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If meat is usually the staple on your plate, a good way to avoid missing it is choose dishes like this aubergine dish as a substitute. This one is particularly easy and delicious, if I do say so myself. Aubergine, when baked retains a meaty dense texture. It is also pretty substantial, so you wont be hankering for a big mack after. Well lets hope not anyway. Super easy to make, all it takes is a little preparation and marinading time, which can be done in the morning, or even the night before. When you are ready to cook the aubergine simply pop it in a baking tray and bake for half an hour or so. Easy peasy, yes pleasey.

+ Ingredients

3 medium Aubergines
FOR THE MARINADE:
1 thumb sized piece of Ginger, grated
50ml Soy Sauce or Tamari
2 tbs Garlic Oil , or Olive Oil and a grated clove of Garlic
1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Blackstrap Molasses
2 tsp Honey or Maple Syrup
A pinch of Chilli Powder (optional)
FOR THE RICE:
350g Basmati Rice
50g Goji Berries
4 Spring Onions

4 tbs Coriander, chopped

+ Method

Wash the aubergine, dry them and split them down the middle, vertically.

Use a sharp knife to make criss cross incisions into the flesh (so the marinade can seep in).

Whisk the all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, then evenly distribute by pouring over the aubergines. Leave the aubergines to marinate for at least 30 minutes. A couple of hours is best.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/ Gas Mark 5.

Place the halved aubergines in a baking tray and cover with foil. Put them in the oven to cook for 20mins, then remove the foil and cook for a further 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile place the rice in a sieve and was throughly under the cold tap. Place it into a medium saucepan and cover over with water by a couple of inches. Cook the rice according to packet instruction “ approximately 15 minutes.

Once the rice is cooked take it off the heat and gently fold through a couple of table spoons of garlic oil, the goji berries, spring onion, chopped coriander and a good pinch of salt.

Once the aubergines are cooked, remove them from the oven. Divide the rice between bowls scatter over some sesame seeds and fresh coriander and serve.

I finished mine off with a drizzle of my fave tahini lemon sauce but a fried egg would have been equally delicious.

Just a note “ In a lot of my recipes I use garlic oil. This is because not only do you get the flavour of garlic without the hassle of chopping it and getting it all over your hands. Also I find that I dont get the gut cramping symptoms that still occur occasionally when I ingest it whole.