Low Fat Vegetarian Moussakka Recipe
I learned very late, last year, that eggplant can be delicious by cooking it in the oven with little oil, and I accepted it. But until last year, I had eaten so many bad meals made in the oven without deep frying that I still haven't gotten over my trauma about it. That's why I had always been thinking that eggplant should be deep fried to be delicious. But it's not.
When I bake eggplants in the oven, I do my best to make sure they are all well browned. Otherwise, the bad meal I will get will not be just a bad meal for me, it will also trigger my trauma.
In the recipe for meat free Greek moussaka in the oven, I use high temperature for this purpose and bake the eggplants on the top shelf, and I turn the eggplants upside down and change their places. In this way, the outside of the eggplants are sealed. They don't turn black or soften too much.
As you know, Greek moussaka is prepared with ground beef just like Turkish eggplant musakka. In this recipe, I changed both this feature and the method of frying. Thus, it became a lighter and a guilty free recipe. If you are wondering how a recipe with bechamel sauce is light, I would like to remind you that when deciding on this lightness, I made the comparison with a deep-fried Greek moussaka with ground beef.
The only point of the recipe that can challenge those with little culinary experience is the preparation of bechamel sauce. While making bechamel sauce, flour is roasted in butter and milk is added, and then the flour is lumped. This is the nature of the method used, it is inevitable. The important thing is after this stage. If the sauce is not mixed quickly and continuously after adding the milk, the lump may not go away. But this isn't the end of the world either. You can get rid of lumps by running the sauce through an immersion blender.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 4 eggplants,
- 1 onion,
- 1 green pepper,
- 3 tomatoes,
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
- Olive oil,
- 1/2 cup of water.
For Béchamel Sauce and Top;
- 1 tablespoon of butter,
- 2 tablespoons of flour,
- 2 cups of milk,
- Black pepper,
- Grated Nutmeg,
- 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
- Peel and cut the eggplants into long slices and spread them on a baking tray lined with wax paper,
- Drizzle plenty of olive oil and salt on and mix,
- Place them on the top shelf in a preheated oven at 220 C degrees on grill setting and bake until they are golden brown,
- Take them out of the oven and turn the fried ones upside down, separating the ones that are on top of each other and swapping them so that the ones in bottom are directly exposed to the heat source,
- Return them into the oven and bake until the parts that are not browned are browned,
- If necessary, repeat this process a few more times,
- While the eggplants are baking, heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan,
- Add the chopped onion and finely chopped pepper and stir fry until soft,
- Add the tomato paste and stir fry until the smell comes out,
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir fry until they release their juice,
- Add water and salt, bring it to a boil again and remove it from the heat,
- For the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan,
- Add the flour and stir fry for one minute on medium heat, stirring constantly,
- Add milk and mix quickly and continue mixing without interruption and cook on low heat until it becomes lumpy and thickens (if there are lumps, you can process it with a hand blender),
- Add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, mix and remove from heat,
- Arrange the cooked eggplants neatly in an oven dish in which the eggplants can fit,
- Pour tomato sauce on them, open the gaps between the eggplants and let the sauce get in between,
- Spread the béchamel sauce on top,
- Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top,
- Bake at 190 C degrees until the desired amount of browning is achieved.