This veggie lentil and chickpea moussaka is absolutely worth the extra effort and time needed to make it. With layers of delicious lentil and chickpea stew, potatoes and aubergines, topped with a cheesy white sauce, you will not be disappointed.
This veggie lentil and chickpea moussaka is perhaps not one for a mid-week meal when you’re pushed for time. It may be better suited to the weekend if you have a couple of hours to immerse yourself in the kitchen. Which for me is one of life’s little joys, well apart from the washing up that comes with it of course!
Don’t be put off with the list of ingredients and instructions for this recipe, I promise you the extra time and effort is really worth it. Also, most of the ingredients are pretty standard cupboard or freezer staples, there is nothing remotely fancy or unusual in this one.
The story behind the Veggie Moussaka
The Moussaka that I am most familiar with is the Greek version which is traditionally layers of minced meat, aubergine and potato, topped with a thick layer of white sauce. We have been lucky enough to have a few holidays to Greece and despite the boiling heat I could never resist ordering and eating the moussaka. It is such a comfort food that is so full of flavour.
However, on a recent holiday in the UK, we bought a vegetarian option from Marks & Spencers (perhaps we may have been missing the beautiful Greek sunshine). But actually, we all really enjoyed it. Therefore the gauntlet was laid down by the family to recreate a WHK veggie moussaka and I think you’ll agree it’s pretty damn delicious.
As you have almost all of your main food groups in one dish, we simply served ours with extra greens. Why not try it with some roasted cabbage wedges
What you will need for the Veggie Lentil and Chickpea Moussaka :
- A key ingredient for any moussaka
- Are nutrient-dense which means that they contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre
- good source of many vitamins and minerals
- The other key ingredient to a delicious moussaka
- Red and Green lentils
- Great source of protein, fiber and B vitamins
- Also helps to thicken the sauce
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- One of my favourites
- Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
- Red onion
- Bring an essential flavour and gentle sweetness
- Frozen chopped onions work brilliantly as well
- A particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants
- Adds some texture into the stew
- Red pepper
- Adds a lovely sweetness to the tomato based sauce plus a good hit of viatmin C
- Use fresh or fozen
- You may want to increase the amout used depending on how garlicky you like your dishes
- Tomato purée
- Adds an extra intense tomatoey kick into the stew
- Tinned chopped tomatoes
- When heated they release more antioxidants.
- They are a brilliant source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits
- Also a great source of vitamin C and K
- A nutritional superstar rich in plant-based protein, full of fibre and nutrients
- Give a nutty taste and a nice grainy texture to the dish
- Brown sugar replacement
- Adds the sweeteness to offset the acidity from the tomoatoes
- If you don’t have a brown sugar replacement just use whatever white sweetener you have
- You could of course also use sugar
- Ground Cinnamon, Paprika, Bayleaf
- They give this dish a fresh taste that characterises a traditional Greek Moussaka!
- Parsley and Oregano
- Staple herbs that I always keep either as frozen or dried
- Both are perfect flavaour additions in this moussaka
For the White Sauce:
- Plain flour
- Black pepper
- Italian Hard cheese
- Such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Kefalotyri or any of your favourite hard cheeses
I know a meal like this where the carbs are part of the dish can be tricky to count, but don’t let that put you off. All you have to do is count the totals of the ingredients that you would typically count for and then divide that by your serving size.
The serving size of 4 is very generous in this dish
So for us we would work it out like this:
We count the carb amount of the total weight of the potatoes and the white sauce ingredients (plain flour and milk). We then divide that by the portion size, 4. So broken down this looks like:
Potatoes = 600g – 105g of carbs
White flour = 60g – 48.5g of carbs
Semi-Skimmed Milk = 18.8g of carbs
Now add all the carbs together – 105+48.5+18.8= 172.3
Finally divide this by the serving size, 4 – 172.3/4 = 43g of carb per portion
Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.