Brinjal (Aubergine), Baby Spinach and Lamb Bake



Hands-down I love brinjals!  Baked, fried, curried, grilled, in salads, in tomato gravy, with fillings, cooked with fresh and dried shrimp, added to a piquant fish curry,  in a  sweet potato too – just love it and I dedicated a blog post to it :)  This is the basic baked brinjal recipe that I initially started my low carb journey on.  I  have evolved from this point into adapting recipes I grew up with.  Traditional brinjal and bony mutton (sheep meat cuts) curry is a well-enjoyed meal in most Indian households.  Thinking about a lamb dish today, I decided that a curry was boring, and instead looked into my recipe archives and came up with a Tuscan vegan brinjal and tofu bake, which I have adapted with lamb, being resourceful with alternatives.

The original recipe included breadcrumbs which I replaced with home made almond flour, deliberately not fine ground, hand-crumbled, dehydrating the almond pulp after making almond milk,  which resembles bread crumbs and has a neutral taste.  I used coconut cream for the non-dairy creamer used to make the batter.  The lamb is used to replace the tofu or Seitan which is a gluten and wheat based protein replacement for vegans. Beef may also be an option.  This Tuscan bake turned out rather rustic, with the melding of awesome flavors and textures, and one serving was indeed very filling.  This recipe makes 3 servings, served with a crisp salad.

Ingredients

1 medium brinjal, sliced into rounds, 1/2 – 1cm thick
Course Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely ground
1 can whole tomatoes, pulsed finely in food processor or blender
1 tblsp chopped fresh oregano (you may use dried)
1 1/2 cups home-made almond flour (to resemble breadcrumbs)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
250g boneless beef or lamb pieces
2 tablespoons whole ground flax flour
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Optional:  bay leaf, green chilli for heat, roasted cumin seeds for extra flavor


Here’s How:

  • Sprinkle brinjal slices generously with salt and let drain in a colander, about 30 minutes. Rinse with water, drain, and wipe dry.

  • Meanwhile, make the marinar sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oregano.
 
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare beef or lamb and eggplant: In a shallow dish, mix home made almond flour and nutritional yeast; season with salt and pepper. Coat both sides of the beef or lamb in the mixture, shaking off excess flour. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook crumbed meat in a single layer until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Wipe pan clean.

  • Meanwhile, mix together eggs and flax flour in a shallow dish. Dip the brinjal in this mixture, drain slightly, and individually coat each piece with almond flour mixture, pressing to coat both sides and shaking off excess almond flour. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook half the brinjal in a single layer (adding more oil as necessary) until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Wipe pan clean and repeat with the remaining brinjal, adding more oil as required.

  • Spread 1 cup marinara sauce in a 20 x 20cm baking dish. Layer half the brinjal, followed by the beef or lamb, spinach, and remaining sauce, and top with remaining brinjal. Cover with foil and bake until bubbling, for about 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 
 
 

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Prava Singh

A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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