Glorious Greek Moussaka
Are you thinking about getting a copy of my new book Be Good, but would like to try one of the recipes first? Here’s your chance. This week I’m sharing my Glorious Greek Moussaka with you, from inside the book.
If you’re looking for a man-friendly, kid-friendly, flavour-jamming dish – you can’t go past this. My kids call it ‘potato pie’, as I figure eggplant moussaka might freak them out. Don’t get me wrong, I adore eggplant – but I tell you, the rumours going round the playground about our purple pal are not flash. This hearty moussaka though is the perfect combo of layers – tender eggplant, sweet tomato, nourishing beans, creamy potato, and the best béchamel you’ll ever try.
Give it a whirl this week! It’s just one of 100 incredible plant-based recipes inside Be Good, that I’ve made, tweaked, and refined to perfection – ready for your dining pleasure.
How to make this Glorious Greek Moussaka
Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to…
- Perfectly nutritional balanced (protein from the beans; complex carbohydrates from the potatoes; healthy fats from the cashew cheese sauce; and vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from the eggplant, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs)
- Super easy to make – 20 mins prep, then just 30 mins in the oven
- Exactly what to rip out when you’ve got men / plant-sceptics / hungry beasts / flavour-fanatics coming round
I know I get excited about my recipes regularly, but the flavours and textures in this one are just too good. This is exactly what I want to show you in my new book – that with a few simple affordable ingredients, you can make plant-based food taste out-of-this-world amazing.
How do you make plant-based food taste good?
When I talk to people who are thinking of moving to a more plant-focussed diet, one objection I often hear is that the flavours of vegetables are just too bland.
This is true in a way, in that meat and dairy has a head start on our sweet vege, by being packed with salt, fat, and blood, before it even reaches our kitchens. Veges and plant foods though we can elevate to that same exact level, with a few simple tricks to add those elements back in. In this endeavour, salt, fat, and herbs and spices will become your new best friends.
3 easy ways to make vegan food taste amazing
Next time you’re trying to make a plant-based recipe, without the meat and dairy, make sure you’ve got the following three elements intact to ensure a rip-roaring success:
- Salt – a plant-based whole-foods diet is significantly lower in salt and sodium than a meat / dairy / processed foods one. Despite the rough rap salt has had in the past, sodium is an essential element in our diet, so you’ll be needing to add more to your meals than ever before (your heart will be happy I promise). Just be sure to use a good quality sea salt that has all the minerals still intact. Any locally produced sea salt is great for everyday use, I also often use kelp salt for savoury recipes as a natural source of iodine (table salt is normally enriched with iodine, so adding kelp to your natural salt does this naturally).
- Fat – veges without any added fat can sometimes be a sad state of affairs. To avoid this, make sure you’ve got a hearty helping of avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, or seeds, added to your recipe. Not only will your hormones be happy (hormones are derived from fats, thus why we need them in our diet); but the flavour jam will be on point also. This moussaka for example does exactly this with the coconut oil in the bean base, and cashew cheese sauce. Foodie flavour perfection.
- Flavour – f you’ve decided like me that you don’t want to be consuming animal blood on a regular basis, you’ll need to be adding back that flavour with something else. In comes the world of herbs and spices! This recipe utilises this strategy through the use of cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, thyme, and oregano in the bean sauce; nutritional yeast and mustard in the cheese sauce; and basil on top. Garlic and onion are always a helping hand in the flavour stakes too.
How do you use herbs and spices in vegan food?
Having a stock of dried spices in your cupboard, and fresh herbs on your bench top, is a key step towards making you a plant-based maestro. I’ll often buy pots of them, then replant into our herb garden, whist leaving a few small pots on the bench for convenience and to add some nice colour (as well as aromatic benefits) to the kitchen.
Another tip is to mix and match your herbs and spices. You’ll see in this recipe here, I’ve used not one but three different herbs (thyme, oregano, and basil); as well as a spice concoction for the fillings (cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic, onion, and salt). Next time you’re trying a recipe with herbs, try this multi-faceted technique out. It will create a depth and medley of flavour that you can’t achieve with just one. The Mediterranean flavours of oregano, thyme, and basil that I’ve used in this moussaka work really well together, but I also love mint and coriander in Asian dishes. Or chives and parsley in more Western type meals. Throw a few together and see how you go. Sticking with the cuisine families such as the above though is a good place to start.
Want more hearty mains? Check these out:
- Sesame Ginger Noodles
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Thai Panang Curry
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Bangin’ Breakfast Burrito
If you make this Glorious Greek Moussaka, let me know! Leave me a rating and comment below (it helps others find the recipe too), and if you want to go the extra mile, tag me @begoodorganics on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Glorious Greek Moussaka
- 2 eggplants sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- 2 potatoes thinly sliced
- 2 c baby spinach
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 400g can kidney beans (incl. liquid)
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano or thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1 c cashews
- 1 c water
- ¼ c nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- fresh herbs
- green salad or steamed greens
- Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake. Layer eggplant slices on a lightly greased or lined baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the eggplants are baking, steam the potatoes in a little salted water for 15 minutes.
- Sauté the onion in a little water until translucent, then add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for another minute. Add remaining filling ingredients and simmer on low for 10 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Blitz the sauce ingredients in a blender until creamy and smooth.
- To assemble, layer a third of the eggplant slices in the base of a 20 x 20 cm baking dish. Top with half the filling, another third of the eggplant, the remaining filling, spinach, potato and remaining eggplant, then cover with the cheese sauce. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing, then serve topped with fresh herbs and a salad or steamed greens on the side.
- Nut free: Use hemp or sunflower seeds instead of cashews in the sauce.
- I use kidney beans, but lentils also work great, as do black beans.
- If your blender isn’t super strong (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec), you can pre-soak your cashews for 1-2 hours in cold water, or a quicky soak in boiling water for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain, then blend. It’ll make things a lot easier on your blades, and also give you a smoother creamier béchamel.