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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Moussaka Casserole

This moussaka-style casserole is made with lean meat, eggplant, and feta cheese for a tasty casserole that is even better the next day. This recipe was inspired by the one found here, though the one that I actually made, detailed below, is slightly different.

In my effort to eat more veggies, the husband and I picked up two eggplant about a week ago at the grocery store. Not wanting to waste it, after I found it still sitting in the refrigerator, I scrambled to find an eggplant recipe that looked intriguing, but wouldn't take up the greater part of the day.

You will need:

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey, or other lean meat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggplant
  • 2 pounds of cauliflower (I thawed and salted a bag of frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Shredded mozzarella & feta cheese
  • Jar of Alfredo sauce
First, I recommend salting the eggplant to draw out excess water, in order to avoid a soggy casserole. To do this, peel and cut up the eggplant into slices, and then bite sized chunks. Place the eggplant pieces into a colander, over the sink or a bowl to catch the water underneath. Shake about two tablespoons of salt over the eggplant, tossing the pieces so that everything is coated. Let sit for at least half an hour. Then, rinse the eggplant with fresh water, and press between paper towels to absorb the moisture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground turkey in a large pan, and drain the grease. Add the eggplant, cauliflower (thawed and pressed between paper towels to remove moisture if you are using frozen), olive oil, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, oregano, garlic, and diced tomatoes to the ground turkey, cooking on medium heat until most of the juices have evaporated.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13" x 9" casserole dish. Pour Alfredo
sauce over the top of the mixture, completely covering it. Sprinkle a light layer of mozzarella and feta cheeses over the top of the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the top is bubbly and golden. Let cool.

In my opinion, this recipe was even better the next day, when I took leftovers for lunch, which means it would be a great "make ahead" dinner. The cauliflower is used in place of chopped potatoes, which cuts down drastically the number of calories, and carbs. They are close enough in texture that you shouldn't really miss them in the finished product.

You may also be interested in:
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Chili