Walnut Pesto Eggplant (V) (GF)
This recipe came to me in one of my dreams and maybe because I’m so in tune with this book that I’m reading, “Eat to Beat Disease” and it really has me thinking about each one of these foods and how to heal the body.
First I started dreaming of a walnut pesto, which I’ve had and tried various versions, but then I wanted to take it a step further and luckily I had a beautiful eggplant just sitting in my fridge just waiting to be eaten. So I decided to enlist the eggplant as my main course and essentially, plate for this pesto creation.
How do walnuts help fight disease?
Finding ways to kill cancer stem cells have been longstanding cancer research. Dr. Li has published numerous studies and one by Soul National University where walnut extract was studied for its ability to kill cancer stem cells. Quite a feat!
Here’s the study:
In the lab, scientists grew colon cancer stem cells isolated from a patient, and exposed the cells to a walnut extract. After two days of exposure, the number of cancer stem cells treated with the walnut declined by 34%! After 6 days, there was a stunning 86% suppression of cancer stem cell growth! - Eat to Beat Disease, Dr. William Li.
So, why not add in more walnuts? By the question is how much?
That depends. A serving a day would be great if you love walnuts, otherwise adding it into your diet when possible is always a good approach.
Eggplant is so easy to roast - almost too easy! So I really wanted to take this up a notch and add in some protein and had a full can of Northern Beans - Organic of course - and thought those would make a great topper with the pesto.
First, I started with the pesto since I know the eggplant, once in the oven would be ready in under 20 minutes.
For the pesto I wanted to keep it dairy free so I used garlic, nutritional yeast (as my parmesan substitute, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and aw walnuts.
There are two ways to make this into a pesto - chicky and smooth. I opted for chuncky with my food processor rather than the Vitamix for a smoother version, but you can certainly do either.
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 fresh squeeze lemon juice - or approx. 2-3 tbsp
4 cloves garlic - large
1 pinch sea salt
4-6 large basil leaves
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
Ingredients for remainder of dish:
1 Medium to Large sized eggplant
2 tbsp. avocado oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 can Organic Great Northern Beans
Blend all ingredients for pesto in food processor for approx. 20 seconds or until desired consistency.
For the eggplant. Simply slice into about 1” thick - or thicker depending on your preference. Using a smaller eggplant I had about 8 slices.
Place flat on baking sheet. Coat with avocado oil - or high heat oil - and top with sea salt, pepper and paprika.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes - flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove and plate immediately. Top with beans and using small scooper add in 1 tbsp. of walnut pesto to every 2 eggplant rounds.
Dish and sever. 1 serving size is approx. 2 eggplant rounds. Top with approx. 1/4 cup of Great Northern Beans.
I hope you enjoy!