Beating the January Blues

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A warming, winter recipe from Rupi to help beat the January Blues

We made it! After a month of self indulgence of all things filled with cheese, chocolate and alcohol we have now entered the month of guilt that comes with those extra pounds we have gained also known as the January Blues (dun dun daaahhhh). We are told to detox, go vegan or hit the gym so we can have all the abs and muscles in the world. Well I say don’t give into peer pressure; this is a new year and a new beginning so do what makes YOU happy.

It’s cold, wet and grey outside and I don’t know about you but that always affects my mood; I want nothing more than to be wrapped up in a blanket, in front of a wood fire, curled up in my fluffy socks. I don’t want cold juices and salads I’m craving something warm and hearty in a bowl that hugs me from the inside and makes me smile.

Here at the Wild Oven we want to give you exactly that. We are lucky to have good local British food at our fingertips here in Warwickshire and The Cotswolds to feed our nostalgic hunger pangs.

Comfort food has a different meaning to each of us. It’s about childhood memories and good old fashioned home cooking. For me it’s spice and big punchy flavours that will slap that frown upside down from your face! So I would like to share this beaut of a recipe that is easy to prepare and even better if you have a wood fired oven in your garden so you can still enjoy outdoor catering during the winter months.

My lamb, aubergine and chickpea bake uses staples in your pantry cupboard and those spices hidden in the back shelf. So give this one a try its healthy, low carb and those going veganuary this month just take out the meat and bosh your New Year’s Resolution has not been compromised.

Lamb, Aubergine and Chickpea Bake 

Ingredients (for 2)

1 x Red Onion

1 x Aubergine

250g Lamb Mince

1 x Tinned Chickpeas (drained)

500g of Tomato Passata

1Tbsp Tomato Puree

1Tsp Ground Cumin

1Tsp Smoked Paprika

½Tsp Chilli Flakes

2 x Eggs (1 per person)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

1Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh Parsley

Parmesan (optional or any other hard cheese you have)

Method

If you’re using a wood fired oven, bring your oven up to 240c degrees. Or, if you’re playing with mod cons, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 or 190c degrees.

Slice aubergine to 2 cm rounds and griddle pan dry until slightly soft. Keep to one side to cool

In a separate pan add half the olive oil and lamb mince, season to taste and fry until crispy. Set aside

Add a little more olive oil if needed and sautéed diced onion on a low heat until soft, add the cumin, paprika, chilli flakes and tomato puree and cook for a further 2-3mins. (Tip: add a splash of water to stop spices from burning if pan gets too dry)

Stir in the passata and chickpeas then season to taste and add chopped parsley.

In an ovenproof dish layer the slices of aubergine, lamb and tomato sauce in alternative layers. Cook in the oven for 20 mins.

Add grated parmesan (as much or as little as you like), crack the eggs in and bake for further 10mins or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

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