By SHELLEY CHAPMAN
October can be wishy washy: Some days it's warm, some days it's cool and some days it's just plain cold. Fall is the time when we begin to slow down, plan for the months ahead and, if you're like me, get your palate ready for warm, comforting winter dishes. I enjoy exotic tastes and experimenting with flavors, spices and textures that transport me to enchanting locales. Especially when it's cold, windy, rainy and snowy outside, I like to picture myself in some place warm, in a loose fitting sun dress, sitting in an outdoor cafe with my handsome partner and some serious culinary throwdown on my plate. *giggle*
To transport myself in this cool October month, I decided to visit Greece and enjoy warm, savory Mediterranean flavors. With the help of a fanciful cookbook I picked up in London, I co-created a Roasted Veggie Moussaka. Traditional Moussaka is made with lamb and eggplant in a rich creamy sauce. However this vegetarian version features oven-roasted eggplant, red bell pepper, portabella mushrooms and red onion in a blend of tomato sauce with savory herbs, topped with a feta cheese and yogurt cream. This season, don't let cold weather keep you in. Your palate will open a world of flavors. Journey with me.
ROASTED VEGGIE MOUSSAKA
1 lrg eggplant, thickly sliced
2 med zucchinis, thickly sliced
2 red onions, cut into small wedges
2 red bell peppers, cored, deseeded, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
5 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 eggs beaten
14 oz. canned diced tomatoes in juice
10 oz authentic Greek Yogurt (I like Fage brand)
2 oz. authentic Greek Feta Cheese
1. Place eggplants, zucchinis, onions, peppers and garlic in a roasting pan/casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil, toss together, then sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Roast in preheated oven at 425 deg for 30-35 min. Turn pan halfway through cooking and roast until golden brown and tender. (Note: veggies will reduce by half)
3. Meanwhile, beat eggs, yogurt, salt and pepper. When veggies are cooked, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Transfer and put half the veggies in a layer in a large ovenproof dish/casserole dish.
5. Spoon over canned diced tomatoes with juice.
6. Add remaining veggies.
7. Pour over yogurt mixture and crumble over the feta cheese.
8. Bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown. Serve at any temperature.
About our MyBrownBaby contributor:
Shelley Chapman is a culinary artisan who has tended to her palate by traveling and dining at unique eateries and collecting recipes, tips and culinary stories for her own delight and nourishment. Her passion for "natural, from scratch, quality ingredient meals" led her to consult on meal preparation, planning and holistic consumption as a personal chef for her company, Naturi Beauty Concepts. She offers private culinary services in the Atlanta area, specializing in Vegan and Vegetarian cuisine with a global influence. For more tasty vegetarian/vegan recipes, please visit Shelley at Naturi Beauty.