There are many frugal uses for leftovers. I’m sure you have a few tricks of your own. The following recipe is an example of taking a recipe for a traditional Mediterranean dish and modifying it to use up some leftovers. If you thought this post was about what to do with a bunch of leftover moussaka from your last Greek cooking extravaganza, you’re going to be disappointed. If you make moussaka right, there won’t be any leftovers anyway. 😉 If you haven’t made or had moussaka before, you’re in for a real treat.
Traditional Greek moussaka is a layered casserole of ground meat, eggplant, tomato, white sauce, and spices. The recipe that follows is far from traditional moussaka, which itself has many variations in Greece, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Egypt and other Mediterranean countries. This recipe came from my attempt to do something healthy and interesting with left over spaghetti sauce and some fresh vegetables from the farmers market. This is a good example of taking an idea from one culture and using ingredients and flavors from another.
Spaghetti sauce moussaka
- 3 cups leftover spaghetti sauce with meat
- 1 big chinese eggplant, sliced into 1/8″ rounds
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8″ rounds
- 8 white muchrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 roma tomato, sliced very thinly
- 3T olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
Put 1T of olive oil into the bottom of a baking dish and smear to cover the bottom. Layer half of the eggplant and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer half the zucchini and then all the mushrooms. Layer all of the tomato. Cover with all of the spaghetti sauce. Layer the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, adding more salt and pepper. Mix the garlic, parsley and 2T of olive oil. Spread on top of the casserole. Bake uncovered at 350F for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. If it starts getting too brown on top, cover with foil until done.
When I came up with this recipe I was going for something that was primarily vegetables. Obvious additions to this would be a velvety bechamel (white) sauce and bread crumb or cheese topping. You could also add some sliced potatoes or other vegetables. Almost anything would be good in there as long as it can be sliced thinly or lays down flat. You could do a Mexican variation by using leftover taco meat instead of spaghetti sauce and then add jalapenos, beans, and/or pepper jack cheese. You could finish that off with sour cream or salsa. YUM! I think I may try that next time!
Go crazy and let us know what you come up with!