Eggplant "meatballs" and carrot "bacon"
1 small eggplant, chopped and diced
1 tin black beans
1 shallot, cut into quarters
1 clove garlic, smooshed
3 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (you'll need a blender)
3/4 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
Paprika, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Throw the eggplant, black beans, shallot, and garlic onto a large baking sheet with 2 tbsp of the oil, some salt, and a good old grinding of black pepper. Spread them about evenly and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until they're golden brown. Let them cool.
2. Pulse the oats in a blender until they're fine (I like my balls with a little texture so kept the pulsing to a minimum, but you do you),
3. Add the cooled roasted veggies, rice, parsley, salt, and paprika, and blend (again, depending on the desired texture, you may want to keep that blending down to a minimum and transfer to a bowl and mix with a spoon).
4. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and roll your eggplant mixture into golfball-sized balls (keep your hands wet to make rolling easier). Drop your balls in the hot oil and turn/roll around regularly for even cooking.
5. Once they're browned on either side (about 10 minutes), remove from the pan and eat, piping hot, with spiced yogurt, salad, or carrot bacon.
1 large carrot
1 tbsp oil
1 capful liquid smoke
Drizzle maple syrup
1. Pre-heat the oven to 450F (you can use an air fryer too, if you have one).
2. Shave strips of carrot using a vegetable peeler.
3. Make your marinade using all the other ingredients (except oil and sugar), and taste regularly.
4. Place strips of carrot on oiled bacon sheet and cover with marinade.
5. Sprinkle a little sugar over the carrots them place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes (until crispy and the smell of smoky/sweet deliciousness fills your kitchen).
6. When they're ready, turn off the oven, but leave the "bacon" in there to cool.
7. Enjoy in whatever way you'd enjoy bacon.
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