Low Sodium Pastitsio
♥️ A heart healthy version of a Greek classic ♥️
My father-in-law loves Greek food. He's told me of his visits to Greece with his young family and how my husband used to enjoy spending his pocket money on snacks from the street vendors - pastitsio was his favorite. I served this healthier version last night, adapting it to comply with low sodium diet restrictions ( Original recipe: www.food.com/recipe/greek-pastitsio-100793 ). I cut out as much sodium as possible, cut some of the fat, and increased the fiber content, while upping the flavor by adding more cinnamon and mint than called for in the original recipe. My son tasted a bite, said it was "interesting," and proceded to prepare a box of commercial Mac & Cheese for himself. My father-in-law, however, declared it to be, "Very, very good," and was pleased that there will be plenty of leftovers for future dinners. Since it was meant for him, I consider that to be "Mission accomplished!" 😉
- 8 ounces whole wheat macaroni
- 3 tablespoons & 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cups & 1/4 cups shredded asiago / Romano / parmesan cheese blend
- 1/3 cups plus 2 cups nonfat milk
- 1 egg & 1 egg, beaten
- Olive oil, for sauteing
- 6 ounces fake burger crumbles, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 16 ounces salt-free tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Dash ground nutmeg
- Dash ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Make pasta : Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and return to pan. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and 1/3 cup milk, then stir in one egg. Set aside.
- Make "meat" sauce: Saute onion in olive oil until soft. Stir in fake burger crumbles. Stir in tomato sauce, mint flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.
- Make cream sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 2 cups milk, stirring well to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Beat remaining egg in a small bowl - stir in a couple spoonfuls of the cream sauce, then stir mixture back into the cream sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Assemble & bake pastisio: oil a large (2 quart) baking dish.Spread half the pasta mixture evenly into the baking dish. Cover the pasta layer with the fake meat sauce. Spread the rest of the pasta over the "meat" sauce, spreading evenly. Pour cream sauce over all, spreading evenly. Bake, 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned. Rest 10 minutes before serving.
Jeannine L (Original recipe by "truebrit": https://www.food.com/recipe/greek-pastitsio-100793)
Photo by Jeannine L