Oui Ratatouille!

Ratatouille is a great vegetarian stew with full of summery flavours and nutrients. It is quite easy to make and it is also very versatile. It can be served as a main or as a side, or even as filling for sandwiches or savory crepes. Also, the base recipe can be easily adjusted according to different personal preferences. It may even be served hot or cold, according to individual taste.

Ratatouille inspired sandwich - from www.marthastewart.com via Pinterest
www.marthastewart.com, Pinterest
Ratatouille originates in Nice, in Provence. It is known to be a country dish, created by farmers during the summer season, when fresh vegetables were abundant in this region of France. The name of the dish comes from the French world “touiller”, which means “to stir” or “to toss” in English. The first part of the world “rata” is a French slang word that means something like “chunky stew” in English.

Typically, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic are included in the traditional recipes of Ratatouille and the dish is spiced with fine herbs. If you like other vegetables like mushrooms, squash and potatoes, you may add them to your own preferred version of Ratatouille. Spicing is also a matter of personal preference. For true French flavours, use “Herbes de Provence”. You may also consider trying marjoram, thyme, basil and parsley.

Some recipes suggest that for the best result, Ratatouille’s ingredients should be cooked separately before combining them. This method is known to preserve the flavours of the individual ingredients better and it avoids a soggy and mushy texture in the stew. This tip is definitely worth trying!

Ratatouille’s taste, versatility and the simplicity of its preparation definitely contributed the global success of this quintessential French dish. Now, let’s try making it based on the below recipe of BBC Food (serves two people as a main course):

Ratatouille from BBC Food
BBC Food

  • 2 aubergines
  • 4 small courgettes
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • “Herbes de Provence” spice mixture
  • small bunch basil, roughly torn

Preparation method:

  • Cut the aubergines into 2.5cm/1in slices. Cut the courgettes into 2.5cm/1in slices. De-seed the peppers and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Score a cross in the base of each tomato and place them in a pot. Pour over boiling water to cover and set aside for one minute. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins. Cut them into quarters, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Chop them up into small pieces. Alternatively, use good quality canned plum tomatoes.
  • Place the aubergines and courgettes in a pan and drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper.Fry the aubergine slices in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen towels.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and very tender. Stir in the peppers, garlic, sugar, some salt and pepper. Add the “Herbes of Provence” spice mixture and half of the basil. Mix the ingredients, cover and cook over a very gentle heat for 20 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the aubergines and the courgettes, mix the ingredients and cook for a further few minutes. Scatter with the remaining basil and serve.

Bon Appetite!

Superb Singapore-Style Noodles

Singapore-Style Noodle is probably the most famous dish that people recongise as originating from Singapore. The name of the dish is misleading though – the dish has nothing to do with Singapore. It was invented in Hong Kong and is hugely popular both in Hong Kong and in the Western world. However, if you travel to Singapore to taste Singapore-Style Noodles you may be disappointed to find that the dish is very uncommon in the city-state.

Singapore-Style Noodle is a Cantonese dish. It is made with thin rice noodles called Vermicelli and is stir-fried with curry powder, bean sprouts and other vegetables. Vegetarian versions exist that use a variation of vegetables and possibly tofu. Also, sometimes prawns, pork, beef and chicken are used in the dish to create a meaty version.

The closest approximation that can frequently be found in Singapore is called Sin Chew Bee Hoon. It is a thin braised rice vermicelli dish, to which vegetables and or beancurd-based delicacies may be added. Consequently, it is slightly different to the well-known Singapore-Style Noodles, but definitely worth a try if you are a fan of Asian stir-fried noodles.

Singapore Noodles Pinterest Pinch of Yum
Pinch of Yum, Pinterest

My favourite home-made, vegetarian recipe for Singapore-Style Noodles is adapted from the Hairy Bikers, originally published on BBC Food, to suit my preference for vegetarian food.


  • 300g/10oz tofu
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry (optional)
  • 2 tsp soft light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder (optional)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g/3½oz vermicelli egg noodles
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 100g/3½oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 20g/¾oz fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tsp medium Madras curry powder
  • 10 spring onions, trimmed and sliced diagonally
  • Handful of bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges to serve

Preparation method:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and put aside.
  2. Rinse the tofu in cold water, then cut into small chunks. Pat it dry with kitchen paper. Heat 1 tbsp. of the sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the tofu, then stir-fry for a few minutes, stirring until lightly browned. Drain on kitchen paper and put aside.
  3. Place the frying pan or wok back on the stove, over a medium heat. Add two tablespoons of the oil and stir-fry the onion, red pepper and mushrooms for 5-6 minutes or until beginning to soften and lightly colour. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for one minute. Sprinkle the curry powder into the pan and cook for two further minutes. Add the brown sugar and the optional Chinese five-spice powder and pour over the soy sauce. If you wish to include the optional rice wine or dry sherry, add it to the pan.
  4. Add the tofu, the spring onions and the handful of bean sprouts to the pan. Stir-fry for one minute then add the drained noodles. Stir and mix together for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. Serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing over the dish.
Vegetarian Singapore Noodles Pinterest Beth Gentry
Beth Gentry, Pinterest

Enjoy your home-made Singapore-Style Noodles and if you wish to try the traditional Singaporean version, go for the Sin Chew Bee Hoon when you visit Singapore. Also, explore the diversity of dishes you can find in Singapore, where Chinese, Indian and Malay influences shaped the flavours, creating a unique, cross-cultural and truly delicious cuisine.

Noodles in Coconut Sauce from Magnificent Malaysia

The cuisine of Malaysia is more than exciting. As the country is a home to people from India and China, Malay dishes are heavily influenced by these cooking traditions, in particular by the Cantonese and South-Indian cooking styles. Also, for historical & geographical reasons, the Arab, Thai and Indonesian cuisines left their mark on the cooking styles in Malaysia. The dishes are typically very flavourful and exotic.

Malaysian cuisine uses lots of rice, noodles, chilies and curries and plenty of coconut milk for sauces, which makes many of its dishes smooth and tender. You will encounter tropical fruits, lots of vegetables and seafood & poultry, too.

Famous dishes include “nasi kandar”, i.e. fish curry served in chill sauce with meat and boiled eggs; “nasi dagang”, i.e. glutinous rice in coconut milk with fish curry and “nasi lemak”, a rice dish cooked in coconut milk served with anchovies, boiled egg, cucumber and peanuts. “Roti canai” is a favourite breakfast item in Malaysia, which is a savoury type of exotic pancake. “Satay” is very popular too if you are a meat-eater. Bite size beef, mutton or chicken marinated in spicy sauce and barbecued over charcoal fire is served on a bamboo stick. It is served with “ketupat”, i.e. rice cake and salad and is accompanied with a sweet & spicy sauce. “Nasi goreng” is the local fried rice, mixed up  with meat, prawns, egg and vegetables. “Char kway teow” is a noodle dish in a soy sauce & chill paste, served with garlic, prawns, bean sprouts and eggs. And there are many-many more dishes in Malaysia that are worth trying if you are in Malaysia, or if you encounter a Malaysian restaurant elsewhere.

In Malaysia, you will find that the dishes vary from region to region. Each area of the county has its own cooking tradition, therefore cooking methods, side dishes and even ingredients may vary. Be prepared for regional variations and explore regional gastronomic traditions with an open mind.

Food tends to be delicious and cheap in Malaysia. You may dine in a restaurant or just grab a plate at a food stall. You will probably find something mouth-watering.

Today, I bring you a vegetarian recipe which is inspired by Malaysian cuisine, by Simon Rimmer, from BBC Food. Nonetheless, I modified it slightly to make it healthier, without loosing the wonderful symphony of flavours of the original recipe.

BBC Food


For the spice paste:

  • 10-25g/1oz fresh ginger, peeled, according to taste
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • Half to 2 red chillies according to taste
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • 250ml/9fl oz vegetable stock

For the noodles:

  • 150g/5oz fresh tofu, cut into small squares, dried on kitchen paper
  • 20 oyster mushrooms, finely sliced (other mushroom types can be used if you can’t get hold of oyster mushrooms)
  • 8-15 sugar snap peas or mange tout, blanched, cut in half lengthways
  • 400g/14oz udon noodles, cooked according to packet instructions

To serve:

  • fresh coriander leaves
  • lime wedges
  • crushed peanuts

Preparation method:

  • For the spice paste, place all of the spice paste ingredients, except the vegetable oil, into a food processor and blend to a pulp (add a bit of water if it does not mix easily).
  • With the motor still running, gradually add the oil and continue to blend until you get a loose paste (you may not need to use all the oil).
  • In the meantime, cook the udon noodles according to packet instructions.
  • For the sauce, place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spice paste and fry gently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms to the paste and fry it gently for a a few minutes to release some of its juices.
  • Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further five minutes.
  • Add the cooked udon noodles to the coconut sauce.
  • Add the tofu cubes to the coconut sauce.
  • Add the sugar snap peas (or mange tout) to the sauce and stir well to combine.
  • To serve, spoon to the curry into serving bowls and garnish each with fresh coriander leaves, lime wedges and crushed peanuts, to taste.

Enjoy this flavourful, summery Malaysian style dish, as a gentle introduction to the Malaysian cuisine and let us know what you think! 

Herby Artichoke Casserole from England

The cuisines of Italy, France, China, India and Mexico have managed to earn worldwide fame, thanks to their distinctive flavours. The English kitchen has never managed to establish a fame or even a good reputation for itself, which is a bit of a shame. The world outside the United Kingdom – in my view – is losing quite a bit by simply throughout not knowing about English dishes, beyond fish & chips.

The English kitchen is traditionally simple in terms of cooking methods. Also, the dishes of England tend to use high-quality local and natural ingredients. Stews and broths are very popular and very delicious, so are the desserts.

UKTV’s Good Food Channel describes the cuisine as “unfussy dishes made with quality local ingredients, matched with simple sauces to accentuate flavour, rather than disguise it”. This describes well the essence of traditional English cuisine.

Today I’m bringing a very easy to make vegetarian casserole from Nigel Slater, to you. He is one of the most established food writers in the United Kingdom, who tends to create traditional, simple, honest but very flavourful recipes. The Herby Artichoke Casserole is a perfect dish. It is very simple to prepare but its various ingredients and herbs merge together into a stunning combination of flavours.

I love to make it any time, but perhaps autumn and winter suits this dish best. The colours and flavours of this healthy and hearty meal evoke such times in my view.

herby_artichoke_BBC FOOD_25299_16x9
BBC Food


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
  • 500ml/18fl oz vegetable stock
  • 400g/14oz canned flageolet beans
  • 200g/7oz jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preparation method:

  • Add the oil, celery, onion, carrots, parsnip and turnip to a large pan.
  • Put the herbs into the pan and fry until soft and browning slightly. Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the beans and artichokes and simmer for another five minutes. Add the chopped parsley at the end and serve.

Bon Apetit!

If you try this dish, let me know your opinion. Also, if you have similar recipes, I would love to try them, so don’t hesitate to send them to me.

The Perfect Pad Thai

Pad Thai is probably the most famous item of Thai gastronomy. It is not only popular all over Thailand, it tends to make its way to the heart of most people who taste it, all around the world. Let’s see what is behind the sweeping success of this dish.

Pad Thai tends to be the first introductory dish to Thai cuisine thanks to the fact that the dish has a particular taste, it balances well the salty, sour and sweet flavours characteristic to Thai food and it is not too spicy. It evokes an exotic cuisine without being unusually strong, sharp or spicy. In my view it expresses the gentle nature of the people of Thailand and it represents well the Thai take on life itself. It’s delicious, light and flavourful.

Jenna McJenna, Pinterest

The base of the dish contains rice noodles, which are stir-fried with various ingredients. The combination of these ingredients creates the unique flavours of Pad Thai. The original recipe contains tamarind, palm sugar, eggs, garlic, salted radish, tofu, bean sprouts, peanuts, prawns, chicken and pork as well as fish and soy sauce. Nonetheless, the recipe is tweaked according to region and taste; and basically every cook interprets Pad Thai in a slightly different way. To cook a good Pad Thai, one must feel the dish. That’s why one simply cannot find the same Pad Thai in two different places, even though it is served at thousands of food stalls, eateries and households on a regular basis. Still, the characteristic flavours can be found in every single Pad Thai. This diversity makes it extremely exciting and truly Thai.

Although the dish is known as “Pad Thai”, it has a “proper” name, i.e. “Kway Teow Pad Thai”, which simply means stir-fried rice noodles in Thai-style. Although it is the flagship dish of Thai gastronomy, Pad Thai probably originates in China as the term “Kway Teow” refers to rice noodles in Chinese. According to food historians, noodles hail from China and the cooking style of stir-frying is of Chinese origin, too. So, the basic characteristics of Pad Thai may originate from China’s southwestern region. Nonetheless, the distinct flavour and the texture of Pad Thai makes it different to any other Chinese noodle dish.

Although the dish is very delicious, there is something other than just its flavour that accounts for its widespread popularity. Namely,  a political decision made by Prime Minister and Field Marshall Plaek Phibunsongkhram aka Phibun. This gentleman was behind the original recipe of Pad Thai and what’s more, he was the driving force behind making it known and popular among the Thai people. Phibun was the Prime Minister of Thailand between 1938 and 1944 and between 1948 and 1957. He renamed the country from Siam to Thailand, which literally means “The Land of the Free”. He introduced various measures to modernise the country and to strengthen its economy.


The introduction of Pad Thai into the country took place during the Second World War. It was probably invented in Phibun’s own household with the aim of making the diet of the poor more nutritious, compared to the plain rice they ate with chilli paste, salt and green leaves. Also, the dish was promoted as a sanitary food due to the cooking method, using stir frying at high temperatures. It was also very cheap, at that time a portion cost no more than 1 Baht (which was equivalent to a few pennies). The objective of inventing a national Thai dish also had the aim of boosting the national pride of the Thai as it was different to the Chinese noodle dishes that were available in Thailand at that time. Further, it helped local farmers sell their produce to wheeled food-stalls in Bangkok, sponsored by the government, which specialised in making the new dish, based on the original Pad Thai recipe. These mobile food stalls made the dish widely available in Bangkok and thanks to its delicious taste and cheap price, it quickly set off on the path toward worldwide fame.

If you are Thai, you may feel the dish and can create a perfect one without any recipe. For beginners, though, the following recipe by Jill Dupleix from BBC Food – and tweaked by myself to suit vegetarians – is  good guidance and a starting point.


  • 100g dried rice stick noodles
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 200g tofu chopped up to cubes or slices
  • 100g bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 2 spring onion greens, chopped into 3cm/1in lengths
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or cayenne
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (palm sugar is preferred but you may replace it with brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp coriander sprigs or dry coriander according to taste
  • 1 lime, quartered for garnish

 Preparation method:

  • Cover the noodles with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes or until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well, then use 1 tsp of oil to coat your hands and run them through the noodles to help prevent sticking.
  • To make the omelette, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok and swirl to coat the surface. Pour in the beaten eggs and swirl to make a very thin omelette. Run a knife around the edge, turn out, slice into strips and set aside. (If you are vegan, you may leave the eggs out entirely. The dish will taste different and it will no longer be a Pad Thai, but you will still get a decent Asian-style noodle dish.)
  • To cook the noodles, add remaining oil to the wok and heat. Add the garlic and the tofu and toss over high heat.
  • Add the noodles, omelette strips, bean sprouts, spring onions, soy sauce, lime juice, chilli and sugar, tossing constantly over high heat until it combines well.
  • To serve, scatter with crushed peanuts, coriander leaves and quartered limes.

Jill Dupleix, BBC

I hope you enjoy trying the dish.  In the Comments below, let us know if you have any favourite Thai dishes and what it is about them that make them so appealing!

Penne alla Norma from Sicily

Penne alla Norma is one of my favorite Italian dishes. I encountered it at our favourite Italian restaurants in Abu Dhabi, where the chef is from Italy. I ordered it multiple times and eventually decided to make it myself. After a bit of research I found the recipe I liked most on Martha Stewart’s website. I adjusted it slightly to come as close as possible to the one I fell in love with.

Penne alla Norma has its own history. It is a Sicilian dish, which originates in Catania. It received its name from the famous opera La Norma, composed by the Catanian composer, Vincenzo Bellini, in 1831.

I have heard two urban legends about Penne alla Norma. One of them suggests that the dish was named by Nino Martoglio, a Catanian playwright. When he tasted the pasta, he associated it with the opera La Norma. He then exclaimed the phrase: “This is a Norma!”. The other legend around the dish suggests that Bellini routinely ordered this pasta in an Italian tavern. In tribute to the composer, the owner named the dish after his masterpiece, La Norma.

Though the origins of the dish are the stuff of urban myth, it is unclear who created it. Whoever came up with the dish, they made something incredible. Try it and impress your loved ones with this Italian delight of vegetarian cooking!


  • 1 pack of penne pasta, preferably whole wheat (you may use eggless brown rice penne or durum semolina)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper according to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 1 kilogram plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 4 cm chunks (you may use two cans of organic tomatoes, it will taste equally good)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • A handful of torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish (you may use a couple of tablespoons of dried basil, too, according to taste)
  • 200 gram of ricotta or fresh mozzarella cheese

Preparation method:

  • Cook pasta until al dente, according to packet instructions.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic (and the optional crushed red pepper). If you use crushed red pepper, coat the onion and garlic with the crushed red pepper. Cook and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggplant to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and cook for a while until the eggplant browns slightly and starts to release its juices. Remove the lid of the pan and cook for a few more minutes. If it becomes sticky, add a little water to the pan. Don’t allow the contents stick to the pan as it will burn.
  • Add the tomato paste, the tomatoes and 200 ml water to cook the sauce further. Until all the ingredients are cooked through and soften. It may take 5 minutes.
  • Add basil to the sauce and then mix in the pasta. Cook the sauce and pasta for a little while to help the tastes mature.
  • Put some ricotta or mozzarella on top, garnish with basil and serve. Use some grated parmesan, according to taste, to add flavours to the dish.
  • If your local supermarket does not store crushed red pepper, you may make your own one. Use a blender to blend a whole red pepper.
  • I prefer mozzarella to ricotta and I always buy fresh mini mozzarellas for this dish. They mix well with the pasta.
  • You may make the dish vegan if you use eggless pasta (and omit the cheese). Preferably the pasta should be made of brown rice. Be careful when you cook it, as it may be prone to sticking together. Use vegan cheese substitute instead of ricotta or mozzarella and enjoy a vegan delight.
  • If you are bored of penne, you may use other types of noodle. Experiment and create your own Pasta alla Norma.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this dish.  If you have any great variations that you’d like to share, be sure to let everyone know below.

Buon appetito!

Greek Aubergine Lentil Moussaka

On the small, isolated Greek island of Ikaria it is not surprising to meet centenarians.

As The New York Times and The Guardian have reported, the island is one of the five so-called “blue zones” in the world, where the local population outlives the average Westerner by around a decade. Ikaria seems to have found the key to longevity.

The secret of longevity seems to lie in the lifestyle of locals. First of all, their diet is simple and healthy. It contains an abundance of locally grown seasonal vegetables. In particular, they eat wild greens, beans, lentils and potatoes. They refrain from the consumption of refined sugars and they include only moderate amounts of meat in their diet. They daily drink a couple of glasses of locally produced wine, several cups of herbal teas, small amounts of coffee and goat’s milk. Their overall calorie consumption is low. Nonetheless, diet does not give the whole picture. Locals keep themselves busy, maintaining an active lifestyle by working on their farms and in their gardens and by walking reasonable distances each day. They take afternoon naps and in the evenings they meet their friends and neighbours. The community spirit is exceptionally strong on this island and the social life is active. All these factors help the locals to keep good spirits.


Cancer and heart disease are scarce on the island and Ikarians don’t tend to suffer from depression or dementia, either. They not only live long, but they have high quality lives.

In tribute to the long-living Ikarians, I have brought a Greek recipe for you today from Simon Rimmel. Try this vegetarian aubergine and lentil moussaka, with our without the dairy-based topping. The topping makes the dish look more complete. However, I tend to omit it in order to limit our dairy consumption and it is still really delicious without the topping. Consider serving it with some steamed vegetables, e.g. okra, spinach or broccoli to boost your intake of complex vitamins, minerals and fiber.

veggiemoussaka_90770_16x9BBC Food


For the filling:
– 400g/14oz aubergines, sliced into thin rounds
– 50ml/2oz vegetable oil – (try to minimise oil usage and use a good quality olive oil)
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper – (according to taste)
– 1 red onion, finely chopped
– 1 red pepper, finely chopped
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– 50g/2oz tomato purée
– 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes, drained – (usage an organic brand, if possible)
– 1 cinnamon stick – (ground cinnamon will do too)
– 100g/3?oz red lentils, cooked according to packet instructions – (if you don’t have red lentils at hand, you may try green lentils)
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the topping:
– 125g/4?oz ricotta
– 125g/4?oz Greek-style yoghurt
– 3 free-range eggs
– Freshly grated nutmeg – (according to taste)
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper – (according to taste)
– 50g/2oz freshly grated pecorino – (other types of hard grated cheese can be used, too)

Preparation method:
– Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
– Cook the lentils according to packet instructions.
– For the filling, toss the aubergine slices in the vegetable oil, then drain and season with salt and pepper.
– Fry the aubergine slices in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen towels.
– Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
– Add the tomato purée, stir to coat the vegetables in it, then continue to fry for a further 4-5 minutes.
– Add the canned chopped tomatoes and cinnamon and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
– Add the cooked lentils and return the fried aubergines to the mixture. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
– Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
– For the topping, beat together the ricotta, Greek-style yoghurt, eggs and grated nutmeg until well combined in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
– Pour the topping mixture into the ovenproof dish on top of the filling. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.
– Transfer the veggie moussaka to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown.
– Serve with steamed vegetables and enjoy!

If you wish to read more about the longevity of Ikarians, read on the articles of The New York Times and The Guardian: