roasted vegetable moussaka

roasted vegetable moussaka | drag it through the gardenThis dish is part two of my meat-free meal attempts, not only for Lent but also because Lauren apparently decided she does not like meat that much any more ever since her trip to Spain. Especially not chicken.

So, after having my plans of making a normal meat-filled moussaka shot down, I decided to try to pack the moussaka with some mediterranean veggies. Not only did I feel pretty healthy eating it with all of those vegetables, it tasted really good. Like good enough where I would make it again even though it doesn’t boast any meat in the ingredients.

My thing for Lent this year is to eat less meat. I have heard of people going vegetarian altogether during these forty days, but to be quite honest, that is just way too drastic for my diet.

I think I am going to start the “Eat Your Heart out Diet” this week which will definitely cut down on my meat intake. Have you heard of it? It’s basically a crash diet (which obviously isn’t an ideal situation) where you eat (pretty much) as much as you want of specified foods for a given day during a week. Supposedly people have consistently lost ten pounds during the course of the week and have supposedly kept the weight off. We’ll see.

If you want updates on how it’s going, I’ll try to post news over on my Facebook page. Like I said, I think I am going to start it this week… hopefully Wednesday. But that all depends on how quickly I eat the leftovers sitting in my fridge.

roasted vegetable moussaka

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
½ cup dried lentils
1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
2 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onion, and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on baking sheets, using as many as necessary to maintain a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until tender and lightly browned, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add lentils and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Continue cooking uncovered for about 20-30 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain. Return lentils to the saucepan and add tomatoes and oregano. Warm over low heat for a couple of minutes.

Once vegetables are cooked, place a single layer of eggplant on the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish. Add a layer of zucchini, potatoes and onion, and half a cup of feta cheese. Add all the tomato and lentil mixture. Add remaining feta cheese. Layer with remaining potatoes and onion, zucchini, and eggplant. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure to break up any clumps. Continue heating until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and add nutmeg. Let cool for a couple of minutes then rapidly whisk in th egg.

After the initial 25 minutes of baking, pour sauce over vegetables and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 25-30 minutes until browned and bubbly on top.

Source: Slightly adapted for AllRecipes.com

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