Saturday, September 7, 2013

South Beach Diet Vegetable Moussaka

Every once in a while I get a mood to cook something a little more involved and decided to try this recipe from a South Beach Diet cookbook.  Nothing about the preparation is difficult or tricky, just requires some time.  Little did I realize I would end up washing a cookie sheet, frying pan, saucepan and lid, large measuring cup, cutting board, cheese grater, nutmeg grinder, the garlic peeler and slicer, a whisk, assorted knives and stirring spoons.  My kitchen was disaster by the time I put the casserole in the over, but the results were worth it.  This recipe makes a hearty dish, layered with flavors and great for leftovers.  Yes, I'll make it again someday. 

Vegetable Moussaka

South Beach Diet Vegetable Moussaka

From The South Beach Diet Super Charged Cookbook
For Phase One

Ingredients

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs), ends trimmed, cut widthwise into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz) can lentils, drained- I used dried lentils and cooked them according to the package directions.
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
2 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly coat eggplant slices with cooking spray and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake until softened and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, and their juices, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, salt, and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.

While eggplant and lentils are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together half-and-half, eggs, 2 tblsp of the cheese, and nutmeg.

Lightly coat an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange one-third of the eggplant slices in a single layer in the dish. Spread half of the lentil mixture over the top. Repeat with remaining eggplant and lentil mixture, ending with a layer of eggplant. Pour half-and-half mixture over vegetables and sprinkle with remaining 2 tblsp cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake moussaka, covered, 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until heated through and golden on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

Moussaka prior to baking

No comments: