I’m sure you’ve asked someone this question at least once today: have you given up anything for lent?
I never usually do (I don’t trust my own willpower!) but after learning to live life sugar free in January, then failing spectacularly to continue the challenge with a brownie binge last weekend, lent’s given me the perfect excuse to try it out for another 40 days.
The one thing I know I’ll miss (aside from chocolate and cake) is store-bought bread. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it tastes nicer than making your own, but it is a lot easier to grab on a lunchtime sandwich run!
The harsh reality of living life sugar free is that it’s kinda hard work. You spend a lot of time squinting at food labels in the supermarket, a lot of time thinking about what to eat next, and a lot of time in the kitchen making all your meals from scratch.
Luckily there’s a plus side or I probably wouldn’t bother! After sugar free January I had more energy, my clothes fit better, and my hair had stopped malting everywhere (sure I must have been a cat in a former life!)
With the need to make everything from scratch, I also discovered many-a new recipe, like this roasted vegetable aubergine bruschetta.
There’s no bread (so no kneading or manufacturer-added sugar), and it’s super quick to make. Even the pesto takes less than five minutes.
I ate this version for lunch, but if you cut the aubergine widthways into rounds I reckon this would also make a great canapé for guests.
Let me know if you give it a try!
For the bruschettas:
- 1 large aubergine (eggplant), sliced into four lengthways (or into rounds if you’re making appetisers)
- 1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 mozzarella ball, sliced into 8
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the pesto:
- 50g grated parmesan
- 30g basil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 75g toasted pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
NB: you may have some pesto left over – use it in pasta or spread on some salmon!
Make the pesto by placing the ingredients into a blender, and mixing to the desired consistency.
Next, take your aubergine slices or rounds and arrange them on a baking tray lightly greased with olive oil. You may need to thinly slice the rounded edges off certain parts of the aubergine to ensure they lay flat on the tray.
Arrange the remaining ingredients on the aubergine bruschettas, starting with the pesto and mozzarella and finishing with the vegetables.
Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and bake at 180C for approximately 20 minutes, or until cooked.