“Food is the epicenter of my life – what inspires me every day. It’s the way I make my living, the way I relax, the way I express myself, and how I keep healthy. I communicate with the world, and experience the world, through food.” – Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay is one of my favorite chefs, and I’ve learned much from him throughout the years. His recipes are exciting, flavorful, and comforting. Due to his passion for fitness and health, Bobby also whips up healthy recipes. I just wish his marriage never ended with Stephanie March (such a cool chick). As long as he keeps cooking up deliciousness everywhere and keeps his restaurant empire strong, we will all be happy.
So remember Bobby Flay is not a low-FODMAP chef, but instead, I adapted his Moussaka recipe to be low in FODMAPs. Some of my other favorite chefs (who I HOPE to hang out with someday) include: Lidia Bastianich (inspirational Italian food, her recipe books are so easy to follow), Eric Ripert (such creative seafood, such a great personality), José Andrés (incredible Spanish Tapas and gorgeous restaurant, The Bazaar), Massimo Bottura (love+passion+Italian food), Julia Child (an inspiration to so many. I adapted her Coq Au Vin Recipe to be low-FODMAP in my book The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook), Jacques Pépin ( I grew up watching him cook), Roy Choi (rule breaker!) and so many others. I’ve never had Dominique Crenn’s food, but I am dying to go to Atelier Crenn!
So what about this recipe today? My Low-FODMAP Moussaka was inspired by none other than Bobby Flay’s recipe on the Food Network. I had two eggplants at home and was looking for some inspiration and I came across his Moussaka. It brought me right back to the Cardiff Greek Festival when I had Moussaka for the first time this past September. Talk about sumptuous (and definitely high-FODMAP). Of all the years I lived in New York, I can’t believe I didn’t have Moussaka at one of the many restaurants I visited close to home on Long Island or closer to the city in Astoria (which has the best Greek food in my opinion).
Many different variations for moussaka exist around the world (for instance you can use potatoes instead of eggplant or use meat other than lamb), and moussaka is not necessarily of Greek origin. “Greeks believe that moussaka was introduced when the Arabs brought the eggplant, although Arabs, especially in Lebanon, think of it dish as a Greek dish. Moussaka is also found in Turkey. No one knows what the origin of moussaka is but the following recipe from the thirteenth- century Arabic cookbook known as the Baghdad cookery book was proposed by one food historian as the ancestor of moussaka.” (source)
So after finding Bobby’s recipe, I decided I really wanted a low-FODMAP version to enjoy and share with you. This recipe takes a bit of time but it is well worth it. This dish is filling, full of flavor and spice, and it smells SO good. I think it would be a great option to bring to a holiday gathering.
Low-FODMAP Moussaka Inspired by Bobby Flay
- Total: 3 hr 15 min
- Prep: 30 min
- Inactive: 55 min
- Cook: 1 hr 50 min
- Yield: 6-8 servings
**If you do not have FODMAPPED sauce on hand, you have the option to add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste before the red wine, and then after the wine, add in 1 (28-ounce can) plum tomatoes, pureed until smooth with their juices.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups lactose-free milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
- 1 cup grated Romano
- 1 lemon, zested
- Cut off ends of eggplant and
- For the lamb: Soak the cranberries in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the lamb, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cayenne, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a large strainer set over a bowl and drain; discard any liquid left in the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the serrano and cook for 1 minute. Add FODMAPPED tomato paste** and cook for 1 minute (SEE NOTES ABOVE).
- Return the lamb to the pan, add the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. If using tomato puree add it in now along with the cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- For the eggplant: Heat the canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and fry until tender and lightly golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggplant slices to paper towels.
- For the bechamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the gluten-free flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. Still whisking constantly, slowly add the lactose-free milk and bay leaf and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and discard the bay leaf. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, goat cheese, and lemon zest and whisk into the bechamel sauce until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (204°C). Butter a 3-quart baking dish or casserole dish.
- To assemble: Put half the eggplant slices in the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. Top the sauce with the remaining eggplant slices, and then the remaining meat sauce. Pour the bechamel over the top of the meat sauce and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle Romano evenly over the top, place the dish on a baking sheet, and bake until browned and bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes. Top with more chopped parsley, if desired. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe? Share your comments below!
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