Walnut Artichoke Pesto Salad

I’ve been experimenting adding more healthy fats into my diet lately.  When I’m training hard for long distance, I believe that higher whole-food carbohydrate intake is the way to go, but if I keep that up when I’m not logging tons of miles, my constant appetite and grazing habits can get the best of me.  The way I like to look at it is that a very high whole carbs diet (like the Kenyan diet) is like rocket fuel, essential for the high burn of fast, long mileage.  But if you are not burning those extra carbs quickly, they get stored as fat instead and you’re left hungry again.  Higher fat whole foods are higher in calories, but they burn more slowly, stay in your stomach longer, and keep you feeling full longer, hopefully preventing you from snacking an hour after your last meal.

But I’m not talking about drizzling everything I eat with olive oil or eating spoonfuls of coconut oil.  Oil is one of the most refined foods there are, stripped of all nutrients and fiber.  It’s pure fat with such a low volume that it does little to fill your stomach.  Much better than oil is eating the whole foods those oils came from, such as nuts, seeds, and avocados.

This recipe was inspired by a pesto/dip recipe that I often bring to potlucks.  It is savory and chunky and will leave any weakling tortilla chip broken into sad pieces in the serving bowl.  You’ve got to get some hearty pita chips or toasted slices of a French baguette to go with this one.

Turns out it’s perfect on top of greens with some chickpeas and diced yellow peppers.  No dressing required!

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Serves 4

Walnut Artichoke Pesto Salad

Inspired by Chloe Coscarelli's Artichoke Walnut Pesto Crostini

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Ingredients

  • 14 ounces canned or jarred marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Throw everything into the food processor and pulse until you have a chunky pesto.
  2. Serve on top of mixed greens with whatever veggies you like. Or, use as a dip for bread or toasted pita.
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http://theplantedrunner.com/walnut-artichoke-pesto-salad/

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