Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

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The thing I love about vegetable stews, curries and casseroles is that you can put just about anything in and really play around with the ingredients to suit your personal tastes. After an indulgent weekend I really needed to up the vitamin intake whilst reducing the calorie intake! I played around with some of my favourite ingredients and ended up with this!

INGREDIENTS
•Plenty of olive oil
•1 1/2 aubergines, cut into 1cm slices
•1 onion, roughly chopped
•2 garlic cloves, crushed
•1 red pepper, chopped
•1 celery stick, chopped
•2tsp tumeric
•2tsp ground coriander
•2tsp ground cumin
•3 tsp ground cinnamon
•3tsp ground ginger
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
•2 tbs tomato purée
•1 can of chickpeas
•2 cans of chopped tomatoes
•1 tbs red wine vinegar
•1 bay leaf
•A pinch of sugar
•1 cup of water
•salt and pepper to season
•handful of chopped parsley

METHOD
1) Heat some oil in a pan. In batches, gently sizzle the aubergines on each side until lightly golden. This should help to take some of the bitterness out. Drain on kitchen roll and set aside.
2) In another pan, sweat the onion and garlic on a medium heat then add the pepper and celery. Sizzle for 3 minutes.
3) Stir in the herbs then add the tomato purée.
4) Add the chickpeas then stir in the red wine vinegar.
5) Stir in the canned tomatoes along with a pinch of sugar. Season, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
6) In the meantime, cut the aubergine slices into quarters and add to the pan, along with the water.
7) Sample the sauce-add more of the herbs if you feel necessary.
8) Add the bay leaf, cover and reduce heat, allowing to cook for 30 minutes.
9) Before serving, remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
10) Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

This would taste great with rice but I served it with cous cous for a healthy option. The above ingredients made approximately 5 portions so that’s my lunch sorted for the rest of the week!

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