Avocado & Chickpea Pesto Salad – An Ageless Diet™ Recipe

This is a quick, easy salad to make, full of good plant-based proteins, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. It’s also vegan and gluten free. Make this on a Sunday and eat it the next two days for lunch, adding the arugula at the last minute, making sure it’s fresh each day. Or make it as part of a bright, fresh, healthy dinner. It really is one of those lovely recipes that tastes good and feels good in your body. If you want to make this salad smaller, use 1 can of chickpeas, 1/2 a lemon for juice, 1/2 a bunch of arugula, 2 scallions, and season accordingly with less olive oil, pesto (4 tablespoons instead of 6), salt, and pepper.

Basil! The health benefits of basil are too numerous to list here but it is a wonderfully tasting anti-inflammatory herb. The enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an “anti-inflammatory” food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.

Avocado & Chickpea Pesto Salad

(Serves 2, with leftovers, or 4 as side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans organic chickpeas (Eden Foods), rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon zest of lemon
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 bunch organic arugula, chopped (or reserve, add later)
  • 6 tablespoons basil, spinach, walnut pesto (recipe below)

Preparation:

Gently whisk together avocado, olive oil, and lemon juice, add lemon zest, chick peas, salt and pepper. Combine this mixture with the arugula and scallions, and then stir in the pesto, making sure to coat all the ingredients.

Basil, Spinach, Walnut Pesto

(as a spread, serves 10, and keeps for about 5 days)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup of basil
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt

Preparation:

In a blender, food processor or using a mortar and pestle, add all ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream. Add the 1/2 cup of oil and add more, tablespoon by tablespoon to get desired consistency. It should be spreadable.

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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. After working in film, she realized that creating content for an online world that moves and inspires people is where it's at. She loves the immediacy and the vibrancy of working online. Tania created Happiness Series because she wants to empower people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. After years of research and practical application, she is excited about the newest project, Ageless Diet™. Ageless Diet is a lifestyle that promotes an Ageless You. Because getting older doesn't have to mean aging, and losing weight doesn't have to be hard. Happiness Series and Ageless Diet are going in new directions, bringing people together in beautiful settings with retreats and conferences. Books and a cooking series are soon to follow. Tania also recently completed her sitcom web/TV series pilot Employees Only, at http://employeesonly.tv.

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