My Moussaka Mix up

Want something a bit different for dinner this week? Then try my version of the classic Greek dish Moussaka.

Gluten free CHECK

Meat free CHECK

Heathly CHECK

This dish is perfect for a colder evening treat. Packed with vegetables and lentils, this dish is unbelievably healthy for you (apart from the cheese… but who doesn’t LOVE CHEESE). Having worked briefly in Greece last summer, I was really keen to try an authentic Moussaka, however I found it far too claggy and heavy. So I took on the original recipe and changed a few things up to make my very own lighter and healthier version. Swapping the potatoes for sweet potatoes, not only does it contain more fibre, it also brings a whole new exciting flavour to the dish, that combines perfectly with the OOZY tomato sauce. The second thing that I changed was by removing the thick béchamel sauce. This made the dish very heavy to eat, and for me difficult to digest. But not wanting to completely remove that creamy cheese taste, I simply swapped this for grated cheese… and a good amount of it! This works perfectly on the top of the dish when it cooks and goes slightly crispy. Finally I swapped the mince meat for lentils. This version of the dish would work with or without meat, whatever you prefer, however it was nice to make that hearty dish taste just as good without having meat for once. So go ahead, read the recipe and give this alternative version a go.

Ingredients…

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g of lentils
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Grated cheese
  • Spices: smoked paprika, fresh rosemary, dried oregano, pinch of cinnamon

Method…

  1. Preheat your oven to 180degrees C. Firstly thinly slice your aubergines into circles and sweet potatoes into long thin slices. Heat a frying pan with some oil, and put on a small sauce pan of water to boil.
  2. Place your sweet potatoes into the boiling water and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, until they start to soften. Keep an eye on the pan to ensure they don’t overcook and start to crumble. Drain when ready.
  3. Meanwhile place your courgette circles in the frying pan and lightly fry each circle until it starts to brown and soften. Complete for all the circles on both sides of the courgette.
  4. Heat up a second saucepan with boiling water for your lentils, cook for approximately 10 minutes. Drain when ready.
  5. Whilst these are cooking, finely chop your onion and garlic and soften in a large saucepan until the onion starts to go translucent.
  6. Chop your peppers and add them to the onions and cook for a further few minutes.
  7. Add your spices and puree and cook for another two minutes. REMEMBER TO KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR LENTILS SWEET POTATOES and COURGETTES.
  8. Add your tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, approx 100ml water and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Add in your spinach towards the end of this time. Meanwhile grate some cheese.
  9. Once all elements of the dish are ready its time to assemble the dish. Firstly get a large rectangle oven dish and place a few spoonfuls of your lentil mix in the base of the dish.
  10. Next add a layer of sweet potatoes, trying to leave as little gaps as possible. Complete this stage exactly the same with the courgette.
  11. Next add a layer of cheese sprinkled on top of the courgette.
  12. Repeat the process for another layer. Depending on the size of your dish you may have enough for another layer, if not combine all into that second layer.
  13. When the dish is complete, cover with a piece of tinfoil and place it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove the tin foil and cook for a further 10 minutes.

καλή όρεξη – Enjoy your meal

Let me know how you get on with this recipe and whether you like the healthy variations from the original. Follow my blog for more travel inspired dishes from around the world.

Emily

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