This recipe comes from my favorite vegan cookbook, Veganomicon but I revised it a bit to be Whole 30 and Paleo compliant. Eggplant Moussaka or Vegan Lasagna (as I call it around here) has been in rotation in our home since the recipe crossed my path, many years ago. I made it for a dinner party we were having and I knew one of the families didn't eat sugar, grains, dairy or meat. This was long before the Whole 30 and long before I started experimenting with healthy recipes. Anyway, I served it and they immediately said, "I'm sorry but we don't do dairy." I loved telling them that the recipe met all of their dietary restrictions and I loved it even more when everyone at the table was raving about it.
In my early years of learning to cook, this recipe seemed very daunting--there were veggies to be roasted, nut sauce to make and a sauce to mix together from scratch. It was a a huge ordeal. Recently, it has been so much easier because I have more confidence in the kitchen. However, I do want to warn you that this is not a super simple recipe. You don't need a special set of skills like with croissant baking or grilling but you do need time to get this together.
If this is on the weeknight rotation in our house, (which it usually isn't, more of a weekend dinner), I try to do as much of it ahead of time. I'll make the tomato sauce and store in the refrigerator until I need it. Same with the cashew cheese. On the night I do need it, I'll roast the veggies, layer up the dish and bake. Still isn't as fast as my butternut squash soup.
To save time, use jarred tomato sauce. I suppose you could use a prepackaged vegan soft cheese for the top although I didn't try it.Print
This recipe comes from Veganomicon and is slightly adapted here to be Whole 30, Paleo and soy free.
1 small eggplant
2 small zucchini
¼ cup olive oil
2 cans diced tomatos
⅛ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
½ onion, diced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked
juice from half a lemon
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
For the top layer:
½ cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or ½ cup macadamia nuts, finely processed
First, soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil baking sheets.
Slice the vegetables lengthwise. Rub eggplant with salt and set aside in a colander to release excess moisture. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Place the vegetables on the baking sheets and sprinkle with the ¼ cup olive oil.
Roast until the vegetables are tender.
In a saucepan, on medium, saute the onions in the olive oil. Kalamata oil is one of the tastiest olive oils. Once they are tender, add the garlic. Add the spices and stir around for a minute or two. Add the cans of tomatoes and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. I like to use an immersion blender to make it super smooth before using but you don't have to. Set sauce aside until you are ready to layer.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a bit of water, if too thick.
Assembling the Dish:
Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and begin layering your layers.
This is how I layer it:
More Tomato Sauce
Breadcrumbs (Or crushed macadamia nuts)
Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.