Sunday, May 2, 2010

Primal Moussaka


I love moussaka! When I lived in Germany, I would go to this Greek restaurant and eat their moussaka as often as possible. It was SO GOOD!! (Probably part of why I gained 20 pounds while I lived there...)

It has been a goal of mine to find the perfect moussaka since I moved home, and I have been disappointed, so today I decided to try my hand at a Primal version. Because of the bechamel topping, Greek moussaka would not really be the same as a true Paleo recipe, so I made one with a yogurt and olive oil bechamel sauce thickened with eggs and almond flour. Right now, it is in the oven and smells wonderful, I hope it lives up to the smell...This is definitely more of a weekend meal since it takes literally hours to make.

Ingredients:

2 medium sized turnips
2 large eggplants
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup minced onion
1 cup minced mushrooms
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 large can (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil and 1/2 t. cinnamon.
2 T. olive oil
2 T. almond flour
2 cups yogurt
3 eggs (beaten and foamy)
1/2 t. nutmeg

Slice turnips in half and then into thick pieces and add to boiling water for several minutes. Drain and cool.

Slice the eggplants into rounds, salt them and place them in a colander for an hour to drain. After an hour, place them in a single layer on cookie sheets and bake them in the oven for about 5 minutes to dry out and partially cook. Remove them from the oven, let cool.

Meanwhile, while the turnips are boiling, and the eggplants draining, mince 1/2 of a large onion, an equivalent amount of mushrooms, and two cloves of garlic. Place the ground lamb or beef in a skillet, and add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook at a medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is browned and the onions translucent, then add the oregano, marjoram, thyme, and basil, cinnamon and the crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer on medium-low for one hour.

Line the bottom of a lightly oiled casserole dish with the turnips. Layer one half of the eggplant slices over the turnips, then layer 1/2 of the sauce over the eggplant. Cover with another layer of eggplant, and cover this with the remainder of the sauce.

Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and add two tablespoons of almond flour, stirring constantly, then add the yogurt, and lastly the eggs. Make sure the sauce is smooth, add the nutmeg, and pour carefully over the layered meat sauce and vegetables. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove and let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

The result:

M gave it a 9 out of 10, and while I think it is certainly edible, it doesn't live up to my expectations. I would next time leave out the cinnamon all together, add more garlic, and more eggplant, and skip the turnips. The real thing was made with potatoes lining the bottom, and I see no great sin in eating the occasional potato so perhaps I will try a more "authenic" version next time. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sara. Well it sounds pretty good to me!

    I often find that swede substitutes very well for potato - so maybe a layer of swede on the bottom? Or possibly parsnips - although further from the real thing, I can actually see that working out really well.

    Bearfriend xx

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