Sunday, 31 August 2014

Vegetarian on a Budget - Moussaka

Generally speaking, if anyone mentions recipes for 'people on a budget', you may assume that the food is either going to be high calorie or starchy, (potatoes, rice and pasta) or pretty bland.
Surprise! Over the next couple of months I am going to convince you all that 'low budget' doesn't equate to blah! or meh!

After a very expensive overseas trip this year, I need to buckle down, pay some bills, get my finances in check, so I can start planning for my next trip in 2015.

While this blog doesn't accept any free handouts, prizes, give aways or advertising for money or goods, it will always promote something that is fantastic value and great to eat. So while I am trying out recipes I will certainly be letting you know if I find a good value product.

I will also try my hardest in these ' budget recipes' to calculate the cost of what I cook so you have the opportunity to decide if it is good value or not. Depending on which country you are in and the season may also change the cost of food, but I aim to keep the meals tasty, healthy and low cost.

If like me you need to cut down on your spending for a few months, then you will appreciate some low budget meals that you can use everyday, share with your friends and are guaranteed to expand your wallet and not your waist line.

I have used Quorn Mince for this recipe because it is high in protein, it can be used straight from the freezer and picks up other flavours really well.

Please let me know what you think - leave me a comment, ask your friends what they think and let me know if I am on the right track.

Happy saving! Enjoy! 

Vegetarian Moussaka

3 medium sized eggplants
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 packet  300 gms Quorn Mince or equivalent protein frozen
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper
1 carrot grated
1/2 litre of good vegetable stock or a vegetable stock cube and water
1/2+ cup milk
2 tbls plain flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp butter
Nutmeg for grating 
Herbs, oregano, thyme, parsley, marjoram (small amount of any)

Preheat oven fan forced to 190ยบ. Take the eggplant and slice vertically into thin slices. Place in single layer on a baking tray which has been greased with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook these for 20 - 30 minutes or until brown on one side, turn them over and continue to cook until both sides are lightly brown and cooked through.
While the eggplants are roasting, finely chop onion and add this to a large pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook until the onion becomes transparent and add minced garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and add the Quorn,stirring until this is well integrated with the onion and garlic.

Add tin of tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper, grated carrot and a handful of chopped mixed herbs. Cook on a low heat covered for around 30 minutes.

Grease a large baking dish with a smidgen of olive oil and make a layer of cooked eggplants. Add some of the cooked tomato Quorn mixture on top. Continue to layer until you have used up all of your eggplants and Quorn mixture, ending with a layer of the tomato and Quorn.

Take a small saucepan and melt butter over a low heat, add flour and dijon mustard and cook for one minute then slowly add the milk until you have a nice smooth sauce. You may need a little more than half a cup. Add salt and pepper to the sauce and ladle this on top of the baking dish covering the tomato Quorn mixture. Grate some nutmeg on the top and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes until the topping is starting to brown around the edges.

This will serve 6 people at a total cost of $18.00  making it $3 per person. If you serve this with some crusty bread and/or a green salad, you will need to cost this in too.

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