Vegan Vegetable Moussaka

This is my vegan, low carb version of moussaka. Meat free mince and tomato sauce, layered between tender courgette and aubergine slices, topped with a dairy free béchamel. Personally carbs are my best friend, but I realise that people might want low carbs meals. So I try to include a mix of recipes for people with different nutritional needs. This recipe contains a gifted ingredient, but other meat free mince is available and will work perfectly. I just wanted to make that perfectly clear. All opinions as ever are my own

Yield; Six servings (320kcal approx per serving) Cook time; 45 minutes

For the vegetable layers you’ll need;

  1. Three courgettes*, sliced *aka zucchini
  2. Two aubergines*, sliced *aka eggplant
  3. A pinch of salt

For the “mince” sauce you’ll need

  1. One tablespoon oil
  2. One brown onion, chopped
  3. Two cloves of garlic, minced
  4. One tablespoon of tomato puree
  5. One 400g/14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
  6. 400g/14oz meat free mince
  7. Herbs and spices; Half a teaspoon of the following; cinamon, nutmeg, oregano
  8. Salt and pepper to taste

For the dairy free béchamel you’ll need;

  1. 50g/1.7oz dairy free margarine
  2. 50g/1.7oz plain flour
  3. 500ml unsweetened plant milk, warmed
  4. Salt and pepper to taste

Method;

  • Start by preparing the vegetable layers. They will cook in the oven, but you’ll want to fry them first. This ensures they’re fully cooked and tender when they come out of the oven. Cut them into uniform medium slices, nothing too thick or too thin. This way they will cook evenly
  • Fry the sliced vegetables in a pan over a medium heat. I used a non-stick pan, so I didn’t add oil, just sprinkle a pinch of salt over the vegetables. Then just fry for around 4 minutes on each side. Once cooked, set aside and move on to the “meat” sauce
  • In the same pan (I loath washing up, and any browning on the pan will be lifted off, adding more flavour) add the oil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Next add the onion and give it a good stir, allow to cook for another 5 minutes
  • Then add the meat free mince, I used this mince by The Meatless Farm Co. which I was kindly giftedDSC_0364-picsay.JPGOther meat free mince will work for this. I personally liked this mince, it has a lovely flavour and texture. It would also be ideal for those more familiar to cooking with meat based mince, as the cooking method and appearance is very similarDSC_0366-picsayfd.JPG
  • Give the mince a good stir, and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Next add the puree, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Give it another five minutes to cook then set aside
  • For the béchamel, pop the margarine and flour into a small saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, whisk together until fully combined. Give it about 4 minutes to cook, this ensures there’s no raw flour flavour in the béchamel. Then warm the milk (I microwaved it for a couple of minutes) and add it a little at a time, whisking constantly. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper (use white pepper if you don’t want it to be visible in the sauce) then once thickened, set aside
  • Now move onto assembly, you’ll need a large oven safe baking dish. Start by adding a little “meat” sauce to the bottom, then a layer of courgette or aubergine. Top with more sauce, another layer of vegetables, and so on. Reserve a little of the meat sauce, so that you can top the final vegetable layer with it. Then top the whole dish with the béchamel
  • Bake at 220°C/200ºC fan assisted/400ºF for 25 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and give it 10 minutes to stand before you cut into it. This allows it to firm up and makes it easier to slice. It also means you won’t risk burning your mouth, because when it comes out of the oven, it will hotter than the centre of the sunDSC_0375-picsayyu.JPG

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