Good morning! I’m headed to Boston today to hang out with Sarah for a few days before we depart to Europe. Seriously feeling exciting, anxious and thankful to have this experience. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, but even better when it’s on a small cruise ship hitting up Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.
Bucket list item, for sure.
In preparation for my trip and since launching the Summer Sweat Series, I’ve been focused on cleaning up my diet (because who doesn’t want to look a little bit better in a swimsuit?). Today I’m partnering with Blue Diamond Almonds, the Official Snack Nut of the Team USA Swimming who asked me to share a recipe that helped me to feel inspired to live a healthy lifestyle and follow my “Lane to Greatness“.
For me, living a healthy lifestyle is so much about balance and walking the line between greens and fruits to nut butter and chocolate. Really, that’s what my personal lane to greatness is. I enjoy being able to eat a salad for lunch and then nosh on a low sugar treat later on. I look forward to my morning toast slathered with nut butter, fruit and sometimes a few chocolate chips. I adore finding ways to make food and recipes nutritious but also tasty. I suppose it’s just kind of my thing.
As a result I decide to create this wonderful, easy to make pesto chickpea salad to inspire you in the kitchen. The salad is full of vegetarian protein, mediterranean flavors, fiber and flavor. It’s one of my go-to salads because of the goodness it fuels my body with.
BONUS! This recipe only takes about 15 minutes to whip up.
Now I know you’re in.
Before you run to grab the ingredients, I HAVE to tell you about the pesto, because it really could be the best pesto of all time. There’s spinach, basil, Blue Diamond Roasted Almonds, parmesan, garlic and fresh lemon juice. Really simple stuff and I highly recommend whipping it up yourself! You just might find yourself pouring the pesto on everything.
If you make this pesto chickpea salad, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creations! xo.
More healthy lunch ideas:
Easy Mediterranean Pesto Chickpea Salad
- For the pesto:
- 3 cups organic spinach
- 5 large basil leaves
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Roasted Salted Blue Diamond Almonds
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin pesto
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salad:
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
In the bowl of a food processor or a high powered blender add in pesto ingredients: spinach, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, almonds, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of water. Process for 1 minute until pesto is smooth, add another tablespoon of water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Next make the salad by adding chickpeas, tomatoes, diced onion, and olives to a large bowl. Fold in pesto to evenly coat. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and serve. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons. Serves 4 as a meal, or 6 as a side salad.
To make vegan/dairy free: Leave out the parmesan cheese!
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Blue Diamond Almonds understand what it takes to be the best. That’s why we’re proud to be an official sponsor of USA Swimming. Visit www.LaneToGreatness.com for a chance to win $5,000 to fuel your dreams of greatness (whatever they may be), get a Blue Diamond Almonds coupon plus recipes, and more!