What inspired the creator to put a vegan twist on this traditional Greek dish?
If you’re a fan of Greek cuisine, then you have probably heard of moussaka. This hearty casserole typically contains layers of eggplant, ground meat, and béchamel sauce, making it a not-so-vegan-friendly dish. However, this recipe will put a vegan twist on the classic moussaka, using lentils as a meat substitute and almond milk for the béchamel sauce. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a healthier alternative that will leave you feeling satisfied and guilt-free.
- 2 medium eggplants, sliced into rounds
- 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and lightly brush them with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until tender and golden brown.
- In the meantime, cook the lentils according to package instructions.
- In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Add the cooked lentils and diced tomatoes to the skillet, along with the oregano, basil, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- In a separate pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour in the almond milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer the roasted eggplant slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Pour the lentil mixture on top, followed by the almond milk sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
This veganized version of moussaka is a great way to enjoy one of Greece’s most iconic dishes without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. The lentils provide a hearty, protein-rich filling, while the almond milk sauce adds a creamy, indulgent touch. Serve it with a salad or some crusty bread for a satisfying meal that will transport you straight to the Mediterranean.