Vegan Lentil Moussaka with Cauliflower Béchamel
This vegan, gluten-free & grain-free version of Moussaka will blow your socks off. As we head into the chilly winter months, warm lentils, thick eggplant, and a rich wine sauce provide all of the comforts your family has been craving while keeping things healthy.
Storage: Tupperware in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 2 months
2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1-inch rounds, crosswise
5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
1 can or bag of green lentils
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup red wine
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon AllSpice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2/3 cup veggie stock (or chicken if not vegan / veggie)
1 can chopped tomatoes
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast (or parmesan if veggie)
1 large cauliflower, florets only
1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (or parmesan if veggie)
A small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 356F
2. Place the eggplant in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with a little salt and let drain for 30 minutes. This will take away the bitterness and also stop the moussaka becoming soggy.
3. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive (medium heat) , add as many slices as will fit in 1 layer and cook until lightly brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil and eggplant (takes 4 pans). Place the eggplants on paper towels as they cook.
4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the onion, celery and carrot for 3 – 4 minutes until soft. Add the lentil and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
5. Add tomato paste, wine, herbs, cinnamon, stock, and tinned tomatoes. Simmer on med/ low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nice and thick. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
1. While the lentils are cooking, add cauliflower to a large pan filled with boiling water. Bring to the boil then reduce to medium / low and cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
2. Drain and place back in the pan to boil any excess water off. Press the cauliflower with kitchen paper to really absorb any last moisture. You need it really dry or you will end up with soup.
3. Place the dried cauliflower in a high speed blender with the olive oil /vegan butter and salt. Puree until smooth, scraping the jug if need be with a spatula.
4. Grease a 11 x 8 x 2.5 inch baking pan with a little oil. Arrange alternating layers of eggplant and lentil sauce, sprinkling each layer with 1 nutritional yeast. (aubergine, lentils, nutritional yeast, aubergines, lentils, nutritional yeast, aubergines).
5. Pour the cauliflower béchamel mash over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
6. Bake 30 – 45 minutes or until it starts to slightly bubble up the sides.
7. Top with fresh parsley and a good drizzle of olive oil.