Mar 21, 2019 / by Jon Bellis / No Comments

We’re always saying it: Eat more veg. If you’re looking to lose weight then vegetables are an essential part of your nutrition strategy. They are low in calories, slow to digest, filling and packed with nutrients to help nourish you while you’re in calorie deficit.

A lot of people eat too few vegetables because their experience has been one of blandness or unpalatability. Boiled peas or carrots, overcooked mushy broccoli, squeaky undercooked green beans…. Brussels sprouts! We’ve written before about simple ways to enjoy more vegetables.

If you read that article, you’ll see a mention of caponata. There are lots of variations of this dish but some of them can be quite oily. In our view, you don’t need the extra calories of the oil to make the dish tasty. Here we present a version of a caponata recipe that is simple, calorie sparse, super tasty and packed with nutrients.

Here’s our quick and easy caponata recipe…

You’re going to need:

  • 3 aubergines
  • 3 medium sweet white onions
  • 3 peppers
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Half a jar (about 80g) of pitted green olives
  • Half a tube (about 100g) tomato puree
  • A few splashes of balsamic vinegar

If you’re short of time you can just chop it all up, mix it and chuck it in the oven for 45 minutes, but you’re likely to end up with something that’s rather watery and leaves a puddle of liquid on your plate.

We like to do it differently to intensify the flavour. Courtesy of Samantha, here’s how we do it:

Reserve about half an onion and put to one side.

Chop the aubergines, onions and peppers and lay them out on 3 separate baking trays with a little cooking spray.
Roast them for 30 minutes at 200°C.

While they are roasting cook the garlic and chopped half onion in a little water then, when soft, add the tinned tomatoes and let them bubble away to reduce the liquid content and intensify the flavour.

Add the olives, tomato puree and splashes of vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes.

Put the roasted vegetables and tomato mixture into a deep sided roasting dish, mix it all up and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C. You’ll need 30 minutes if you’re cooking from cold. This will further reduce the liquid content and intensify the flavour.

That’s it! Ready to eat.

One of the other great things about this caponata recipe is that you can let the food cook away while you do other things, so it becomes a low hassle dish.

You could also add some herbs – oregano or basil – if you wanted even more flavour intensity.

This set of ingredients will make quite a lot of the stuff and, depending on how you serve it, quite a few portions.

In the big bubbling dish shown in the video there is a total of:

  • 1143 calories
  • 17g fat
  • 223g carbs
  • 43g protein
  • 68g fibre

If you wanted to make it a substantial contribution to your meal – like a substitute for the carbs, but a lot more filling – then you might get 6 portions out of this at 190 calories each. If you just wanted it as one of the veggies on your plate, you might get 10 portions at 114 calories each. Either way, it’s not a huge contribution to the calorie content of your day, but it delivers a bucket load of nutrients.

This dish is:

  • Nutritious
  • Filling
  • Ridiculously tasty
  • Low calorie
  • Low hassle

What’s not to love? Give it a try and get a face full of tasty goodness.

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