Vegan Moussaka.


We mostly eat vegetarian in our house with some fish and occasionally red meat but I decided to make this a vegan dish. Plant foods are where we get so much of our nutrition and this moussaka is loaded with it!


I've wanted to make moussaka for a long time but my family aren't big cheesy or creamy food fans. We always have to ask for less cheese when we order a pizza. And although they haven't tried it before, I didn't think my kids would like eggplant. My hubby sure doesn't! It's a texture thing. I know many other people that aren't eggplant fans either. But I love cheesy and creamy and eggplant so I made it anyway! It turned out as I expected... The fam did not like it! They scraped off the creamy top & eggplant and just ate the lentil mix at the bottom. Ah well, you can't win them all. I loved it!



RECIPE


Ingredients

- 2 large eggplants (aubergines)

- 4-5 garlic cloves + 1 for the cheese sauce

- 1 red onion

- 1 cup red split lentils (I love using this variety...they cook so quickly!)

- 1 tbsp dried oregano

- 2 tbsp tomato paste

- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes

- 2 cups of veggie stock

- 1/2 head of cauliflower

- 1/2 cup cashews

- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

- 1 tsp Dijon mustard

- Salt & pepper


Method

- Preheat your oven to 200°C

- Slice the eggplants into rounds that are around 1/2 cm thick & place them on an oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil & a little salt. Make sure each round is coated & bake them in the oven for around 10-15 minutes then turn them over and bake for another 5ish minutes or until cooked through

- Finely chop the garlic & onion. Sauté them a little olive oil in a large pot until translucent. Add in the lentils, oregano, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes & veggie stock. Simmer with the lid ajar. Stir occasionally & keep an eye on it. Add more water if needed. If it's too wet, keep the lid off. It will take around 25-30 mins to cook

- Roughly chop the cauliflower & add it to a steamer. Chop the extra garlic clove into small pieces & add to the top of the cauliflower

- If you have a high speed blender you don't need to soak the cashews, if you don't then you can also add the cashews to the cauliflower to steam & soften slightly

- Add the cauliflower, garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt & pepper to a blender & blend until smooth. Add a little water if it's too thick. It will depend on how much cauliflower is in there and how wet it is after steaming

- Now to assemble... Add the lentil mix to a medium oven dish & spread out evenly. Place the eggplant slices on top of the lentils by overlapping them. Move them around so that they all fit. Pour the cheese sauce over the top & spread out evenly. Sprinkle with a little more nutritional yeast & bake in the oven for 25-30 or until golden brown.

- Serve with a simple leafy salad or tomato salad.