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Vegetarian Moussaka - Meatless Monday, October 15, 2012

By Ann C Wooledge
on October 15, 2012
1 comment

Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Moussaka

 

My recipe records show that I first tried this recipe on July 7th, 2008, and that it was “really good!!” The recipe was adapted from “The Best Ever Vegetarian” published by Parragon Publishing, copyright 2003. I say all that because I don’t see authors listed which is interesting, and there are several other cookbooks with the same name. It is spiral bound, which I particularly like, and I have found this to be a useful guide. I like to scan the recipes and then I can write notes on the printed pages and put it in our family book of recipes.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be “meatless” and you can substitute approximately 12 oz of lamb to make it a truly traditional moussaka. The original recipe called for a 10-1/2 oz can of green lentils. I didn’t use the lentils and if I had, I would have cooked my own since they are so easy. It would, of course, add some protein and make it an even healthier meal.

Ingredients:

Approximately ½ cup olive oil

1 onion chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

14 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of cinnamon and paprika

Salt and pepper

1 large fresh eggplant, sliced

Topping:

2 tbsp butter

2-1/2  tbsp brown rice flour

1-1/4 cup organic milk or milk substitute

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup (divided into ½ cup each) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet and add the onion and cook until softened. Add the celery, garlic, the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes, and the chopped parsley. Add the lentils here if you use them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover this mixture and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until thickened.

2.  Meanwhile, heat a little of the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the eggplant slices, in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Eggplant has a tendency to soak up a lot of oil, so be sure to drain these well. Layer an ovenproof dish with the tomato mixture and the eggplant slices, ending up with a layer of eggplant. I actually used a 9 x 13 inch pan and was able to place one layer of the eggplant and one layer of the tomatoes. So – the size of your pan obviously will determine how many layers you will end up with. There is a cook’s tip that says to prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil during cooking, salt it first. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 20 minutes to let them dry out. In the “olden days” we would salt eggplant to prevent bitterness, but the newer varieties are without that bitterness.

3.  Topping: To make the topping, put the butter, flour, and milk into a pan and bring to a boil over low heat, whisking constantly. Season to taste with nutmeg, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool slightly, then beat in the egg. Pour the sauce over the eggplants, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

This evening I’m thinking about using zucchini rather than eggplant, which of course, will make it something entirely different than a moussaka, but I think it will still taste good. I also think I'll add the lentils this time - red ones probably because that's what I have the most of. Let me know if you try this!

 

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health and nutrition. Ann is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

 

Red Lentil Artichoke Stew - Meatless Monday

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 08, 2012
1 comment

Meatless Monday - October 8, 2012

Red Lentil Artichoke Stew


 

RED LENTIL ARTICHOKE STEW:

1-1/2 cups water
2 medium sized yellow onions, diced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin (we always use more cumin than called for in everything – so use more if you want!)
1 tsp ground coriander (take the whole ones and grind them up with a mortal and pestle – no comparison to ground spices in the bottle at the grocery store)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice (I use organic cold-pressed essential oil if I don’t have the organic lemons, just a couple drops)
1 can (24 oz) chopped tomatoes undrained
1 can (15 oz) drained artichoke hearts
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté onions until transparent. I like a little brown on them as it sweetens and mellows out the flavors but I also sometimes get distracted and they brown to the point of bitter, so just keep an eye on them. Add the garlic until just warm and you can smell it, then add the spices. Blend this just until the fragrance rises from the pan. Add the water, lentils, bay leaf, lemon juice, tomatoes with liquid, artichoke hearts and red pepper flakes (we don’t always do this, but we’re wimps when it comes to “heat”.) Bring this to a boil. Lower the heat to just a simmer and let it simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Now I have to admit that I’ve been writing down recipes since I was 16 yrs old (or younger), so I wasn’t sure where this one came from, but I googled it and apparently I wrote this one down during one of our afternoons at Barnes & Noble since I don’t have the book or at least can’t find it right now, but I have way too many cook books – or so my family would tell me. I’m not sure you can EVER have too many. It apparently was “adapted” from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I’m much more careful now when I write down a recipe to make sure I also make note of the original author.

Let me know if you try it, how you liked it, or how you would improve it. I have never ever followed a recipe that I didn’t change it somewhat and then change it again the next time I cook it. Which is why I make a photocopy of each recipe and then note the date I first try it, who was there, what was the occasion, and how did we like it. It gives me great joy to go back through some of my recipes and remember some of the family occasions where we first tried them. 

I've posted another artichoke recipe that is one of our favorites - here - and also why we think artichokes are one of nutrition's super hero's here.   AND - three more nutritional reasons to try this recipe - here.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

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