Food and cooking, Lifestyle

Dairy-free Moussaka

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!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

Meat sauce

  • 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)

METHOD

EGGPLANT

  1.  Prepare the eggplant by sprinkling lightly with salt and allowing to sit and sweat in a bowl whilst you prepare the sauces
  2. Dry the eggplant well with paper towel and lie flat on baking trays, spraying with olive oil
  3. Bake in a hot oven (200 deg C) for about 20 min until softened and browned.

BECHAMEL:

  1. Using a smallish saucepan, melt your Nuttelex and add your olive oil
  2. Add your flour and mix and whisk continuously until it is bubbling and completely combined
  3. Whisk in your coconut cream
  4. Whisk in the water until you reach a creamy consistency
  5. Add your stock/salt
  6. Set aside and allow to cool for about 5-10 min
  7. Whisk in your egg and egg yolk

MEAT SAUCE

  1. Soften your chopped onion and garlic in the pan
  2. Add your mince, and cook until all brown (breaking it up with your spoon)
  3. Add your tomato paste and tinned tomato and stir
  4. Add carrots, parsley and other desired vegetables
  5. Add your beef stock and red wine
  6. Add your bay leaves, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, sugar
  7. Stir to combine and cook on a medium heat until sauce thickens (will take about 15 min or so)

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

  1. Pre-heat a moderate oven (about 180 deg C)
  2. You may like to line your lasagne dish with olive oil and foil/baking paper – it is up to you
  3. Line your lasagne dish with eggplant
  4. Add meat sauce
  5. Add another layer of eggplant and top with the Bechamel sauce
  6. 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!!

xxDr Megs

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