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If you have been to Greece, you cannot have missed the Classic Mussakàs made with eggplants and meat sauce, a one-course meal rich dish that I thought I would revisit to create a lighter, vegetarian version: here is my
Vegetarian Mussakàs
.

This Vegetarian Mussakàs is the perfect substitute for Lasagna for the warmer months when light recipes rich in seasonal vegetables are preferred, but it is also loved by everyone in the family, including the little ones. It is also very useful for those who have to organise family meals, as it can be prepared in advance and then cooked with 30 minutes to spare.

If you don’t like peppers or find them indigestible, replace them with courgettes!

Remember that you can also prepare this recipe lactose-free by replacing the milk in the béchamel with vegetable stock: all other ingredients are lactose-free!

When you have eggplants in season, this recipe will be a dinner-saving one-course meal for every family need: enjoy!

mussakas-vegetariano

Vegetarian Mussakàs

9.26g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 1kg eggplants
  • 450g potatoes
  • 300g red pepper (or courgettes)
  • 200g tomato sauce
  • 150g carrots
  • 120g onions
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • breadcrumbs*
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • basil
  • sage
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 350g milk
  • 35g brown rice flour*
  • 35g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Slice the eggplants and place them on a baking tin lined with parchment paper,  bake in a convection oven preheated to 180°C for about 20 minutes.
  2. Boil the potatoes with their skins on until they are soft enough to be sliced.
  3. Prepare the vegetable ragout browning the garlic in a little oil, then add the diced carrots and peppers; season with chopped basil and sage, add the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare a béchamel sauce by mixing the rice flour with the oil, then gradually add the milk so that no lumps form and heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan cheese, mix well and add salt to taste.
  5. Take a rectangular oven dish, form a layer of vegetable ragout, cover it with the wilted eggplants, the sliced potatoes, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and start the layers again: you should have two layers of aubergines and ragout and only one layer of potatoes. Finish with a layer of béchamel sauce and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake the Mussakàs in a convection oven preheated to 190°C for 20-30 minutes until crispy.

mussakas-vegetariano

Version with gluten of Vegetarian Mussakàs

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs; the rest of the recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptation is needed for the version with gluten.

 

 

Rolls are a bit like meatballs: one leads to another! Here is an idea for preparing delicious Romaine lettuce rolls with a tasty and colourful filling that you can also prepare with me by by watching the video recipe.

I wanted to propose a vegetarian filling because we know that healthy eating guidelines recommend consuming meat no more than 3 times a week (1 time red meat, 2 times white meat), so I am always looking for tasty alternatives to meat so that the rest of the family will not notice its absence. Another idea? Also try the Vegetable au gratin.

Even the choice of lettuce is designed to change the flavours as much as possible, in short, variety is the key!

Romaine lettuce rolls

14.91g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 250g Romaine lettuce
  • 200g grated cheese (choice of Caciocavallo, Parmesan, Pecorino, etc., also mixed together)
  • 100g breadcrumbs Nutrifree**, and a little more to dust the surfce with
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g dried tomatoes
  • 15g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Wash the leaves of Romaine lettuce and blanch them for less than a minute in slightly salted boiling water. Drain the leaves using a slotted spoon and plunge them in very cold water. Take the leaves out of the water and lay them on a tray or cloth so that they drain a bit.
  2. Prepare the filling. Heat the stock and use it to scald the breadcrumbs, which should be moist but not creamy. Let it cool down.
  3. Blend the dried Porcini to a powder; chop the dried cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add 170g grated cheese to the breadcrumbs, also incorporate cherry tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms and the whole eggs. Stir and add pepper (salt should not be needed).
  5. Take the lettuce leaves, remove the centre rib, place a roll of stuffing in the centre and wrap it, forming a roll for each leaf. Place the rolls in an oven dish, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil and bake au gratin in a static oven preheated to 200°C for about 15 minutes.

involtini di lattuga

Version with gluten of Romaine lettuce rolls

Replace the Nutrifree breadcrumbs with an equal amount of conventional breadcrumbs, while all other ingredients remain unchanged.

We could write pages and pages of recipes with tomatoes, so let’s start with this one: my No-cook stuffed tomatoes, a vegetarian, tasty, fibre-rich preparation that does not require the oven.

The main trick to make good stuffed tomatoes is to drain them and let them lose their water by sprinkling them with a pinch of salt and laying them ‘upside down’ on a surface covered with kitchen paper. Furthermore, it is important to choose perfectly ripe and firm tomatoes to get the best out of this preparation.

And if you like fresh fillings for summer, try my Travel Caprese.

No-cook stuffed tomatoes

6.64g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 720g approx. tomatoes (4 ripe, firm salad tomatoes)
  • 170g yellow and red pepper
  • 50g peas
  • 40g onions
  • 30g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g pitted black olives*
  • 8g capers
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes, empty them, add a pinch of salt, then place them on a tray covered with kitchen paper to drain the water they produce. Use the inside of tomatoes to add to a soup or sauce.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a frying pan, sauté the sliced onion, then add the peas and diced pepper, and cook. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, capers, chopped olives and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the vegetable mixture and serve.

Pomodori ripieni senza cottura

Version with gluten of No-cook stuffed tomatoes

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs; no other adaptation is needed.