Eating clean isn’t always easy, especially during the week when you’ve got dozens of commitments to worry about. However there are always ways to prepare yourself and make healthy choices more accessible. You can make this zesty pesto quinoa salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to five days, making it a perfect weekday brown bag lunch option. Buy a high-quality pesto to be sure it’s clean or try this recipe.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 7thin stalks asparagus, sliced diagonally into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 5artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved (or quartered if larger)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus additional to garnish, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon pesto
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, cook quinoa in vegetable stock over medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Immediately after removing saucepan from stove, add asparagus and cover. Allow asparagus to steam lightly inside the pot with quinoa for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss all other veggies and herbs together in a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine balsamic vinegar with pesto until smooth. Pour into bowl of veggies, along chickpeas, quinoa, and asparagus. Stir to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve salad warm or cold.