Aubergine, potato and mince bake [Gluten free, grain free, healthy food, real food, family friendly]

Using leftovers to throw this together, I wasn’t sure what I was making and then this happened! It’s hearty, filling and absolutely delicious.

Before we get started, I must point out that if you’re making this without having prepped mince and aubergines, you will need to set aside more time. It is a lot easier to plan this one in advance so you have the different components ready for when you make this particular dish.

As is very typical of me, a lot of what I cook is made on a whim, using what I have, and seeing what happens aka hoping for the best. This dish came about because I had prepped aubergine slices in advance to use as a ‘bread’ replacement for the week, and also some cooked leftover bolognaise. I thought about perhaps doing a moussaka and I guess this was pretty much my inspiration here, but without the béchamel and huge fuss. I was also craving potato and had initially intended to make just the aubergine and mince served with mashed potato… but clearly that changed because one pan cooking makes life that much easier!

In order to ‘throw this together’ however, there are a few steps that need to be followed first. It all starts with meal prep on a Sunday (yeah, you know that thing I always say helps so much during the week… you should try it sometime 😜). Aubergines (brinjals as I know them) need to be prepared properly or else they’ll be spongy and bitter. You need to slice them, salt them (just sprinkle them liberally with salt and leave for about 30-40 minutes), and then rinse off the salt before grilling or frying them.

My go-to recipe for bolognaise is simple and quick, and is definitely a favorite around here. You can leave out the extra ‘hidden veg’ if you prefer, but hey, why wouldn’t we want more veggies!?

Once you’ve got those components ready, you can then get cracking with this awesome dish.

Aubergine, Mince and Potato Bake

Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 2 hours, including prepping the aubergines and mince sauce

Cooking time: 45-60 mins

Now, this is not a Paleo recipe because of the dairy used, but you could absolutely make a substitute sauce that is dairy free if you prefer, using coconut/almond milk and nutritional yeast.

What you need

2-3 large aubergines, sliced and prepared as described (refer to post for details)

1 batch of Bolognaise sauce

3 large potatoes, sliced thinly

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 tomato, sliced

1 cup grated cheese (cheddar/mozzarella work best)

Pinch of dried herbs

What you need to do

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20x30cm oven dish.

2. Layer the potato slices as evenly as possible on the bottom of the dish.

3. Top with the mince sauce, and layer the sliced aubergines over the mince.

4. Whisk the egg and milk together in a bowl and pour over the aubergine slices. Make sure to get the corners of the dish too.

5. Place the sliced tomato over the top, cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes. (Check to see if the potatoes are cooked through. If not, stick it back into the oven until they’re cooked properly.)

6. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Turn up the oven temperature to 210°C.

7. Sprinkle the grated cheese and herbs on top and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve warm.

It was well worth the effort and was enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Go on and get your prep on 😉

Enjoy,

Melissa ✌️💕

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