This is a lovely dish that is baked in the oven. Moussaka is a greek dish, and pairs really well with a greek salad.
Most moussaka is not paleo – at the very least, it is primal because it includes cheese in the topping.
In this case, I wanted to make a paleo version because I react badly to dairy, so I replaced the cheese with nutritional yeast.
It is a little time-consuming to prepare, and this is the reason I tend to save this for the weekends. This is definately not something I would want to attempt after a long day at work unless we wanted to eat very late…
The eggplant and tomatoes in this recipe makes it a stage 4 reintroduction. When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.
- 2 large eggplants – cut into thin slices
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 large bunch of kale – stalks trimmed off
- 1 796ml can diced tomatoes (read labels to ensure that your tomatoes contain nothing but tomatoes and tomato juice)
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 4 cloves garlic – crushed
- 750g ground lamb (if you have no ground lamb you could substitute ground beef)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ ground allspice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (if not paleo you could substitute grated Parmesan cheese)
- coconut oil for sauteeing
Salting the eggplant does not reduce the bitterness contrary to what a lot of people think. Most modern eggplants are not all that bitter to start with. But what it does do is reduce the amount of oil that the slices of eggplant soak up, and that results in a less-greasy dish in the end.
To salt your eggplants, simply sprinkle the slices with a little salt and place them in a colander and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and pat them dry. I like to lay them out on a tea-cloth.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a heavy skillet and add several slices of eggplant. Saute the slices, turning as necessary until golden brown and soft. Remove the eggplant to a plate and repeat until all the slices have been cooked. Set the eggplant to one side.
Boil the kale in water for 5 minutes until tender. Puree the kale with the canned tomatoes and bone broth in a food processor.
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring until the meat is browned – aprox. 5 minutes. Now add all the spices and herbs except for the nutmeg, the contents of the food processor and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the sauce is thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary with salt and black pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Whisk the eggs, coconut milk, nutmeg and nutritional yeast together and set aside.
Once the sauce is cooked, use half the eggplant slices to line the base of a square baking dish. Top with half the meat sauce, and then repeat the layer with the remaining eggplant and sauce. Pour the egg and coconut milk mixture over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes until the topping has set and is a golden brown colour. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
I served this with a greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives and feta cheese) for most of the family, and I had a similar salad but without the feta cheese.