Main dishes,  Mediterranean food

Amazing rich and creamy vegan moussaka recipe

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pice of vegan moussaka

For those who think that you have to miss out on a delicious moussaka if you skip animal protein. Well, here the answer to that. An amazingly rich and creamy vegan moussaka.

Meaty without meat

Traditionally a moussaka is made with minced lamb. But lentils (full of proteins also) and walnuts make for a great substitute.

Start with creating the typical moussaka flavours; by adding nutmeg, cinnamon and oregano to onions and garlic with a good amount of red wine, and tomatoes and leave to simmer for a while (not the lentils yet). This will give it some time to release the flavours.

Add the lentils last, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season the mixture well.

Vegan moussaka, it takes some time but good preparation is half the work

Prepare the par-boiled potatoes, pan fried aubergines and soaked cashews ahead of time. This gives you a lot better and organised preparation, as two layers of the three are done!

While the lentil mixture is simmering you can start making the vegan bechamel.

A rich and creamy vegan bechamel sauce

Cashews create just the most delicious creamy and rich sauce when blended. Therefore, cashews are often used in a vegan diet to replace creamy sauces.

The blended cashews mixed with water are very easy to adjust to a specific flavours you are looking for. In the case of this vegan moussaka, we aim for a cheesy-like flavour, which is produced by adding the nutritional yeast. And we want a light nutmeg flavour. The garlic powder gives it its deep and full flavours. I never used to have garlic powder in my cupboard until I started cooking plant based. Garlic powder cannot be substituted by fresh garlic, believe me I tried many times 😉

The texture depends on the amount of water added. For the vegan moussaka its best to aim for a thick creamy sauce, which you can nicely layer on top of the lentil mixture without dripping everywhere.

After baking the top will lightly brown but the inside is still juicy and creamy, exactly what we want for a moussaka.

If you are interested in other sauces with cashews, check out my quick vegan cheese sauce and my cashew sour cream recipes.

Wine pairing with vegan moussaka

red wine dinner

This hearty dish definitely calls for a red. A fruity red with good acidity and a little black pepper. This sends me straight towards a Spanish tempranillo, a Rhone shiraz, or a chateau neuf de pape. In Italy you can go for a sangiovese or nero d’avola. But as the dish is greek you might want to opt for a greek, fruity peppery red.

Enjoy this hearty rich vegan moussaka dish with a refreshing green salad, or tomato salad. Add @haricoco1 to your instagram post if you use this recipe. So we can share our various moussaka creations.

This moussaka recipe is part of my new series; ‘Travels of taste‘. We use our taste buds to travel the world. So today we find ourselves around the Mediterranean. Sensing its fresh air & hot sun and tasting its incredible fresh food. Check out my full Mediterranean ‘travels of taste’ post; >>> The Med; Olive oil, herbs & fresh produce.

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