Vegetarian Moussaka

This is one of those vegetarian meals that is so hearty and satisfying (and really, really healthy), that you won’t even notice you’re not eating meat. Both of my dining partners balked at the sizeable portion size at first, yet we all ate every last bite. Yum!

Vegetarian Moussaka
Serves 4-6

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 (1 pound) large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup French green lentils (Bob’s Red Mill), rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 14-oz cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced into moons
  • 2 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz can chick peas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch allspice
  • 6 oz 0% greek yogurt
  • 4 oz low-fat sour cream (or use all yogurt…I ran out!)
  • 2 eggs
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Place eggplant slices in a collander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Leave the collander in the sink and let them drain while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  3. Place the lentils, vegetable stock, and bay leaf in a saucepan.  Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are just tender.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large, deep-sided saute pan over medium low heat.  Add onion and mushrooms and cook for 8–10 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomato paste. Let get some good contact with the bottom of the pan to caramelize for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cinammon stick, and allspice. Drain lentils, reserving a couple tbsp of the stock, and add to pan.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  If sauce gets too thick, add a few tablespoons of reserved vegetable broth.
  7. While that’s happening, rinse eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels.  Heat a little olive oil in a second large non-stick pan over medium high heat and cook eggplant for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  8. Taste the lentil mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Place one layer of the cooked eggplant in the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish.  Top with half of the lentil mixture, then more eggplant, then the rest of the lentils.
  9. Whisk together eggs, yogurt, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper and pour on top of moussaka.
  10. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until top is lightly browned.

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