Pulled pork-style aubergine burger

“I’ve always wondered how to make barbecue sauce”

My food shop tends to revolve around a knowledge of where the cheapest ingredients are, and which supermarket or store stocks vegan-friendly ingredients. The majority of the time, it involves a visit to Aldi – and I absolutely love them for their “Super 6” deals – six fresh deals on six different fruits and/or vegetables – they change every two weeks.

I often use these deals to purchase fruit or vegetables I wouldn’t usually – which leads me onto this recipe, which allowed me to try something new – which the “Super 6” deal often enables me to do!

Want to skip to the recipe?

How do you eat yours?

I don’t know about you but I usually eat aubergine (I have so many problems pronouncing this word)  in a curry or stuffed. With the best before date fast approaching for the one I’d purchased the week before I didn’t have much time to scout out a recipe that required new ingredients and decided to scope out the internet.

I was hot, tired and had already been food shopping so wanted a use for the aubergine that didn’t involve another trip to the shops or much effort.

I saw some suggestions for shredding it and as I got excited at a new kitchen experiment I jumped at the chance of giving it a try.

When I’ve eaten vegan pulled pork-style recipes previously they’ve always used jack-fruit, but funnily enough it’s an ingredient I’ve never worked with, the prospect of being able to achieve this texture with a vegetable seemed pretty interesting.

I chose to add in the mixed beans for extra protein, the recipe works just as well without them but after a morning of working out and humidity my body felt like it needed the extra protein and energy.

The barbecue sauce came secondary to the hunt for “uses for aubergine” – and I’ve never made one of the those before either. But it’s SO simple!

The recipe itself didn’t require a lot of preparation nor did it ask me to spend too much time in the kitchen which I loved – especially on a hot day.Violife foodsLove Vegenaise

I did consider making a coleslaw to serve it with however, in the absence of cabbage I simply mixed my favourite Vegan mayo, Vegenaise, with some shredded carrot and popped it onto a Violife cheese slice in a bread roll (or cob, where I come from!). 

For extra nutrients (as if shredded veg and carrot slaw wasn’t enough) I warmed up a side of kale and sugar snap peas.

I couldn’t get over how tasty this dish was nor the texture, which doesn’t surprise me, as the more of my vegan journey I progress on, I realise just how little I want for processed substitutes and the more I want for nutrient, natural variants.

Oh, and instead of table or rock salt I’ve started using Himalayan – it’s so much better for you!

The Recipe

PREP TIME: 10 MINS

COOKING TIME: 35 MINS

COST: < £3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large aubergine (halved)
  • 1 ltablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large onion (sliced finely)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon of smoke paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if you like spice)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 3 pitted dates (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper (I used Himalayan salt)
  • ½ tin of mixed beans (red and white kidney beans and butter beans)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°, line a baking tray with grease-proof paper and place the aubergine halves skin side up onto the tray
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes
  • While the aubergine is baking work on the BBQ sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until transluscent
  • Add the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt and pepper, stir well
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, dates, soy sauce and salt and peppe
  • Simmer and then add the mixed beans
  • Bring to the boil then simmer for a further 10 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and blitz with a handheld blender or pour into a food processor until smooth
  • Once the aubergine has cooked, remove from the oven , turn over and begin to shred the flesh with a fork, removing from the outer skin
  • Add the shredded aubergine to BBQ sauce and stir
  • Heat to warm through then serve as you fancy

Tried this recipe? Let me know how it turned out.