Eggplant Involtini with Cashew Pesto

8.10.17 / Comment

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Extra Eggplant, Please!

Our Eggplant Involtini is a modern (and vegan) twist on classic Italian flavors. Involtini is an Italian word used to describe food as “small bundles”. These “small bundles” are also usually rolled or wrapped. Although this is a healthier version of traditional lasagna, the flavors and heartiness isn’t sacrificed thanks to our healthy and delicious ingredient alternatives. This is a great meal to prepare ahead of a busy weeknight and to pop in the oven and bake when needed. Filled with a combination of savory ingredients such as cashews, whole grain lasagna noodles, and eggplant, this recipe is sure to win over food lovers and critics alike. You and your family will be going back for seconds!

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Antioxidant Power

Eggplants are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants are the body’s best source of defense against free radicals. Eggplants contain vitamin C which is extremely beneficial to the immune system and helps increase the production of white blood cells. Phenolic compounds, which give eggplants their color, are linked to reduced signs of osteoporosis, stronger bones and increased bone mineral density. Eggplants also have a considerable amount of calcium and iron (1). So go ahead and give this satiating dinner a try–it’s one that will keep your taste buds wanting more.

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Meal Prep

Make cooking meals, easier! Soak the cashews overnight, to save time when preping. Also, make extra for additional meals. Soaked cashews can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. We listed some of our favorite recipes using soaked cashews below —

Cashew Cream Stuffed Strawberries

Berry & Cashew Cream Dessert Pizza

Zesty Herb Cashew Cheese 

Cashew Ricotta Cheese

Cashew Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

 

Eggplant Involtini with Cashew Pesto

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups raw cashews, boiled for 20 minutes until tender or soaked overnight*
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, separated
  • 1 cup water, separated
  • 2 cups basil, washed + additional 1 tablespoon for garnish (optional)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1¼ pounds eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 3 cups tomato sauce

Equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Potato masher
  • 12 1/2″ x 8″ Casserole dish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot, add 4.5 quarts of water and boil over medium high heat. Boil the lasagna noodles for about 10 minutes. When done, drain and rinse with cold water. Place lasagna sheets on parchment paper.
  3. While lasagna noodles are cooking, boil 2 quarts water in medium-size pot. Once boiling add cashews and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, add garlic, cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 cup water. Process until smooth. Add 2 cups basil, lemon juice and 1/2 cup olive oil while processing. Mix again until smooth, set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Once olive oil is heated, add onions. Saute onions until translucent, approximately 3 minutes and add garlic. Once garlic is lightly brown, add olive oil and eggplant. Saute until eggplant brown. Next add, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and pepper. Saute until eggplant is soft. Transfer to a heat proof bowl.
  6. Mash eggplant mixture with a potato masher. Add cashew pesto and mix well. Lastly, add breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes, stir until well combined.
  7. Place 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Gently spread 1/3 cup of the Eggplant Pesto mixture on each lasagna noodle while on parchment paper. Roll the noodle up gently and place it on the tomato sauce in the casserole dish. Pour tomato sauce over the stuffed lasagna noodles. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with basil.

Serving size: 2 pieces

Calories: 435 calories, Fat: 14 grams, Saturated fat: 2 grams, Carbohydrates: 70 grams, Sugar: 4 grams, Sodium: 135 milligrams, Fiber: 9 grams, Protein: 10 grams, Cholesterol: 180 milligrams

(1) 10 Amazing Eggplant Benefits. Organic Facts. 
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-eggplant.html

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