Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison
Dr Clare and Justine’s Individual Moussakas
Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
2 medium aubergines (each around 240g)
2 tsp olive oil
400g lamb mince, around 20% fat
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried mint
1 × 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 lamb or beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato purée
Veg Portions / Serving: 2
Recipe from The Fast 800 Easy: Quick and simple recipes to make your 800-calorie days even easier by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison (Short Books).
Aubergines, with their delicious silky flesh, contain lots of antioxidants and are said to reduce blood sugars and aid weight loss. This is an easy and delicious way to enjoy them.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.
2. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern without cutting all the way through to the skin. Place the aubergine halves in a shallow ovenproof dish, cut side up, and brush with the oil. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, place the mince in a large non-stick frying pan with the onion and fry over a medium heat for 6–8 minutes, or until onion has softened, stirring and breaking up the meat. Sprinkle over the garlic, oregano and mint and cook for a few seconds more.
4. Add the tomatoes, crumbled stock cube and tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste.
5. Remove the aubergines from the oven and spoon the mince mixture on top. Crumble the feta over the mince and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the feta is softened and lightly browned.
6. Remove from the oven and serve with a large green salad.
COOK’S TIP: The moussakas can be frozen for up to 1 month, after topping with feta but before roasting. Defrost thoroughly then reheat in the oven at 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6 for 20–25 minutes, or until hot throughout.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Get the kids brushing oil over the criss-crossed aubergines and spoon the meat mixture over them when cooked. Have them crumble the feta over it all.
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.
Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (Bosh!)