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Moussaka

1 1/2 starches – 1 protein – 3 vegetables

As daunting as it can be, it feels so good to get back on track. I just completed three daysof prep/cleanse to jump-start my metabolism and return to weight loss mode for a little while. And (are you sitting??) my husband is joining me! In the last two months, we have deviated so badly from our healthy eating habits that both of us became a bit more “fluffy” than we would have liked, and we are taking this week to recommit and refocus. And it feels really good.

There have been a lot of posts lately from those of you who are going through the same thing for any number of reasons, and I’m reminded how a change in schedule, added stress, illness and other facts of life can so easily derail us. It’s not like I didn’t notice that my pants were a little tighter than usual, but boy-oh-boy was I afraid to get on that scale! But I did. And I’m glad I did. And I would encourage you to do the same. By facing the consequences of my October eating habits, I was able to get a grasp on the extent of the damage and come up with a game plan to deal with it. I feel so much better being back on track.

I think it gets harder when the weather gets cooler. We want warm, stick-to-your-ribs types of foods, which can be challenging to make on plan. A few weeks ago, I was out with my family in Denver, and we came across a middle-eastern restaurant we decided to try for dinner. The moussaka jumped out at me, which is a delicious casserole of eggplant, lamb and potato topped with a creamy béchamel sauce. As I was eating my dinner, I started to realize that I could totally make an on-plan moussaka. Totally.

And I did.

So this week, I ask you all to take a minute to recommit to yourself, whether you are faithfully on-plan or a little bit derailed. Ask your family to join you in trying new foods and living a healthier lifestyle. Just because you can hide that muffin-top under a cool weather sweater doesn’t mean that you should.

Peace, love and moussaka!!!

–Kim K.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 russet potato
  • 8 oz. ground lamb
  • 10 green onions, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 C. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/3 C. water
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 1 C. skim milk
  • Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Peel potato, and, using a mandolin if you have one, slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices. Boil in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, spray with zero-calorie cooking spray and add lamb. Cook until lamb is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes, then add green onions and garlic. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, until fragrant.

Add eggplant, tomato, salt, pepper, clove, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, allspice and water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook until almost all of liquid is cooked off; about 10 minutes. Add vinegar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a casserole dish with zero-calorie cooking spray. Create a layer of potato on the bottom of the casserole, using half of the cooked potato slices. Top with lamb and eggplant mixture (remove bay leaf, cinnamon stick and clove if you can find it). Top lamb mixture with remaining potatoes, pressing lightly to compact.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine, cooking for 5 minutes. Add milk, whisking thoroughly to remove lumps, and continue to cook until mixture is smooth and thickened. Add nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Pour béchamel sauce over potatoes. Bake moussaka in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings