RECIPE: Slow Cooked BBQ Aubergine | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 4
How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? This slow cooked BBQ feast is totally veggie-friendly, low in fat compared to pulled pork and provides one of your five a day.

We’ve never really eaten much meat at home, even more so since my boyfriend decided to become a vegetarian. It’s been pretty decent, actually; our shopping has been cheaper (see We Cut Down Our Family Food Shop to £25 Per Week – And Now There’s No Looking Back! Here’s How…‘), we’ve both felt healthier and, best of all, it’s forced me to think of even more recipe ideas!

I’ve always tried to base my recipes around “alternatives”, ways to still eat our favourite foods but healthier versions. Not eating meat means we’ve had to think of ways to still enjoy the food we’ve been used to our whole lives, but without actually eating it.

That’s how I came up with this recipe for slow cooked BBQ aubergine. We both love pulled pork, but obviously that’s a big no-no these days; that doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy the flavours though. Smokey, spicy BBQ sauce and a soft, succulent filling for the ultimate juicy burger… We just had to find a new way to eat this!

Aubergine has a thick, creamy texture that your teeth just sink right into, and this wonderfully versatile vegetable soaks up almost anything you cook it in, meaning it really takes on the BBQ flavour in this dish.

Using a vegetable replacement absolutely demolishes the fat content of this dish when compared to pork shoulder, and it ups your five a day too! It’s definitely a leaner alternative and, at just under 30p per person, it’s a cheaper option as well.


1 Large Aubergine
2 tbsp Runny Honey
6 tbsp BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 Mug of Vegetable Stock
4 Burger Buns (optional – burgers are just my serving suggestion, you can do whatever you want with it!)

The BBQ sauce obviously is the main source of the flavour here, but adding garlic, cumin, paprika and chilli flakes into the mix really helps pack a punch.

So, this is how I did it…

1. Bake the whole aubergine in the oven for 20 minutes on 200°C, turning once halfway through.

2. Allow to cool and peel off skin (optional – I peeled most of the skin off mine but also couldn’t be bothered to do the whole thing so some got left on and I couldn’t really tell the difference after several hours of slow cooking!). Tear into strips.

3. Add the aubergine strips along with the garlic, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, honey, BBQ sauce, tomato purée and a mug of vegetable stock.

4. Cook for 4 hours on high, 6 hours on low. Carefully remove the strips from the slow cooker and serve in the burger buns – or however you prefer!

Tips & Tricks

  • You don’t need a slow cooker for this recipe – just throw it all into a large stovetop pan or dish and leave on a low heat for a similar time, you’ll get the same results.


  • Make this even more vegelicious (yes, that’s now a word) by throwing in some cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion, these make excellent additions.


  •  If you’ve got leftovers, make up some smokey barbecue wraps for your lunchbox, or serve with rice the next day to stretch it out for another meal. It’s a very adaptable dish.



RECIPE: Chunky Vegetable Curry with Crispy Tortilla “Naans” | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 4
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person
What are the benefits? You get at least 3 of your 5 a day, it’s vegetarian friendly and makes a great takeaway alternative

I’m a thief. I’ve nicked the idea for this from two different recipes; one a cheap student affair and one a low-fat chicken curry.

I’ve shamelessly pinched my favourite bits from both to make this yummy mid-week meal. It’s fairly straightforward, low in cost, full of nutrition and incredibly versatile, as you can use any vegetables in the house for a delicious outcome.

The tortilla “naans” (which are not naan breads at all, but are an alternative side to this curry dish) were an idea born from a combination of having leftover tortillas dangerously close to going off and forgetting to buy actual naan breads in the week. They turned amazing!

It’s a lower carb option than fluffy naans and, being chock-full of veggies, it’s much lower in fat than the usual creamy carnivorous curries we get. Butter chicken and onion bajhis may have my heart, but this is a pretty second choice!


1 Medium Potato, Chopped 
1 Carrot, Sliced
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Bell Pepper, Sliced 
4 Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Tomato, Chopped
1 Apple, Chopped 
400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
400ml Coconut Milk (reduced fat if you can)
2 tbsp Curry Paste
1 tsp Tomato Puree
1 Vegetable Stock Cube

Each part of this recipe kinda lives and dies with the seasoning. For the curry, you want to add some dried garlic, dried coriander leaf, salt, pepper and chilli flakes to the pan. If, like me, you find rice quite bland, add some salt, pepper, thyme and coriander leaf as the rice cooks just to give it a pop. And, finally, before you put the tortillas in the oven, you want to cover them with a sprinkling of garlic flakes, coriander leaf and cracked black pepper.

So, this is how I did it…

1. First thing’s first, heat up the frying pan and add your chunkier vegetables – potatoes, carrots, anything that takes a little longer to soften up. Fry these off for about 5 minutes.

2. Then add the rest of your veggies, along with the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, tomato puree, crumbled stock cube and seasoning. Cook this for about 15-20 minutes, and just keep an eye on the liquid levels – if it starts to dry up, add a splash of water to tide it over.

3. Following the packet instructions, along with some seasoning, and cook the rice, either on the hob or in the microwave.

4. Place the tortillas on a baking tray, brushed with a teeny tiny amount of oil, sprinkled with seasoning and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes, until they crisp up.

Tips & Tricks

  • An excellent way to bulk this up even further (as if it doesn’t have enough going on already!) is to add lentils or chickpeas. They’re both really filling, are great for you, and are awesome ingredients for a curry.


  • If you’d like the sauce a little thicker, sprinkle in a small pinch of flour and stir. It’ll help thicken everything up (I’m not a fan of runny sauces).


  • Got a slow cooker? This recipe is wonderfully tasty and so incredibly easy in a slow cooker, just bung the ingredients into the crockpot and cook up the rice when you’ve got the chance.