VEGETARIAN MOUSAKA

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ bag of spinach
  • *½ cup of puy lentils/ green lentils (or 1 can of pre-cooked lentils)
  • ½ stock cube
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp or bunch of thyme, parsley, rosemary
  • Olive oil

Roux Sauce:

  • 1 tsp/knob butter, 2/3 tsp flour, and 200/250 ml milk

Note: Top with mozzarella or goats cheese if wish
*For meat option put in ½ lb lean mince meat and only ¼ cup lentils (brown mince and follow instructions then add in with lentils).

If using dry lentils put the puy/ green lentils in a saucepan and half a stock cube with 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 30/40 mins until soft. Do keep a watch that the water doesn’t boil off as they will absorb the water so you may need to add more.

Slice up peppers, courgette, garlic, and red onion. Put in a roasting dish and season with ground black pepper and salt (Himalayan or sea salt) drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 20 mins at 170/180.

Thinly slice the aubergine and place in a frying pan with some olive oil and gentely brown on both sides, then set aside. Remove the roasted veg from oven, set aside. In a large saucepan gently heat some olive oil add the herbs, ground pepper, and salt and saute for a few minutes then add in the tomatoes and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the sauce in a blender and blitz until you have a rich sauce. Return the blended sauce to the pan and then add lentils (meat if using), spinach stir in and let it gently simmer away while making the roux.

For the roux melt the knob of butter and whisk in your flour until they blend in and then slowly add your milk and keep whisking until the sauce thickens. You may need to add more milk if sauce too thick. Season with ground black pepper and salt.

In a roasting dish layer half of the roasted vegetable sauce then top with a layer of aubergine then top with next half of the sauce, then layer more aubergine. Finish by pouring over the roux sauce and top with mozzarella or goats cheese if using. Cook for 35/40 minutes in the oven at 180.

Can be served on its own or with a salad, brown cauliflower rice, roasted sweet potatoes or potatoes.

Nutrition facts:
This dinner really hits the spot on a cold winters evening. It can be prepared in advance or reheats very well. It’s also nutrient dense and a great alternative to meat, as the carnivores in my house don’t seem to notice the difference! Lentils are an excellent source of protein and great to aid digestion. Red peppers are full of antioxidants. Garlic for the keeping the old colds at bay. Aubergine is known to help the nervous system and high in fiber and spinach has Vit C, protein, iron and antioxidents. Enjoy! x