Have you ever tasted authentic Greek moussaka?It's delicious! With its cinnamon-spiced meat,moussaka is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. It's served in many taverns, and
prepared in every home on special family occasions. However, most recipes are time and labor intensive, with several steps in the preparation process.
By using a microwave oven, I've adapted thisAthens restaurant recipe to shorten the cooking time. The original recipe calls for a Greek cheese called Kefalograviera—a mixture of cow, goat, and sheep's milk. Can't find it at the supermarket? Try Gruyere or pre-shredded Mozzarella instead.
For a low-carb variation, you can omit the potatoes and use extra sliced eggplant. Opa!
1 large baking potato
1 large eggplant
1 cup (8 oz) shredded cheese
1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (5-1/2 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red wine, optional
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions ~ 10 Easy Steps
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Peel the potato and slice thinly. Spread the pieces across the bottom of a
13" x 9" rectangular (or 3-1/2 quart oval)baking dish.
3. Slice the eggplant into rounds, about 1/2" thick. Place the slices inside a colander in the sink and salt liberally. Press a plate down on the slices to cover, and let them sit for about 30 minutes. The slices will sweat out some of their excess moisture while you're preparing the meat sauce.
4. In a large pan, saute garlic and onion in oil. Add ground meat and brown until crumbly. Drain any excess fat.
5. In a medium bowl mix tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, spices, and wine. Stir well to combine. Add the sauce to the meat mixture and stir well.
6. Spread half the meat sauce on top of the potato layer. Add a layer of sliced eggplant, and spread remaining meat sauce on top. Microwave uncovered for
7. Meanwhile, prepare the custard sauce. Whisk the eggs and set aside. Melt the butter, and whisk in the flour. Add the cream while whisking constantly. Heat slowly until thickened. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste. Pour sauce into the beaten eggs a little at a time, whisking constantly until combined.
8. Remove casserole from microwave. Sprinkle shredded cheese across the top. Pour the custard sauce over the cheese, spreading it evenly to the edges with a spatula.
9. Bake moussaka in a conventional oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
10. Let stand about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnishmoussaka with whole cinnamon sticksand fresh parsley, if desired.
Loaded with healthy veggies and lean poultry, these little chicken pies will warm and fill you—without going overboard on pastry crust or portion size. Served with fresh fruit, they're a really great waist-friendly lunch. Your kids will love them too!
For dinner, you can prepare your pies using individual au gratin dishes, and enjoy double the amount of filling. Whether it's noon or six, this easy recipe makes a scrumptious home-baked meal.
1 (10.8 oz) pkg frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn), steamed
1 cup frozen cauliflower pieces, steamed
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breasts (or rotisserie chicken)
1 can cream of celery or
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp dried thyme, plus a pinch
Salt to taste
1 sheet frozen puffed pastry, thawed
1 Tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Steam all vegetables in microwave. In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetables, cooked chicken, soup, milk, 1 tsp dried thyme and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Divide filling evenly among eight ungreased 4 oz. ramekins.(Or use four individualau gratin dishes).
3. Unfold the pastry dough and cut into eight triangles. Place one pastry triangle over each ramekin. (Use two triangles per individual au gratin dish.)
4. Mix egg and water in a small bowl, and then brush over each piece of dough. Sprinkle a pinch of dried thyme on top of each dish. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown.
5. Cool slightly before serving. Garnish each pie with a small sprig of fresh thyme.