Moussaka

Between my mom and Jay I have seen many forms of Moussaka, it is the number one item they order when we eat at a greek restaurant. The best way I can explain it is as a Mediterranean lasagna. I never really tried it until recently and was shocked by what I had been missing. The blend of spices like cinnamon with beef and the creamy sauce was just a wonderful combination. I needed to replicate it both gluten free and a little more guilt free then the normal restaurant version. I promise it won’t disappoint!!!

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
2 medium potatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound lean ground meet ( beef, turkey, chicken or lamb)
1/4 cup red wine
1/3 chopped white onion
1/4 almond milk
4 oz of low fat cream cheese
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parm cheese

The first step is to microwave the potatoes whole for 3-4 minutes. The goal is to begin the potato cooking process but not to make them to soft. Allow the potatoes to cool completely and slice thin ( the thinner the better). Next, slice the eggplant into think rounds, again the thinner the better. Coat the rounds with a heavy dusting of salt and allow it to sit on a baking sheet for a bit, until you begin to see the eggplant start to release some water (could take about 15mins.) While the eggplant is sitting begin to make the meat mixture.
Begin by browning the meat with chopped onion. Drain the liquid and add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper to taste.
To make sauce simply combine milk, cream cheese, pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Microwave for 10-15 seconds and mix well until smooth. Set aside.
Now it’s time to assemble the mosuka. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Place a layer of half the eggplant on the bottom. Above the bottom layer place half the potato rounds. Then a layer of half the meat and top meat with all the parm cheese. Repeat the layers of eggplant, potato and meat. Top the whole dish with an even layer of cream cheese sauce. Cook on 350 degrees for 25 minutes cover with foil. After 25 min remove foil and broil on low for an additional 5 minutes until the top layer begins to brown.

Makes about 6 servings. Pair very well with a fresh Greek salad.

Enjoy!!!

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Falafel Chicken, Hummus and Parsley Salad

When we can’t decide what to have, anything greek is a good option. When summer comes around it’s a safe bet that we have all of this stuff in the fridge.

Falafel Chicken

Make a big batch on Sunday and it is a great protein to bring for lunch any day of the week. Put on a salad, or in a sandwich and you’re good to go. This recipe can be done with store bought falafel mix but I prefer to make my own.

1 pound chicken breast (clean and cut into nuggets)
1/2 cup chick pea flour
2 Tbsp. coriander / cumin Blend
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano

Mix all the ingredients together without the chicken to make a falafel mix. Once combined well, coat each piece of chicken with mix. It may be easier to pour mix into a large zip lock and shake. Cook the chicken on a medium flame in a large well sprayed / oiled pan till golden brown and cook completely.

Hummus

This recipe is in my blood. I can understand why buying store made hummus is such a big trend. It’s expensive and has a lot of preservatives. It’s so easy make hummus and to always keep all the ingredients around. Once you get a good base recipe down, that you enjoy, feel free to add whatever you want from pesto, to roasted peppers or anything else.

1 can chick peas (reserve half the liquid)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until appropriate consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as you prefer. I love adding roasted red peppers to the mix for some additional flavor and color.

Parsley Salad

2 Seeded and Chopped Tomato
1 chopped seedless cucumber
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice half lemon
2 cups chopped parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and let marinade in fridge for 20 min before serving.