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Moussaka

Moussaka is the Greek version of lasagna featuring the amazing eggplant. High in potassium, copper, folate, magnesium and fiber, eggplant also contains flavonoids and phenols that fight cancer and protect against various diseases. This dish tastes great served over steaming hot brown rice pasta.

Makes 8 servings. Total preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Preparation


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and lay on a large (or two small) foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the eggplant is soft, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside and cover.

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the beef, oregano, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. Break the meat up into small pieces and season with pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until just cooked but still slightly pink inside, about 1 minute more.

3. Add carrots, celery and kale until kale is wilted. Add the veggie beef, tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the sauce is thickened and fragrant, about 30 minutes.

1. Place all the ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or overnight and continue with recipe below.

1. Melt the butter substitute in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth. Stir while cooking for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and add the soy creamer, salt, and nutmeg. Return to the heat and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Whisk in puréed raw cashews and warm on low until sauce is thick and creamy.

1. Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9×13-inch casserole dish with oil. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the pan. Lay half of the eggplant in the pan, overlapping the slices if needed. Cover with half of the meat sauce and smooth with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and meat sauce. Pour the custard sauce over the layered mixture and smooth with a rubber spatula. Top with the rice mozzarella and bake, uncovered, until lightly browned and the custard sets, about 1 hour. Cook pasta according to package directions 15 minutes before serving. Remove the Moussaka from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to serve. Serve on top of cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Per serving: 362 calories, 15g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 18mg cholesterol, 322mg sodium, 1075mg potassium, 31g total carbohydrate, 11g dietary fiber, 22g protein

Ingredients

1⁄2 cup sprouted grain bread crumbs, optional

3 tablespoons shredded non-dairy rice mozzarella
1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
1 package brown rice pasta (elbow or fusili)
Eggplant:
2 large eggplants (about 2 3⁄4 pounds), unpeeled and cut lengthwise into 1⁄2-inch slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, sprayed or brushed on eggplant
1 pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
Meat sauce:
1⁄2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon water
1⁄2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pinches ground cloves
2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 pinch ground pepper
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup finely chopped kale or spinach
1 package veggie beef crumbles
1 24-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Custard sauce:
1 tablespoon Earth Balance or Benecol butter substitute
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1⁄2 cups soy creamer
1 cup raw cashews puréed with 1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg

We realize that you may not always have the time to cook meals from scratch, and that a quick and easy substitution may be needed. We always recommend cooking the real thing, but in a pinch you can try this instead:

Buy frozen moussaka. Prepare pasta while warming up. In blender, purée 2 cups Alfredo sauce, 1 cup cauliflower and 1/4 cup cashews or hemp seeds. Thin with water if too thick. Toss half of sauce with cooked pasta. Place moussaka on top of pasta. Pour extra white sauce over the top. Enjoy!

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