Skinny Moussaka


I have confession to make.  Before I made this recipe I had no idea what Moussaka was.  I was flipping through one of my many cooking magazines when I discovered it, saw the ingredients list and decided to make it.  Now, however, I've learned that Moussaka is a Greek eggplant based casserole that is topped with a rich white sauce.  Now before you go getting all excited, the title says "skinny", remember?  So, no white sauce here.  That's not to say that any flavor is sacrificed.  I've never had the "fatty" version and I probably won't because I'm completely satisfied with this one just the way it is.  Added bonus- my daughter scarfed down the eggplant and zucchini like a champ.  Can't beat that! 

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  • 2 eggplants (about 1½ pounds), sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick (make sure you slice them thin!)
  • 4 zucchini (about 2 pounds), sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 15oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 4oz gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 pint low fat cottage cheese

    Salting the eggplant and zucchini

    1. Preheat your oven to 500°.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  
    2. On paper towels, lay out the eggplant and zucchini in a single layer.  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Flip the slices over an sprinkle the other side with salt and let sit for another 20 minutes.  Rinse and pat dry.  (The salting process draws out moisture from the vegetables so in the end you're not left with a soggy watery mess of a casserole.)
    3. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Roast until golden, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the veggies to a 9 x 11 baking dish.
    4. Meanwhile, using a food processor, puree the cottage cheese until smooth.  Set aside.
    5. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
    6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the scallions and garlic, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Add the tomatoes and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon the meat sauce over the eggplant and zucchini.
    7. Top with half of the gruyère, followed by the cottage cheese and finish with the remaining gruyère.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes to brown the top.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

      Skinny Moussaka

      • Source:  Adapted from 'Moussaka' found in Every Day with Rachel Ray.

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