Sunday, March 13, 2011

Paleo Moussaka

For those purists out there, this is NOT traditional moussaka. It's simply my take on the moussaka that Dave ordered when we went out for dinner last week. I had never tried the dish before, but it looked like a mini lasagna layered with lamb, eggplant, cheese, and tomato sauce. Well, I got rid of the potatoes and cheese, and added some zucchini and a delicious crust. Kind of like moussaka meets shepards pie meets pot pie. You could definitely use all eggplant for this dish, but I only had one and I had a ton of zucchini, so this is what worked for me. I also had some leftover pulled lamb, which was amazing, but you could also use ground lamb or another cooked meat--left over pulled pork or rotisserie chicken would work here. Whatever you want to call it, this is a tasty dinner to enjoy on a rainy night...or anytime. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

1 pound fresh eggplant
1 pound zucchini
1 1/2 cups almond meal or flour
1-2 eggs
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cooked lamb
1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
2 cups tomato sauce (I used Gabriel's marinara.)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley
coconut oil
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp chilled grass-fed butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare two shallow rimmed baking sheets by coating them lightly with coconut oil.
  3. Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Season liberally with salt and place in a colander. Cover with an inverted plate and top with a heavy jar. Set in the sink to drain for 30 to 60 minutes. Squeeze any moisture drops from eggplant and wipe salt with a paper towel. Cut the slices into quarters.
  4. Peel the zucchini, remove seeds (if large), and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Leave the slices whole if the zucchini is small, or halve or quarter the slices if using a larger zucchini.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg and about 1 Tbsp water with a fork until frothy. Place 1/2 cup almond flour in another bowl.
  6. Dip each slice of zucchini and eggplant in the egg wash, then in the almond flour. Continue to egg add almond flour to the bowls, as needed. Place "breaded" vegetables on the baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
  8. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  9. While veggies cook, saute onion in a little coconut oil until translucent, add garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Add broth, tomato sauce, parsley, and spices and simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. To make crust, add flour, butter, egg, and salt in bowl of a food processor, process until a soft dough forms. Transfer to a sheet of parchment and use your hands to form a ball.
  11. Top with another sheet of parchment, press down, and use a rolling pin to form dough to a 1/4-inch thick circle.
  12. To assemble, layer eggplant, lamb mixture, and zucchini in a deep-dish pie pan or casserole dish. Repeat layers until all ingredients are depleted. Flip the parchment so that the crust is on top of the layers (this is kind of tricky). Use your hands to trim and press the edges. Cut a small slit in the center to vent the top.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

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