It’s been quite a while since I last posted a recipe (or any post in fact!)… I hope everyone has had a wonderful, happy Christmas and a fun-filled New Year. I’m not sure about you, but again this year I came off my week-off needing a holiday to recover from my holiday!
So this morning one of the lovely admin girls at my practice dropped me off a bag of eggplants. Her grandma is a whiz in the garden and their family was unable to consume her bumper crop this year! Being as I cannot STAND to waste food, I was really grateful for the trouble she went to to bring these to me – shout out to you Tori!!
So asides from my miso eggplant (have I shared that recipe with you yet?) moussaka is one of my favourite eggplant dishes of all time. I realised today when I was making it, that it has been such a long time since we’ve had it – I didn’t have a recipe for a dairy free bechamel sauce. So I made one up today – luckily, it worked! The bechamel sauce can be used in place of the white sauce in lasagne for a dairy free version of that too! This actually tastes delicious too – I wouldn’t tolerate any less.
The family decision on this was in favour! I thought the dish was actually pretty delicious – especially considering it was dairy free. I do have to concede that traditional moussaka does not taste “coconutty” – this one does because it is dairy-free. You could easily substitute in a traditional bechamel sauce recipe though if you don’t need dairy free or are not keen on using coconut milk. My non-dairy allergic child SMASHED his (ate sooo much I have no idea how he fit it in), and my dairy-allergic child ate hers but said she isn’t overly keen on eggplant. All adults in the family enjoyed it.
I hope you like it as much as I do!!
- 1kg eggplant cut into ¾ cm slices
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil spray
Dairy-free bechamel sauce
- 4 tbs Nuttelex
- A good glug or two of olive oil
- 4 tbs plain flour
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- 1 cup of water
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in a tbs of boiling water
- 500g of lean beef mince
- 1 large brown onion – chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
- A bunch of parsley leaves roughly chopped (maybe about ¾ cup)
- 1 cup of grated carrot (or other grated vegetable you might like to add to hide from your children)
- 1 tub/small tin of tomato paste (170g)
- 2 tins (400g) of diced tomatoes
- ½ cup of red wine
- 1 cup of beef stock (with 1.5 stock cubes in it)
- A really good grind of black pepper
- 1.5 tsp of brown sugar
- A good shake or two of ground cinnamon (or you can put a whole stick in and remove it later)
- A good shake of dried oregano (maybe 2 tsp)
- 2 bay leaves (crushed in your hands before adding)
- Prepare the eggplant by sprinkling lightly with salt and allowing to sit and sweat in a bowl whilst you prepare the sauces
- Dry the eggplant well with paper towel and lie flat on baking trays, spraying with olive oil
- Bake in a hot oven (200 deg C) for about 20 min until softened and browned.
- Using a smallish saucepan, melt your Nuttelex and add your olive oil
- Add your flour and mix and whisk continuously until it is bubbling and completely combined
- Whisk in your coconut cream
- Whisk in the water until you reach a creamy consistency
- Add your stock/salt
- Set aside and allow to cool for about 5-10 min
- Whisk in your egg and egg yolk
- Soften your chopped onion and garlic in the pan
- Add your mince, and cook until all brown (breaking it up with your spoon)
- Add your tomato paste and tinned tomato and stir
- Add carrots, parsley and other desired vegetables
- Add your beef stock and red wine
- Add your bay leaves, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, sugar
- Stir to combine and cook on a medium heat until sauce thickens (will take about 15 min or so)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
- Pre-heat a moderate oven (about 180 deg C)
- You may like to line your lasagne dish with olive oil and foil/baking paper – it is up to you
- Line your lasagne dish with eggplant
- Add meat sauce
- Add another layer of eggplant and top with the Bechamel sauce
- Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and back for about 30 min or until the top has turned a golden brown
Serve with salad or on its own and be sure to post me a picture or a comment if you try it!!
Till next time – keep cooking!!