A fellow no-fat Vegan recently mentioned that it is a challenge to keep coming up with new flavor combinations when cooking without meat. It is true! When cooking with animal protein, chicken or fish or pork always take care of that challenge with their unique flavors and textures. I like to handle this challenge by building my dishes with ethnic spice combos- for example, Moroccan, Spanish, Lebanese, or Greek. I recently adapted this favorite old Moussaka recipe, previously full of lamb, cheese and eggs and now, thoroughly healthy with no fat and no animal, just rich, delicious eggplant, cinnamon, oregano, basil, and garlic! The sauce is a unique one in texture and flavor; a refreshing change!
You will build a layered casserole with the following elements: Eggplant, onions, tomato sauce, cream sauce.
Slice 2 large eggplants into 1/2 thick slices. Season well with salt/pepper and broil until browned.
Chop one large onion and saute in non-stick pan (add water if necessary) until translucent and brown, about 5 minutes on low heat.
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. oregano or mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of pepper to taste
In food processor, tear 3 slices of your favorite bread (I like Dave’s Good Seed) and 3 cloves of garlic. Process one minute.
3 Tbsp. Wondra flour
2 C. favorite non-dairy milk (I like almond milk for this)
Cook flour in non-stick pan on medium high for a minute or so. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk. Return to heat and cook until thickened. Season to your taste.
Assemble Casserole in a 9 x 12″ baking dish. Place 1/2 the eggplant slices in the dish. Set aside 1 C of crumbs for topping. Stir remaining crumbs into tomato sauce. Spoon tomato sauce onto eggplant. Now spoon on all the sauteed onions. Add another layer of eggplant. Pour the cream sauce over all. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until cream sauce has set and the casserole is bubbling well. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top and bake for 5 more minutes until they are brown. This is really special when accompanied by a glass of Italian limoncello or Greek retsina – a traditional Greek wine infused with a piney scent.