I’ve played around with this recipe a few times to try and create something that won’t take 2-3 hours (which is normally how long a moussaka takes to make) and not too many steps and ingredients. I also didn’t want to compromise on flavour and make something that you won’t bother making again.
I chose to use lentils because they’re healthy, nutritious, delicious and easy to use. I used to use dried soy mince but after reading this post it changed my view on this ingredient forever. I grew up eating it thinking that it was literally dried up textured soy but it’s clearly more complex than that. Yes it tastes amazing with it, but I draw the line when I find out about something that just shouldn’t even be called food.
I know this might sound extreme to some (and maybe it is) but sometimes making educated decisions can push you to explore with different ingredients and still make the dish amazing. I certainly won’t be going backwards on this one!
I like adding potato in the moussaka because it creates a different texture and flavour. Unfortunately, if you do use potato, it isn’t freezer friendly. This is something you can make a big baking dish of (if you substitute the potato for more eggplant) and freeze in portions for those days you need a quick meal. I would thaw it for about 30 minutes then pop in the oven for around 20-30 minutes with aluminium foil covering the top. You can also serve the dish with a fresh side salad of mixed greens.
- 2 medium potatoes (280 g)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 brown opinion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans brown lentils (400g each can), rinsed
- 1 can tomatoes (400g)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium eggplant (300-350g), cut into approx 1cm wide slices
- 100ml brown rice bran oil or any other non-aromatic high heat oil
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup (375ml) oat or nut milk
- Salt to taste
- Place the whole potatoes with skin in a small saucepan and fill with water enough to just cover them. Put on medium heat and par boil for 15 minutes. Cut into thin slices.
- In a medium saucepan, add the oil and diced onion and sauté till they turn slightly brown.
- Add the garlic and lentils and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add the can of tomatoes and paste and let it gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180C (355F).
- Lightly oil the eggplants and pan fry each side for around 3-4 minutes until it turns slightly brown (see image above) and softens. Sprinkle a little salt on straight after to flavour when baking.
- For the sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Once you can feel its warmed up, using a whisk, add in the flour and stir at the same time.
- When you have mixed in the flour well and its created a bit of a dough, add in the nutritional yeast and mix well.
- Start pouring in the milk, stirring well after each pour. You want to make sure that the sauce turns out nice and thick but not too thick to pour. By adding in the milk slowly, it will avoid the sauce turning lumpy. Add salt to taste.
- To assemble the moussaka, pour half the lentil mix on the bottom of a 23x30cm (approximately) baking dish. Spread the eggplant pieces evenly trying to cover as much of the lentils as possible.
- Follow on with another layer of lentils (which should be the rest) then the slices of potato.
- Pour the sauce over the top and cover the potatoes evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. The sauce should start to brown on the edges and it should be done. The best way to try if it's finished is if the potato is cooked through.
What do you use to make your moussaka with? Other veggies or sauce? Let me know in the comments below.