Have you ever had a good Greek moussaka? If yes, I’m sure you appreciated how smoothly all of the ingredients come together. What about a vegan version? Today I’m sharing a recipe for a vegan moussaka with a lentil-based sauce that makes me confident to say that I’ve perfected this dish over the years.
Wanna have a bite?
Greek cuisine has always been near and dear to my heart. I can’t say that I’ve made a lot of Greek dishes at home, but I’ve definitely had my share at Greek restaurants! Things got a little more complicated once I switched to a vegan diet, and going to my once favorite Greek places got kind of boring since fully vegan options were few and far between.
What can a vegan girl do if she wants to keep eating delicious Greek moussaka? Make it at home, of course!
But first, for the uninitiated: what is moussaka? Here’s how a classic Greek version is defined at About.com: “Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant with spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.”
Vegan people will have a couple issues with this definition:
- – How can we get rid of the meat?
- – How can we make a non-dairy version of bechamel sauce?
- – Can we make a less greasy version of this dish? Classic moussaka can be pretty oily!
Another issue that I have:
- – If we get rid of all the heavy stuff in moussaka, how can we make a possible vegan version more filling? I don’t like to be hungry half an hour after dinner!
Thankfully, I’ve come up with a way to make a perfect vegan moussaka:
– Substitute meat with a lentil-tomato sauce that’s seasoned just right;
– Instead of making bechamel sauce with butter, milk, and white flour, make it with a little coconut oil, almond milk, and whole wheat flour, adding 1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds.
– Vegan moussaka is going to be way less greasy if you keep added oils to a minimum. In most of my recipes, I try not to use oil, but unfortunately I haven’t yet found a good oil-free vegan version of bechamel. If you have one, please let me know!
– To make my vegan moussaka more filling, I added 1 or 2 layers of boiled/steamed potatoes (that’s the Russian in me!). Potatoes are a great filler that doesn’t have an overpowering flavor, so my moussaka tastes just as delicious as the Greek-intended version!
Any version of moussaka is a rather time-consuming endeavor, so brace yourself here… Just trust me: once you bite in, your taste buds will applaud your diligence and patience, and so will your family!
And just how good is this stuff? Well, to say that this is one of my husband’s favorite dishes is almost like not saying much at all: after I make this, I hear compliments from him about how delicious it is/was for at least three days!
Another story: he ordered moussaka at a Greek restaurant once, and I said that I was worried that after having a classic Greek-made moussaka he wouldn’t want to eat mine again. After our food arrived, he took a couple bites of his entree and assured me that I had nothing to worry about!
All right, enough with the stories, bring on the recipe!
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
Have you tried a different vegan moussaka recipe that you liked? Do you have any other favorite vegan versions of classic ethnic dishes? Let us know in the comments!
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