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RECIPE: Vegan festive bake

Not everyone chooses to eat meat during the festive season, be it for ethical, intolerance or health reasons.

This incredible tasting rich main course will easily serve 3-4 people, and leave them wanting more, It has hints of Middle Eastern flavours, and is a comforting winter dish.

It could be made in individual portions – simply layer the courgette and aubergine on the bottom of the pan, and fold over the top of the ‘sauce mixture’.

Try it with other vegetables, and we like it with a few fresh chilies thrown in.

Meat eaters can, of course simply replace the vegan meat, lentils or nuts with lamb to make a more traditional moussaka style dish.

This recipe originally sourced from mouthwateringvegan.com

Ingredients

  • For the sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 400g tin tomato pulp (chopped canned tomatoes)
  • 2½ cups vegan mince meat (vegan ground crumble)
  • 6 to 8 sundried tomato halves, chopped
  • ¼ red pepper chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (if possible unflavoured)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt to taste
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • For the "Cheese" Sauce
  • 2 cups (500 mL) soy milk, or other non-sweetened milk
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose plain flour
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp fine garlic granules
  • Salt (don’t omit)
  • a knob of vegan butter or margarine
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder or granules
  • a little water if needed
  • For the Vegetable Layers
  • 1 large eggplant/aubergine, cut lengthways fried in a griddle pan and set aside
  • 2 medium courgettes/zucchini cut lengthways fried in a griddle pan and set aside
  • Extras
  • olive oil for greasing
  • 2 cups vegan grated cheese of your choice
  • ground paprika (for dusting the top)

Procedure

  • For the sauce
  • 1. Heat up the oil in a frying pan/ cast iron skillet, and fry spring onions until slightly golden.
  • 2. Stir in garlic, mix until it is slightly golden.
  • 3. Add red pepper and tomato puree, and mix for a couple of minutes.
  • 4. Add veggie/vegan mince, or lentils, or chopped nuts, and mix again. Then add the remaining ingredients, and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • 5. Taste for seasoning, and set aside.
  • For the cheese sauce
  • 1. Place all the ingredients in a milk pan and whisk.
  • 2. Heat the mixture up, mixing virtually non-stop, until you have a thickish consistency. Lower the heat, and continue cooking for a further minute or so.
  • To assemble
  • 1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  • 2. Grease a suitable oven dish (around 7” diameter, 3” deep).
  • 3. Place the eggplant slices across the base and sides of the dish, so they overlap one another.
  • 4.Then add half of the ‘meat sauce’ to the base, followed by the zucchini slices, and half of the cheese sauce (try to even the ingredients out with the back of a large spoon).
  • 5. Add the rest of the meat sauce, then cover with a mixture of the remaining eggplant and zucchini slices. Don't worry if it's not completely covered.
  • 6. Add the remaining cheese sauce and the grated cheese, and finally sprinkle on some paprika with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • 7. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, and remove when it’s really golden. Allow to cool down for 20 minutes before serving, as it will be piping hot. This can also be made a day ahead.


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