Healthy Moussaka

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Greek food is my favourite kind of food after Mexican. I guess it is all the feta. Although the Mediterranean diet is known as being one of the healthiest in the world, and it is, a lot of the dishes can be lightened up on the cream and cheese to make a healthier dish, which is exactly what I have done with this health moussaka.

healthy moussaka

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I love Greece and I have visited a few different islands, but I would love to spend 3 or 4 weeks island hopping. Going to all the smaller, less touristy islands and eating in little tavernas and staying in local guest houses. That’s the dream anyway. I will just add it to the list of trips I want to go on. Have you been to Greece? Share some of your highlights with me.

Oh do I have a throw back picture for you. I was looking through my old photos, you know, the ones you keep in photo albums rather than on your computer and phone, to see if I had any from my trips to Greece. I wanted to share with you some beautiful scenery photos, perhaps a picture or 2 of a delicious Greek meal, but I found none of that. I found a lot of photos from nights out and very few photos in day light. I guess that kind of sums up my trips when I was younger.

I promise, I did see the sites and eat delicious Greek food. I guess I just wasn’t as obsessed with photographing everything like I am now. What I did find though was this photo. Oh. My God. I still get shocked when I see photos of the “old me”, as I can’t really believe that was ever me. It has also made me think that perhaps I was bigger than what I thought I was at my biggest. I never weighed myself during this time, and only weighed myself about 5 years later when I was actually a bit smaller, but I always note that as my biggest. Anyway, I am keeping this photo somewhere as a reminder never to let myself get back there.

me in crete

Now we have that little flash back out of the way, I can share with you my moussaka recipe. I have lightened it up by using lean beef mince, rather than lamb or regular beef mince and I have used Greek yoghurt to make the sauce, rather than a traditional white sauce with butter and flour. I also topped it with a little feta, because it is a strong cheese and you don’t need as much of it. I mentioned that I like feta, right?

This freezes really well, so put any leftovers in the freezer for a quick and healthy weekday meal.

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Ingredients – Serves 6:

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 onion, diced

– 500g/1lb lean beef mince

– 2 cans chopped tomatoes

– 2 tbsp tomato puree (tomato paste)

– 2 tbsp oregano

– A pinch of cinnamon

– A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

– 4 garlic cloves, crushed

– 2 medium aubergines (eggplants), sliced in to rounds

– 2 medium potatoes, sliced in to rounds

– 8 tbsp 0% Greek yoghurt

– 1 egg, beaten

– 60g/2oz feta cheese

1) Put the sliced aubergine on a baking tray and cook at 200C/390F for 15 minutes until softened

2) Put the potato slices in a pan of boiling water and par boil for 7 minutes. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water so they are easy to handle.

3) Add the oil to a large pan and soften the onions. Add the mince and cook for 10 minutes.

4) Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, cinnamon, garlic and salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing together the Greek yoghurt and the egg.

6) Now it is time to start layering. In the bottom of a dish, add some of the beef mixture and top with the slices of potato and aubergine. Repeat this layering until you have run out of food or space, but leave a little space on top for the yoghurt mixture.

7) Pour the yoghurt mixture on top and crumble over the feta and a little more black pepper.

8) Put back in to the oven for around 20 minutes.

What is your favourite Greek dish? Leave a comment below.

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Nutritional Information – per person

Calories: 360

Fat: 15

Carbs: 19

Protein: 27

Fibre: 7

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I really like that you have showed us a leaner alternative on a much loved dish, that makes so much sense for people who actually want to continue to enjoy the foods that they love x

  2. says

    Dannii, I’m not sure if you know this or not, but I lived in Greece for many, many years and moussaka was always my favourite dish. Now though I ALWAYS make it this way with the Greek yoghurt topping. And, good news, to be honest most moussakas I’ve eaten in Greece are made with beef mince so you aren’t going too far away from the authentic (not that it matters!) with your version. Great recipe!

  3. says

    That’s a great lightened up recipe. My boyfriend has been wanting me to make mousakka- we both love eggplant. I lactose intolerant, so was thinking of ways around the bechamel– greek yogurt sounds perfect! I do well with yogurt.

    We are thinking of Greece for our honeymoon in December- that’s my first pick. He would rather go to Spain. Maybe we should save Greece for warm weather, since I’ve already done Spain in summer- would be nice to see it in the winter!

  4. says

    I can’t say that I’ve ever had moussaka, but I know I love feta! Oh, and I’m super jealous that you’ve had the opportunity to travel to Greece. I’ve been to Italy several times, and it was amazing…but Greece is still on my list of places to go!

  5. Paula says

    Feta is the only cheese I have in the house usually now, with cottage occasionally. The ‘hard stuff’ was too much of a temptation for me, I would just cut off a chunk and munch it, even when cooking dinner! I think I’ll make this on Saturday, it sounds great; lighter and less fatty too than the normal version. Thanks Dannii! x

  6. Matt says

    My wife and I went to Skiathos last year and I live off moussaka and slovaki. And beer of course. I will give it a go and see if I can make it myself. Cheaper than a trip to Greece!

  7. Wendy says

    Do you have any suggestions on how I can make this vegetarian? One of my daughters recently became vegetarian and we are trying to make sure she eats as healthily as possible, as all she seems to eat is jacket potatoes with cheese and beans at the moment.

  8. Tessa says

    Greece is my dream destination. I am jealous that in the UK you are so close to it, so it is easier for you to get to. In the meantime, I guess I will just have to eat a lot of Greek food. Looking forward to trying this :)

  9. Brandi says

    I can’t wait to try this! My husband’s family is from Greece and we just got back! I am so excited to have a healthy version to make! Thank you!

  10. Ceri says

    I never would have thought to use Greek yoghurt. Thanks for the tip! I will add this to my meal plan for next week.
    p.s. I am new to meal planning, but I absolutely love it! Thanks for the advice.

  11. Linda says

    I went to Santorini last year and it is beautiful. If you haven’t been before, then you should definitely add that to your list of places to visit. They have lots of feta there!

  12. says

    I absolutely love Greek food!!! When I was in Greece a few years ago, I lived of tzatziki with pita bread and Greek salads (which I swear had like half a pound of feta on them, which was of course the best part ;) ). This dish look amazing! And I think it could easily be made vegetarian by swapping something veggie for the beef!

    • Dannii says

      Oh yes, the amount of feta they give you is insane. In a good way ;) I have made a veggie version of this with beans and mushrooms before. It is just as good.

  13. Vikki says

    I’ve been looking for a healthier moussaka recipe for AGES – I LOVE Greek food and moussaka’s one of my boyfriend’s favourites – but every other recipe seems overly high in fat/calories etc. Will defo be making this one ASAP, thanks!

    • Dannii says

      I try to include them on all my recipes, as I know people use different types of measurements. It can get a bit complicated sometimes though.

  14. says

    Gosh Dannii, you have done amazingly well – that’s such an achievement and well done for being so determined to keep that weight from coming back.

    I remember my aunt went to work in a Greek cafe in her youth and walloped on a few stone while she was there, so Mediterranean food may be healthy, but presumably only up to a point.

  15. says

    Wow! I had no idea Greek food is healthy food. I look forward to looking at your recipes and trying out a few of them, my family will be shocked. Thank you for the education and expanding my cultural palate.

  16. Claire says

    What a amazing transformation Dannii. You have worked so hard. I love the recipe too, Moussaka is such a comfort meal.

  17. Samantha Hobbort says

    Haha, don’t worry – I have been to Greece 4 times and haven’t seen much beyond the nightlife.

  18. says

    Wow! I love love love Greek food but it is a little heavy at times, so I really like this lightened up version. It looks so true to form! I’ve never visited Greece but it’s on my wishlist :)

  19. Alex says

    Wow! I can hardly believe that is you. I have seen a few of your before photos, but this one is crazy. You should be so, so proud of yourself.