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Firstly, apologies for this not being an official ‘recipe’ post today.

I must confess, we got in late from spending a great afternoon with some friends, and I was just desperate to cook the food fast, before the boys actually went mental through hunger (not to mention tiredness!)

However, I did just want to share the recipe, as it was a total hodge-podge of ideas and flavours, but ended up working really nicely! My OH scoffed openly at the combination, but then woofed down the lot, so I presume along with all that food, he’s now also eaten his words. Mwah ha ha!

Aubergine Chilli Shepherds Pie

You will need:

1) 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large segments.

2) 1 onion, peeled and chopped.

3) One small bag of quorn mince.

4) One tin of kidney beans, drained.

5) A tsp of mild chilli powder.

6) One aubergine, chopped into 1 inch cubes.

7) One green pepper, chopped into 1 inch cubes.

8) Milk for mashing the potatoes.

9) Cheese to top (I used cheddar and gruyere!)

How to make it:

1) Preheat the oven to 200. Place the aubergine and pepper in a roasting tray, drizzle over with olive oil, and roast for 20 minutes or so, tossing them halfway to ensure they don’t get burnt.

2) Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, place the potatoes, cover with water and cook until soft enough to mash.

3) Meanwhile meanwhile, fry the onion gently in a large frying pan, in some oil, until soft. Add the mince and cook until brown.

4) Add the kidney beans and chilli powder to the mince and fry gently for another five minutes or so.

5) Take off the heat. Remove the aubergines and peppers from the oven, add to the mince, and stir in. Place the mince mix into a deep oven proof dish.

6) When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well, add a splash of milk, and mash.

7) Evenly spread the mash on top of them mince mix, and then sprinkle your grated cheese on top. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping has gone golden.

8) Remove and serve!

Total Cost: This was basically me using up lots of leftover bits and bobs in my fridge, but roughly £3.75 I think! (The aubergine was part of a bargain 3 pack, hence I had one spare!)

The Verdict? I was pleasantly surprised by how this mad mish-mash turned out. Here’s a revalation, aubergine works really nicely in a chilli! He heh! The boys were a little non-plussed, DB2 put away a fair old bit, but DB1 was a bit freaked by the presence of the dreaded aubergine… OH gobbled all his down, so I presume he was fairly pleased with it, despite his dislike of aubergines too (seriously, what is wrong with these people?)

Oooh – I also did my first weekly shop at Aldi today! I’m still on a quest to get our weekly spend right down, and this was my latest plan of action. So, how did we fare?

Two words. Majorly impressed.

We didn’t really stint on much, the only thing Aldi didn’t have was halloumi, which I can live without, and it came to just over £40.00. I would estimate that the same shop, in Sainsburys, would have been closer to £60-£70. This weekly shop included two bottles of wine, four packs of quorn products, loads of fruit and veg and yoghurts etc, so lots of items that aren’t necessarily very cheap normally.

Will I be going back next week…yes, you bet! And business partner of mine, if you are reading this, stop being smug about knowing about Aldi for far longer than me! Naughty business partner should have let me into this secret a long time ago!!!