime.

Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates nutriblast
Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates

Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne 

Vegan aubergine and chickpea penne

This aubergine and chickpea penne recipe was another from the Vegan – 100 Everyday Recipes cookbook that I’ve been getting a bit of use out of so far during Veganuary. This is the third dish I’ve made from it – the others being Vegan Smoky Mushroom Burgers and Vegan Thai Red Curry (as I’m typing this, I’m flicking through the book and have seen a recipe for a sparkling wine sorbet. Oh my).

The original aubergine and chickpea penne recipe calls for cinnamon and coriander, both of which I left out of my version.

Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • large pinch of saffron threads
  • 450ml vegan stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 350g aubergine, diced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 300g dried penne
  • salt and pepper
  1. Toast the saffron threads in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 20-30 seconds. Place in a small bowl/ramekin and crumble with your fingers. Add 2 tbsp of the stock and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and fry for another 20-30 seconds, then add the aubergine, yellow or red pepper, chopped tomatoes, saffron liquid and the remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta.

And now it’s Friday again, which means I get another excuse to make my tofush to go with my chippy chips. Yay.

pasta please linky

I’m adding this post to the Pasta Please linky, hosted by Thinly Spread and Tinned Tomatoes.


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Recipe: Aubergine Pizza – Low Carb Gluten Free

Aubergine pizza

I got a bit carried away while I was making tonight’s dinner. Originally, I’d planned to cook a simple aubergine melt (mozzarella melted on top of half a roasted aubergine) to use up the mozzarella that was in the fridge but, while I was taking out the mozzarella, I saw the spring onion that also needed to be used up, then I saw the mushrooms, then I thought it looked like I was heading towards making a pizza out of an aubergine, so I thought I might as well go all the way and give it a tomatoey base, too. The only pizza-y thing I held off from adding was chilli, but that was only because I thought a chilli, cabbage and potato combo would confuse The Meat Eater who doesn’t like his food to be too much of a ‘challenge’ (his word for anything that doesn’t involve potatoes).

I wouldn’t usually serve pizza with cabbage and new potatoes – I mean, why do you think garlic bread and onion rings were invented? – but it worked well. Obviously, you can choose your own toppings based on your own preference or whatever you have in your fridge that needs using up.

Recipe: Aubergine Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 mushroom, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 average-sized pack of mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Score a criss-cross pattern into the aubergine and brush with olive oil
  2. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes, or until tender
  3. Brush the tomato ketchup onto the aubergine and layer with the spring onion, mushroom, mozzarella and top with the tomato slices
  4. Season with salt and pepper and put back in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted


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Quorn Vegetarian Moussaka


The Quorn Kitchen cookbook said the preparation time would be 10 minutes, with the cooking time being 50 minutes. I’ve always thought the preparation time meant the time spent getting the ingredients together, chopping vegetables and getting it ready before it goes in the oven. Oh no, not in this case. In this case the preparation time was about two weeks. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but it was more like 40 minutes, than 10 minutes.

When the sauce started to turn a bit brown, panic set in as I thought isn’t evaporated milk used in banoffee pie? Or is that condensed milk? Are they the same thing? Is my moussaka going to taste of banoffee pie? Don’t get me wrong – I love banoffee pie but my culinary tastes don’t stretch as far as some weird moussaka/banoffee combo.

Still, it didn’t taste of banoffee pie, it tasted of yum. Filling, too.

I’m going to post the recipe as it is in the Quorn Kitchen cookbook, but I left out the lentils, allspice or cinnamon (The Meat Eater doesn’t like cinnamon in savoury dishes – he says it makes everything taste like apple crumble), mint and nutmeg. I also roasted the aubergine slices, not grilled them, as I don’t have a grill the size of a small Welsh village (and I don’t know how to use the grill, anyway).


p.s. Quorn asked me to be one of their ambassadors, so I’ll also be blogging about Quorn once a month over at my fitness blog.

Quorn Moussaka (serves 4-6)

350g Quorn Mince
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
100g puy lentils, canned (optional)
390g carton chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground allspice or cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried mint
1 large aubergine, thinly sliced

For the topping

410g tin evaporated milk
40g cornflour
25g butter
25g plain flour
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 free-range egg, beaten
50g grated Cheddar cheese

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a heavy base saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and fry for 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured. Add the Quorn Mince, tomatoes, oregano, allspice or cinnamon, bay leaves and mint. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
  3. Brush the aubergine slices on both sides with the remaining oil and grill on both sides until brown. Lay the aubergine slices on absorbent kitchen paper. Set aside.
  4. For the sauce, pour the evaporated milk into a measuring jug and make up to 1 litre with water. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with 6 tbsp of the milk and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the plain flour and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Gradually blend in the milk and water mix and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the cornflour paste and continue to cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg. Season to taste and stir in the beaten egg.
  6. Arrange the mince and aubergine slices in layers in a large baking dish. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Cover with the sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in a hot oven for about 30 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown and the dish is piping hot.
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Vegan Monday: aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry


Hooray, it appears I made it successfully through a Vegan Monday for a change. No lip balm or hot chocolate slip-ups this time. I had fruit for breakfast, mulligatawny soup for lunch and a vegan chocolate peanut butter bar as a snack along with my vegan hot chocolate.

And also for a change, I made a proper dinner and didn’t just heat up a frozen burger-type product and serve it with chips and beans.

Go me.

Aubergine, tomato and red lentil curry (serves 4)
(Adapted from Easy Vegan)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, chopped into large chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, grated
250g cherry tomatoes
6-8 curry leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato puree
125g red lentils

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and add the aubergine. Cook the aubergine until it darkens and the oil it’s absorbed seeps back out, about 10 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the pan and set to one side.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften and collapse, then remove them from the pan and set aside with the aubergine.
  3. Add the curry leaves and cumin to the pan and cook for a few minutes, as the curry leaves pop and crackle. Add the chilli powder, tomato puree, 500ml water and the lentils and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but retain some bite. About 5 minutes from the end, stir in the aubergine and tomatoes and heat through.
  4. Serve with basmati rice.
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Aubergine and pasta bake

The Meat Eater looked at his plate and said ‘this looks suspiciously vegan’. Huh? It was covered with cheese and not the slightest bit vegan. The boy is paranoid.


It’s a recipe adapted from Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian. The only bit I adapted was where she uses wholemeal auelli; I used non-wholemeal pasta (as I get moaned at if I use wholemeal despite the taste and texture being identical) and spirals, not auelli (as I haven’t a clue what auelli looks like and anyway, I had spirals in the cupboard).

Also, I didn’t fry the aubergine slices as that’s too fiddly and takes too long. Instead, I brushed some oil over them and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Oh, and I used a large can of tomatoes, not 225g.

I didn’t use an egg, either.

And I only used one onion, not two.

Okay, I adapted it quite a lot.


Pasta and aubergine bake (serves 4)
(Adapted from Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian)

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
450g aubergine
75g pasta shapes
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp dried oregano
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Fry the onions in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes.
  2. Slice the aubergine into thin rounds, brush with oil and bake in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes, until tender.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and drain.
  4. Mix the pasta, tomatoes, ketchup and oregano with the onions and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the aubergine slices in the base of a greased shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon the pasta mixture on top, cover with the rest of the aubergine slices and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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Vegan Mondays: Aubergine stuffed with mushroom and chilli


I woke up yesterday morning and decided that, from now on, Mondays would be vegan days. First things first though, and I went downstairs to check if my hot chocolate was vegan. It wasn’t, dammit! But, aha! I had a tub of cocoa in the cupboard, which is vegan. Okay, so it’s two years out of date, but never mind.

Lunch wasn’t a problem. I’d got up so late, I didn’t have any. I felt a bit peckish in the afternoon though so decided to have some cup-a-soup. Then I realised cream of asparagus cup-a-soup probably wasn’t vegan (the ‘cream’ bit gave me a hint), and it wasn’t, but I had a packet of Ainsley Harriott’s Hot & Sour cup-a-soup, which was (as far as I could tell – I’m not an expert at reading labels for non-vegan ingredients). Yay, good old Ainsley.

Dinner was easy, all I had to do was make something and leave out the ‘cover it in cheese’ bit. I had an aubergine and some mushrooms in the fridge, so mushroom-stuffed aubergine it was. The Meat-Eater says veganism is ‘unnecessary’, so he covered his in salad cream and Flora and said it was ‘okay-ish’ (if he hadn’t read on Facebook I was having a vegan day, he’d have said it was nice).

Aubergine stuffed with mushroom and chilli, topped with herby breadcrumbs (serves 2)

1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
2-4 mushrooms, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 slice of bread, crusts removed
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

  1. Score a criss-cross pattern in the aubergine and brush with oil. Bake in the oven at 190C for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. Scoop out the insides and chop.
  2. Whizz up the bread to make breadcrumbs and add the thyme.
  3. Fry the mushrooms in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chilli and garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the tomato and chopped aubergine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pile the aubergine/chilli/mushroom/tomato mixture on the aubergine skins.
  8. Top with the herby breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden.
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Aubergine and chickpea penne


I had written ‘saffron’ on the shopping list but The Meat Eater went to the supermarket on his own and came back saffronless as he couldn’t bring himself to pay so much for it. Saffron is, after all, more expensive – pound for pound – than gold.

Still, I found some in the back of the spice cupboard so it didn’t really matter. I may still put it in the trolley when he’s not looking though.

Today’s recipe is another one from Vegan 100 Everyday Recipes and it was perfect summer evening food.

What I did differently to the recipe:

I cut down on the amount of coriander, as coriander’s not really my thing.
It asks for cumin seeds, crushed, so I thought this was probably the same as ground cumin, so I used that.

I didn’t have tinned chopped tomatoes with garlic, so used plain tinned tomatoes and added 1tsp garlic powder (I would have used fresh but didn’t have any).

I left out the cinnamon as The Meat Eater doesn’t like it in savoury stuff.

Aubergine and chickpea penne (serves 4)

large pinch of saffron threads
450ml vegan stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
350g aubergine, diced
1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped
400g canned chopped tomatoes with garlic
1 tsp ground cinnamon
30g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated and roughly chopped
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
280g dried penne
salt and pepper

Toast the saffron threads in a dry frying pan set over a medium heat for 20-30 seconds, just until they begin to give off their aroma. Place in a small bowl and crumble with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot stock and set aside to infuse.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown. Add the cumin and fry for a further 20-30 seconds, then stir in the aubergine, red pepper, tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander stalks, saffron liquid and remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, removing the lid to reduce and thicken the sauce if necessary.

Serve with penne or other pasta.

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Slow cooked aubergine, sweet potato and parsnip in coconut sauce

Delicately spiced. Or, as I would put it: ‘bland’. The Meat Eater liked it but I improved my portion by covering it with chilli flakes. Damn my alcohol and cigarettes* damaged tastebuds.

I didn’t fry the ingredients first, as stated in the book – maybe this impacted on the taste? I’ll type out the recipe as it is in the book, in case you want to do it properly. But if you want to use my method, it’s:

  1. Bung everything in the slow cooker and cook on Low for about 7 hours.

Also, I didn’t have chickpeas, so I used haricot beans instead.


Slow cooked aubergine, sweet potato and parsnip in coconut sauce (serves 4)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
1 sweet potato, diced
1 parsnip, diced
425g can of chickpeas, drained
400g can of chopped tomatoes
350ml coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on High.
  2. Heat the oil in the large pan, add the aubergine and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.
  3. Stir in the root ginger and garam masala.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir gently.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 7-9 hours until everything is tender.
  6. Stir well before serving.

*I don’t smoke any more. Disgusting habit.

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Mushroom stuffed aubergine

stuffed-aubergine I always think stuffing vegetables sounds like it’s going to be fiddly and time-consuming. It’s not though, at least not the way I do it which mostly involves bunging the stuffing on top of whatever it is I’m stuffing. Like this aubergine stuffed with mushrooms, for example. Dead easy.

Mushroom stuffed aubergine (serves 2)

1 aubergine
1 onion, chopped
125g mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g breadcrumbs
50g cheese, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

  1. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways and score with a knife. Brush with a little olive oil and bake in the oven at 200C for about 30 minutes. Scoop out the aubergine flesh and chop.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, aubergine flesh and garlic to the onion and fry for another 5 minutes then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pile the mushroom, aubergine and onion mixture on top of the aubergine skins and sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top.
  5. Return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
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Pasta with roast vegetables and tomato sauce

I’ve been eating a lot of food out of packets recently, so tonight I decided to have something healthy. There’s a farm shop local to me that sells seasonal vegetables, so I scooted down there to see what they had and made a super-healthy dish that probably contained at least 8 of my 5-a-day.


Pasta with roast vegetables and tomato sauce (serves 6)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks
1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
1 courgette, thickly sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
100g spinach
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp mixed herbs
salt and ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Place the red pepper, aubergine and courgette into a roasting tray and drizzle with some oil. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Fry the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft.
Add the mushrooms and leeks to the onion and fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the roasted red pepper, aubergine and courgette to the onion, mushrooms and leeks.
Add the tinned tomatoes to the vegetables and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the mixed herbs and season to taste.
Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
Serve with pasta of your choice.

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