First off, I’m super excited to share this totally delicious recipe with you! What’s even more awesome about it is that the trial run was actually carried out by my boyfriend, who is somewhat clueless in the kitchen but managed to cook this all by himself (following my very detailed instructions, of course). But more on that coming soon…
Cheese sauce is cheese sauce, I’m not gonna pretend it’s a health food. But #ThisGirlEats is all about giving food we know and love a healthier twist. Removing red meat for aubergine rich in fibre, potassium and magnesium? That’s a big tick! Not to mention wholemeal rolls instead of sugary subs, low fat cheese sauce and a side of carb-free sweet potato fries. It’s a teeny tiny bit indulgent but, all in all, it’s full of health benefits. And, hey, it’s vegetarian friendly too!
So, this is how I did it…
1. Heat the oven to 200°C, lightly coat a baking tray with cooking spray or a dash of oil and spread the chips across it. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme and cook for 45 minutes, turning halfway through.
2. Add cooking spray (or oil), onions and garlic to a pan and fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and seasoning, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Lower the heat, add the mushrooms and cook for a final 5 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick, add a splash of water to the pan 💦
4. With a touch of cooking spray, grill the aubergine slices for around 5 minutes on each side.
5. To make the cheese sauce, add the flour to a saucepan, very slowly pour in the milk and whisk gently with a fork over a low heat. When the mixture has been simmering for a minute or so, remove from the heat and add the cheese and mustard, stirring until melted and combined.
6. Either serve the sauce immediately or, if you’re not quite ready, return the pan to the hob but on a really, really low heat. Keep stirring too! If the sauce is allowed to cool, it’ll go thick and gloopy.
7. Serve the aubergine, toppings and cheese sauce in the rolls and plate up with the fries 🍆
2 Sweet Potatoes, Sliced Into Chips – Sweet Potatoes (by weight) – 9.5p per 100g – Lidl
1 Onion, Sliced – Essential Waitrose Onions – 12p – Waitrose
1 Green Pepper, Sliced – Grower’s Selection Green Pepper – 50p – ASDA
3 Mushrooms, Chopped – Mushrooms Greengrocer – 65p – Sainsbury’s
8 Slices of Aubergine – Aubergines – 50p – Morrisons
2 tsp of Plain Flour – Plain Flour – 45p – Tesco
1/2 Mug of Milk or Milk Alternative – Skimmed Milk 1 Pint – 49p – ASDA
Handful of Low Fat Cheddar Cheese – Half Fat Mature Grated British Cheese – £1.90 (2 for £3) – ASDA
Handful of Spicy Grated Cheese – Fiery Cheese Mix Hot & Spicy Grated Cheese – £1.90 (2 for £3) – ASDA
1/2 tsp of American Mustard – Hellmann’s American Style Yellow Mustard – £1 – ASDA
4 Wholemeal Hot Dog Rolls – Large Oat Topped Wholemeal Deli Rolls – 95p – Sainsbury’s
The pickle on top is optional!
When the sweet potato chips go into the oven, make sure they’re seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper, as well as a sprinkling of dried thyme and dried garlic. You’ll need the garlic, salt and pepper again to season the veggies, and the slices of aubergine will need a pinch of salt and pepper too.