Posed on January 31 2019
A layered eggplant bake with a rich beef mince, tomato, red pepper and garlic sauce, topped with golden, bubbling cheese. This bake is called a Cheats Healthy Beef & Brinjal Moussaka because it’s SO easy to make, doesn’t have the heavy béchamel sauce, and you can decide how much (if any) cheese to add.
You know you’ve got a winner on your hands when your boyfriend announces that you can add this dish to the weekly menu, like, forever.
Other dishes we love: Mustard Chicken Quinoa Red Pepper Casserole, The Best Super Quick Chicken Curry With Sweet Potatoes, Sweet & Sour Cape Malay Chicken Curry, Baked Chicken Barley Kale Stew, Avocado-Wild Rice Nectarine Chicken Salad, Healthy Homemade Celery Carrot Chicken Soup.
And I must admit, I am in full agreement on the weekly-forever statement.
When it comes to Cheats Healthy Beef & Brinjal Moussaka, I’m all in. IT’S SO TASTY!
The beef sauce is cooked down for an hour until it’s really thick and RICH in flavour – tomatoey, beefy, garlic-y and rounded out with that cooked-down-red-pepper-flavour that is indescribably delicious.
How to make Cheats Healthy Beef & Brinjal Moussaka:
- Throw the sauce ingredients together and then allow to simmer gently for about 1 hour (it needs this time for the mince to tenderise, the sauce to thicken and all the flavours to combine wonderfully)
- While the sauce cooks, slice the brinjal and bake until tender
- Layer the moussaka bake in a baking dish, top with cheese and grill (broil) for 10 minutes until golden and perfect
- Serve with steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, or a simple side salad
- Leave out the cheese and you’ve got yourself a delightful dairy-free recipe in your back pocket.
Pictured Above – Left: Mince sauce – minute 1 | Right: Mince sauce – after 1 hour simmering, wonderful and thick and flavoursome!
The first time I made this dish (just last week actually), I casually threw it all together not really knowing where I was going with it or how it would turn out. I just wanted to make a layered beef and brinjal “thingie” and it was a fun experiment for a weeknight dinner. No biggie if it didn’t work out so well.
It worked out well.
And it truly is a simple recipe!
The sauce needs a little time to simmer away, but believe me, IT’S SO SO WORTH THE WAIT! No regrets here…And this recipe is on the “Forever Menu”. That’s a big commitment. We take our menu categories seriously around here!
A little health benefit information on Cheats Healthy Beef & Brinjal Moussaka:
- Eggplant / Brinjal: The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants support heart health and are believed to lower cholesterol
- Tomatoes: Exceptionally low in calories with a high water content, full of fibre and vitamin C, vitamin K1, potassium, folate and beta carotene, all of which are great for overall health and wellness
- Garlic: Contains compounds with potent medicinal properties such as manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and selenium
- Red peppers: Are also extremely low in calories while containing a cacophony of vitamins and minerals – vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K1, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin E and Vitamin A
There you have it, Cheats Healthy Beef & Brinjal Moussaka is mouth-wateringly, indescribably delicious.
AND it’s full of essential vitamins and minerals for all those health benefits that our bodies need to thrive.
A delicious layered eggplant and beef mince bake topped with cheese. It's really easy to make and will become a household favourite!
- 3 tbsp olive oil , + extra for the eggplant
- 1/2 yellow onion , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 red onions , finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 400 g (0.8 pounds) beef mince
- 400 g can chopped tomato , (I like the one with mixed herbs)
- 35 g tomato paste
- 2 medium tomatoes , diced small (or 20 cherry/plum tomatoes)
- 1 red pepper , finely chopped
- 335 ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable stock , low sodium (or beef stock)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 large eggplant (brinjal) , sliced thinly
- 2 cups cheddar or lancashire cheese , grated (optional)
- Fresh basil or parsley , chopped for garnish
Preheat oven to 150°C.
In a large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil and fry the yellow onion and red onion until glassy, then add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the mince and break apart with a wooden spoon (try to get the mince quite fine, you don’t want big chunks), takes about 8 minutes or until the mince is cooked through and no pink bits remain.
Pour in the can of tomato, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, red pepper and stock. Gently simmer the mince sauce for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until nice and thick.
While the mince is simmering: Oil and season a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, black pepper, mixed herbs and garlic powder. Place the eggplant slices on the sheet pan and rub both sides in the oil and seasoning. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Once the sauce is thick and lovely, season with salt and pepper if needed, then spread a thin layer of the mince on the bottom of a large baking dish. Then add a layer of eggplant slices followed by a layer of grated cheese, then a thicker layer of mince, a layer of eggplant slices and finish it off with a layer of the remaining cheese. Grill (broil) at 250°C (482°F) for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Remove from the oven and allow the bake to cool for about 10 minutes, garnish with basil or parsley and serve with steamed broccoli, roast sweet potato or butternut squash, or a simple side salad.
The mince needs the full hour to simmer away gently in order to tenderise and for all the flavours to come together wonderfully, and for the sauce to thicken up sufficiently.