This delicious Middle Eastern inspired aubergine dish taken from TV presenter and chef Stacie Stewart's new book is the perfect healthy choice if you're wondering what to cook tonight

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"An instant hit on the TV show How to Lose Weight Well, this dish impressed everyone when I presented it on the Blood Sugar Diet, a diet which claims to help reset insulin levels and even reverse type-2 diabetes. Freekeh is a young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It’s a healthy wholegrain food much like bulgur wheat, but meatier and nuttier. You can buy it in most major supermarkets" says Stacie, of this dish taken from her recent book release,  How to Lose Weight Well: The Complete Diet Plans.

Serves 2


2 aubergines, halved lengthways

2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

½ garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cinnamon

150g lean lamb mince

2 tbsp tomato purée or 200g canned chopped tomatoes

100ml lamb, chicken or vegetable stock

1 small bunch of herbs, such as coriander, parsley and/or

mint, finely chopped

seeds from 1 pomegranate

2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

yogurt, such as Greek, to serve


1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ garlic clove, finely chopped

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

150g ready-to-eat freekah

juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted

salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.

2. Make deep incisions in the aubergines, either slashes or a criss-cross three-quarters of the way through the flesh, then brush the aubergines with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and tender. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tsp olive oil in a medium saucepan, then fry the onion and garlic for about 8 minutes over a low-medium heat to soften.

4. Increase the heat and throw in the cumin, paprika and cinnamon, stir briefly, then add the mince and season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir well, then stir in the tomato purée or tomatoes and stock. Let bubble, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 20–40 minutes until the meat is lovely and tenderized.

6. Five minutes before the end, uncover to let the juices evaporate. The meat mix should be quite dry not saucy.

7. For the pilaf, heat the oil in another pan, and sauté the onion and garlic for 8 minutes until softened.

8. Increase the heat, add the cinnamon and allspice. Add the freekah, then reduce the heat to low and gently warm the freekah through for a minute or so. You can add a splash of water for a light steam if you like.

9. Stir in the lemon juice, flaked almonds and salt and pepper. Keep warm until you’re ready.

10. Spoon the pilaf between 2 serving plates, top with the aubergine, then divide the lamb mix between the 4 aubergine halves. Finish with a scattering of the herbs, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and 1 tbsp each of Greek yogurt.


FAT: 34.2g
PROTEIN: 34.7g
CARBS: 52.9g
FIBRE: 21.6g
CALORIES: 701kcal


FAT: 13.1g
CARBS: 29.7g
FIBRE: 8.6g
CALORIES: 289kcal

Recipe extracted from How to Lose Weight Well: The Complete Diet Plans by Stacie Stewart  (Quadrille, £15) Photography © Louise Hagger