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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gluten Free Meatless Vegetable Moussaka


Moussaka is a Mediterranean dish made popular by the Greeks. Studies show that Mediterranean cuisine is perhaps among the healthiest. This gluten free, meatless, dish is satisfying and rich with flavor.  


Ingredients

1 ½ - 2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced a 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil *
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
8 ounces Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup grated Italian cheese (I used a blend of Asiago, Mozzarella, and Provolone.)*
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, preferably made from olive oil
4 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 cups almond milk
3 egg yolks
*Olive oil and cheese are approximate measurements


Instructions

Use paper towels to wick moisture from the eggplant… the drier, the better. Lay flat and salt both sides of the eggplant slices.

When the eggplant slices are significantly dry, spray a baking sheet with oil, and use about a quarter cup of olive oil to brush onto both sides. Bake in an oven preheated at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes on each side.

After you remove the roasted eggplant slices, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, heat a quarter cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onions, carrots and celery. Cook about 10 minutes or until onions appear translucent. 

Stir in garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté an additional 10 minutes or until juices evaporate, and then add basil and oregano. Pour in crushed tomatoes. Add some salt and pepper and cook about 10 more minutes or until mixture is thick.

Coat a 13x9x2-inch or comparable glass baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant slices in single layer at the bottom of the dish. Spread evenly, half of tomato mixture over eggplant. Sprinkle with a little cheese. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, tomato mixture and a little more cheese.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in tapioca flour. Stir for about a minute. Gradually whisk in almond milk. Stirring constantly, Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Whisk in cup cheese leaving a little for the top of the casserole. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Gradually whisk eggs into hot sauce. Pour sauce evenly, over vegetables in dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Bake moussaka until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes, serve.


Moussaka, refrigerates, freezes and reheats, well.

Recipe by Sammy Sutton