How many ingredients can you change in a recipe before you are making a completely different dish? After buying an eggplant at the grocery store with no plan in mind, we did a quick Google search for “eggplant recipes,” decided to make Moussaka, then proceeded to change nearly all the ingredients.
“Let’s add some more vegetables.”
“We just had a red meat and tomato sauce meal; I’m not feeling that.”
“We’ll have to substitute for dairy AND gluten…”
And now, I present to you:
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Not-Quite-Moussaka
Allow me to preface this with an apology for not paying attention to amounts of anything we use. If you haven’t noticed by now, my recipes often include a lot of, “Some of this” and “A bit of that.” That’s how we cook. I’ll try to do better 🙂
We started by sauteeing a bunch of veggies– carrots, celery, kale, and colorful cherry tomatoes–in olive oil.
Next, we browned the meat (we used ground turkey,) and added cinnamon, allspice, and parsley.
Then we sliced the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices, dipped them in egg, coated them with gluten-free breadcrumbs, and browned them in a skillet.
For the Bechamel sauce we combined Smart Balance non-dairy spread, “This is not a tub of cream cheese” non-dairy spread, soy milk, and a bit of gluten-free flour in a small saucepan. Melt and stir.
All that’s left to do is layer and bake it in the oven! We used two glass baking dishes in order to fit everything. We put the veggies in first, then eggplant (yes, I know that’s a veggie too,) meat, then Bechamel sauce. Finally, we topped it all with soy cheese. This was the real test. Most of the other dairy-free substitutes have proven themselves to work well. Soy cheese? It usually burns before it melts. We put it all in the oven at 375 for 30-45 minutes (keep an eye on it; you want to cheese to be melted and browning.)
The taste test: actually quite delicious! (We were skeptical ;-))
So, for everyone out there who might be wondering, “Can I make a gluten-free, dairy-free, beef-free, tomato-paste-free Moussaka that still tastes delicious?” Why, yes…yes you can 😀