Wednesday 3 March 2010

Marvellous moussaka!

I was going to call this dish 'No Lasasgne Lasagna' as I thought I'd been very clever and invented a new dish in my quest for lower-carb healthy and yummy meals...

Alas I discovered that someone... actually quite a few people, make that a whole nation(!)... had beaten me to it and the dish actually already has a name - Moussaka... boo (probably less of a mouthful than mine but perhaps not as clever...? ;-) )


Still, having looked at the other recipes out there I've realised that mine is a little different - lamb mince is usually used - but that still doesn't mean I can call this anything else, dammit!

Anyhoo, the recipe below makes 6 servings and comes out at:

Calories: 443
Carbohydrate: 24.8
Protein: 33.1g
Fibre: 6.4g

For the more ravenous amongst you, it could split it into 4 servings, in which case each serving would be:

Calories: 665
Carbohydrate: 37.2g
Protein: 49.7g
Fat: 35.9g
Fibre: 9.6g

But we found that 1/6th was perfectly adequate - depends how hungry you're feeling really!


Okay, so for the filling you're gonna need:
* 500g Lean Steak Beef Mince
* 1 Beef Stock Cube (I use Knorr)
* 1 Tbsp/15ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (although the 'extra virgin' bit doesn't matter as you lose all the health benefits when you heat it up)
* Spray Olive Oil (small amount)
* 1 Medium Red Onion
* 3 Cloves of garlic (or 3 x Tsps/9g Garlic, Very Lazy, The English Provender Co. - which I use as I *am* that lazy!!)
* 2 large Aubergines
* 2 Lge Cans (800g) chopped Tomatoes
* 100g Tomato Puree
* 1 Yellow Pepper
* 1 Red Pepper
* 2 Courgettes
* 2 Stalks Celery
* 6 Large flat Mushrooms
* 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
* 1 Tsp Oregano
* 1 Tsp Basil
* 1 Tsp Thyme
* 1 Tsp Black Pepper

For the Cheese Sauce you'll want:
* 130g Sainsbury's Davidstow Reduced Fat Mature Cheese
(this is the ONLY reduced fat hard cheese I can stand, it's really yummy, you wouldn't realise it wasn't full fat! Use 100g for the sauce and retain 30g to sprinkle on top towards the end)
* 60g Olive Oil Spread
* 60g Plain Flour
* ½ Pint/284ml Semi-Skimmed Milk


Slice the musrooms and aubergines into the largeest slices you can get. Chop up the rest of the veg into pretty chunks and keep separate in bowls like so:

Place the sliced aubergines in an oven dish and spray some olive oil over. Cover with foil and bung in the oven on a low heat to soften - keep them in there until the sauce is ready

Add the chopped onion, galic and olive oil to a pan and cook until browned and softened.

Then add the beef mince with some water, the stock cube and the herbs and spices.

Once the meat has browned sufficiently add the tomato puree and then begin adding the firmer of the vegetables (e.g. celery and peppers), cook for a few mins, then add the courgettes and the tinned tomatoes, all the time stirring continously.

Next add the mushrooms, stir thoroughly and turn down the heat and allow to simmer slowly while you set about making the cheese sauce.

You might find that you've run out of room in the pan you're using... I did, I usually cook with a wok but it wasn't large enough so I transferred the mixture to a bigger pan!

The sauce is very simple to make. First you melt the butter/spread (I used Bertolli spread as we don't tend to keep real butter in the house anymore) in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Then you slowly add the milk and flour... bit by bit, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps.

Only use 80 - 100g of the cheese for the sauce as the rest you'll want to keep back to sprinkle over the top.

Once the sauce is ready turn off the heat, take the aubergines out of the oven and put to one side.

Take a large lasagna dish and spoon a layer of the mixture into it - use approx half the mixture though no more - basically just enough so you can't see any of the base of the dish.

Then take half of your aubergines and form a layer over the mixture - like you'd do with lasagne sheets, though obviously this more like Tetris as there are more pieces of varying shapes!

Now gently drizzle about half of the cheese sauce over this and then spread with the back of a spoon to even out

I used a wide but shallow dish - if you use a deeper narrower dish you can make more layers so you might want to split the sauce say into thirds instead.

Next spoon the remainder of the mixture over the aubergines and cheese sauce and press down with the back of a spoon.

Repeat the above using up the remaining aubergines and spread on the rest of the cheese sauce.

Finish off by sprinkling the cheese you set aside earlier over the top (you might want to add some chopped fresh parsley or basil at this point):

Now bake in the oven bake until gorgeous at 180C/350F/Gas4 for about 30 - 45 minutes:

When ready, leave to cool for about 5 mins or so.

Serve and enjoy! :-)



  1. I'm gonna give that a try! I love lasagne but am not keen on pasta sheets, so aubergines make a perfect substitution!

    Thanks for the recipe


  2. Awesome, hope you like it!

    My son's decided he's not an aubergine fan, dammit! He likes every other veg (apart from mushrooms which he's not keen on).

    I've bought a long butternut squash so am going to try and make it with slices of that instead to see if he prefers it, will let you know how I get on with that and let me know if you like this recipe :-) xxx