Baby Kale Pesto Salad

Inspiration takes many different forms in this wonderful world. I recently tried a pesto dressing from my local grocery store and it blew my mind. How did I never think to make pesto into a dressing? I have used it on chicken and for pastas but salad had never crossed my mind until that day.

This is a great, refreshing for a special occasion or for your next meal prep of lunches. The only thing I would suggest is not making this too far in advance (maybe like a day or two). Pesto is heavy and I have found that it can make the salad soggy if you leave it in the fridge for too long….oopsy.

Baby Kale Pesto Salad

1/4 cup pesto mixing in a drizzle in olive oil until it makes a vinaigrette

1 bundle of baby kale, washed

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup quinoa

Place all of the ingredients into a salad bowl, slowly adding dressing and tossing until everything is lightly covered.  For your presentation, top the salad added additional cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese.  Set little bowl on the side with any leftover dressing you might have. You never know who the closet pesto lovers are amongst you!

If you have any leftover ingredients consider making this into a quinoa dish – flavors will be insane a few days in.

This dish tastes as good as it looks. xx

pesto salad

The food behind the photos

I have been asked by friends and family to share what I eat! Between my snapchats and Instagram I seem to be sharing two types of food, homemade or from a restaurant here in Toronto. Though I do enjoy eating delicious and calorie dense cakes, cookies and casseroles; I do not eat like this everyday of my life. 

A while ago I had a doctors appointment to discuss my stomach issues. He spoke truth when he said that my college diet ends right then and there. The food I was eating was causing my issues. What changed that day? I began taking a low dose probiotic for 6-weeks and eliminated a lot of the go-to processed food that I had become dependent on while it school (frozen pizza, mac-n-cheese and PB & J). To this day, I cannot thank the doctor enough for waking me up! Limited dairy, processed foods and meat has changed my life. 

“I do not have time to cook healthy food because I am so busy with work”

Trust me, I used to use this excuse to defend my PB&J with a side of chips,  but it is a lie. It is so worth spending 2 hours out of your Sunday to prepare for the week. Hint, hint: It helps eliminate stress of preparing lunches each day after work. Below I have listed what an average day of eating looks like for me. 

Breakfast: Yog and Fru (or just Fru)

1 banana, cut up

4 strawberries, cut up

1/4 c. plain greek yogurt

3 tablespoons homemade granola

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

For assembly, grab a bowl or to-go dish and put it together to your liking. I like to break it up into 3 different sections 

Treat: Cool lime refresher

Order from your local Starbucks, light ice. 

Lunch: Lunch bowl*

1/4 c. chopped baked chicken breast

1/4 c. sliced cherry tomatoes

1/2 c. roasted sweet potatoes 

1/4 c. sautéed mushrooms 

Any sauce you would like (BBQ, asian peanut sauce, etc.) 

Similar to the Yog and Fru you can assembly this together in your tupperware as you please. 

*Ingredients change each week. I pick up whatever looks interesting to me while shopping. 

  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Quinoa 
  • Asparagus 
  • Edamame 

Dinner: Indian green beans (vegan)

1 package of raw green beans (about 1 lb.), chopped into ½ inch pieces

Half of a red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon mustard seeds (black or yellow)

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1 -2 tablespoons Turmeric or Curry powder (can add more if you are finding the flavor is weak)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt to taste

Grated coconut (optional)

  1. In a pan heat up oil and cook down your onions for about 8-10 mins.
  2. Once the onion is translucent add in garlic, ginger and mustard seeds, cumin, cinnamon and your turmeric or curry powder. Toss and cook these until you can smell the spices about 5 mins.
  3. Add your green beans and cook until tender, this will take some time but keep your eye on them. Low and slow is best because, it will enhance flavor.
  4. Once they are tender remove from heat and plate to serve

Do you find yourself saying “I have tried to eat <insert veggie> and I HATE it”

The best thing to do for yourself is make sure your food is tasty. If you are cooking without garlic, onions and chili flakes start doing it. It can be raw onion or garlic or powdered. I find that these three ingredients along with cajun and all-purpose seasoning salt take food to their respective taste levels. 

I hope that you have enjoyed a day in the life and are inspired for your next grocery trip!

xo

in my belly