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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turkey Moussaka

A classic Greek recipe with healthy low calorie substitutions and the same great taste.
Taste 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty 3 (out of 5)
- 2 large eggplants (220 cal)
- 4 tbsp canola oil (480 cal)
- 500 g extra lean ground turkey (550 cal)
- 1 medium onion (60 cal)
- 2 garlic cloves (10 cal)
- 1/2 cup tomato juice (20 cal)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (20 cal)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 50 g bread crumbs (200 cal)
- 2 eggs (140 cal)
- 4 tbsp low fat cottage cheese (60 cal)
- 40 g gruyere cheese, roughly shredded (170 cal)
- 30 g feta cheese, crumbled (100 cal)
- nutmeg, dried dill, dried basil, salt and black pepper to taste
Total 2030 cal, 6 servings, 340 cal/serving
1. Peel and cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt and let stand for 1/2 an hour. Then rinse the eggplants to remove the salt. This step is suppose to remove the bitterness from the eggplants. 
2. Roughly chop the onion, crash the garlic and cook them with 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan until the onion caramelizes (about 15 minutes). Remove the onion from the heat and move to a blender. Add one more tablespoon of oil to the pan and saute the ground turkey over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. 
3. Puree the onion and the garlic in a blender. Roughly chop the parsley. Add the pureed onion, parsley, tomato paste, tomato juice, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste to the turkey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes. Then discard the bay leaf.
4. Brush each side of the eggplant with a little bit of oil (use 2 tbsp of oil for 2 eggplants) and grill them under the broiler for about 3 minutes on each side (you might need to do this in batches). Place the grilled eggplants on paper towels to absorb excess oil. 
5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x7 inch baking dish and sprinkle with a 1/4 of the bread crumbs. Place half of the eggplant slices over the bread crumbs. They might overlap slightly. 
6. Beat 2 eggs lightly. Mix about 2/3 of the eggs with the beef and the remaining bread crumbs and spread on top of the first eggplant layer in the baking dish. Cover with the second half of the eggplants. 
7. Mix the remaining eggs with the cottage cheese, half the feta cheese and half the gruyere. Season with nutmeg, dried dill and basil and spread over the second eggplant layer.
8. Bake for about 20 minutes. Then sprinkle the remaining feta and gruyere on top and bake for 15 more minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. 
- The moussaka turned out quite good. I actually used only 2/3 of the turkey-onion mixture and reserved the other 1/3 for meat-stuffed parathas, that I’ve been planning to make for a while. And that saved me 60 calories per serving. 
- Many of the moussaka recipes want you to use beef, fry the eggplants and then add the creamy béchamel sauce. Such moussaka can cost you up to 800 calories per serving. So I think my turkey-cottage cheese substitution with 340 calories is a pretty good deal.
- Do not add too much salt to the eggplant - it might take out the bitterness, but you could end up with very salty eggplants. 
- Most of the moussaka recipes call for pine nuts. I did not have them, and instead I sprinkled the ready moussaka with pistachios (somehow I associate them with the Mediterranean region, so I thought it fits the spirit of the dish). 


sweetlife said...

I have always wanted to try moussaka...great recipe..I love your pics!!


Biren said...

I've never tried moussaka but I do like the ingredients. I will have to make looks and sounds delicious!

M D said...

Haven't heard of Mussaka, this looks good with easily viable ingredients. Good!

Petra said...

Mmmmmm, this looks very delicious. I like your pictures and ideas...

Unknown said...

You have a really great blog.....I have bookmarked you so I can come back again.