Before the days of pasta being made out of zucchini and pizza bases out of cauliflower, the Greeks were making lasagne out of eggplant. Who knew they were so food-forward?
But forget Hercules. If we’re going to talk about all things Greek and dreamy, we have to have the Moussaka conversation. If you’ve never heard of Moussaka, it’s similar to a lasagne; it uses silky and smoky eggplant, lamb mince with a gorgeous tomato-based sauce with lots of delicious herbs and spices and a creamy, cheesy layer.
If that’s not a plan for perfection, I don’t know what is!
But alas, while this delicacy is down-right delicious, it tends to cause people to have upset stomachs... a running joke in my family, if you know what I mean.
This time, I’ve decided to cut to the cheese (sorry), and make a Lamb Moussaka – Supercharged style.
In order to do so, we’re going to have to go through this layer-by-layer.
First, we have the eggplant layer – sweetly deep, purple eggplant. Did you know eggplant is high in a phytonutrient that can help protect the brain from damage? Just like humans, eggplants can be bitter if they’re not cared for properly. Before you start to assemble your moussaka, be sure to slice, salt and then drizzle or spray the eggplant with olive oil. This gets rid of that bitter taste. Note to self: this doesn’t work on bitter humans AKA instagram trolls, but you can try.
Next up, we have the lamb mince. While lamb is traditionally used in this Greek delicacy, you could swap it out with beef or even lentils for a vegetarian option! The optional addition of bone broth here gives it an extremely rich flavour and increases the gut-healing benefits of this dish. You can read more about my love for bone broth here. Bone broths are amazing for healing and sealing the digestive tract. Vegetarians can switch it up by using vegetable stock for great results.
For the creamy layer, I’ve used Meredith Dairy Sheep’s Yoghurt Pot Set. While it’s no traditional white cheese, it certainly makes this dish perfectly creamy. Coconut yoghurt also does the trick if you're avoiding dairy.
Lastly, we have nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast gives our Moussaka that perfectly cheesy flavour. Nutritional yeast is actually known as a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids!
So, get ready to throw on your favourite toga, break some plates and get cooking, Supercharged Style!
Supercharged Moussaka, Lamb or Lentil Your Choice
For creamy layer:
- 500 gm thick yoghurt (pot set is good) - I used Meredith dairy pot set sheep’s yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt for dairy free)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 TBS olive oil
- Pinch sea salt
- One large eggplant (sliced, salted, then drizzled or sprayed in olive oil).
- 750 gm minced lamb or beef (or use 1 cup of cooked lentils for a vegetarian option)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups tomato passata
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup bone broth (optional)
- 2 tsps oregano
- Pan-fry the eggplant frying pan over medium–high heat in batches until browned. This should be about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Pan-fry garlic in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add mince and cook until browned, stirring frequently to remove any clumps. Or add lentils if using.
- Place remaining ingredients in and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low to reduce the sauce down until it is nice and thick and the liquid has evaporated.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a baking dish.
- Place a layer of cooked mince (or lentils) at the bottom and top with eggplant slices then add yoghurt and smooth it on top.
- Repeat until all the three layers are complete – this may be two or three times, depending on your baking dish. On the very top layer of yoghurt, sprinkle with nutritional yeast flakes.
- Bake for about 20 mins until golden.