Vegetarian and vegan meals can often be some of the more challenging to achieve macronutrient balance – a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats. This za’atar baked eggplant with greens and butter bean puree changes the game. With protein from butter beans, carbohydrates from low starch sources such as eggplant and greens and nourishing fats from walnuts, olive oil and sesame seeds, it’s time to balance your plate and dig in.
Za’atar Baked Eggplant, Greens and Butter Bean Puree
GF : DF : SF : V
1 eggplant (300g) cut in half lengthways
3 tablespoon olive oil
400g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup baby spinach, shredded
½ cup parsley, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
½ cup mint leaves
2 tablespoon (25g) currants
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sumac
1 tsp oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C, place halved eggplant with 2 tbsp olive oil face down on a baking tray and cook for 40 mins.
Whilst eggplant is cooking make the butter bean puree. In a food processor blitz drained butter beans, garlic, ½ tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp water until smooth.
Toss greens, currants and walnuts together in a small bowl with remaining olive oil. Combine za’tar ingredients in a small bowl.
Once eggplant is cooked, divide the butter bean puree between two bowls, sprinkle with zatar spice, pop greens on the side and serve.
Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, author of Seasons to Share and director at The Brown Paper Bag.