I love eggplant, so I often just buy it with no clear plan. That's what happened last week, and I wasn't in the mood for Eggplant Parmesan or Roasted Eggplant Pizza, so I was not sure what I was going to do with it. Pair an eggplant with my current obsession with Almond Milk Béchamel, and a vegan version of Moussaka made sense.
Apparently, there are a lot of varieties of this dish, and sometimes the variations are based on the locality. So, since I don't really care for nutmeg in my béchamel, I didn't use it. Feel free to if that's your thing. This version is sort of a marriage of my mom's zucchini lasagne and a moussaka and all made vegan.
Grilled Eggplant Moussaka
1 cup of dry TVP (texturized vegetable protein), or 4 servings of veggie crumbles thawed (Morningstar, Gimme Lean, etc)
1 teaspoon of bittersweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 cup of boiling water
Stir together and let sit until the TVP absorbs the water
Brown one diced onion and two (2) minced garlic cloves in a nonstick skillet. Add the seasoned, reconstituted TVP and cook together for a few minutes. To this, add two (2) Tablespoons of tomato paste ad two (2) Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Finally, add one can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted if you can get them). Taste for seasoning.
To prepare the eggplant, I simply rubbed the slices of one regular Italian eggplant with olive oil and salt and pepper and then grilled them on my grill pan. If you don't have a grill or grill pan, you could simply brown the eggplant in a skillet to get some sear on it ad cook it through.
The béchamel is basically the same as in my Seitan Divan. I toasted two (2) Tablespoons of flour in my skillet, added one (1) Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and then whisked in 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk. I then seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I will confess I also did some nutritional yeast for the savory almost cheese like flavor, but if you don't care for Nooch, feel free to leave it out. This would be where you put in the nutmeg if you want to use it. Cook until creamy.
To assemble, lightly grease or spray a casserole dish and put in enough of the TVP sauce mix to cover the bottom, then a layer of eggplant, a layer of sauce, and so on until you're out of both. I wound up with two layers of eggplant and three layers of sauce. Top with the béchamel ad bake at 375 for 30 minutes or util bubbly. You can brown the béchamel under the broiler, I suspect, if you want more browning and blistering.
Notes: This could be easily made gluten-free by simply swapping out the flour in the béchamel with a gluten free flour. Also, I used balsamic vinegar here to avoid using wine just because I didn't have a bottle open and didn't want to open one, but feel free to swap out some red wine for the vinegar. I often use balsamic in place for red wine in tomato sauces.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.