Basil pesto salad

As mentioned in my previous posts, I am trying to lose weight and in the process trying to get fitter. As you must have heard, it’s mostly (80%) all about your food & diet and a bit of (20%) exercising that helps you achieve your fitness goals. I now train with an awesome trainer (her name is Dona & no I am not her publicist) 3 days a week and do yoga 2 days a week. My Yoga instructor Vindhya is pretty awesome too but the bigger plus for me wrt yoga is that D comes along with me. He hasn’t moved his limbs (other than for zombie walking) from the time I have known him. Finally, he’s trying to get his lifestyle right and in the process trying to eat right & do a bit of exercise himself. What better way than to start with Yoga – such an awesome way to start your day and stay/ feel active through the day. Anywho, while exercising is going on on one side, I am also trying to eat right (Let me stress on the word TRYING). Trying to reduce my carb intake and making a conscious swap to salads. However, I can only sustain on salads provided they are yummy and are not boring. I have found that making pestos ahead of time (on weekends mostly) helps since it takes only a few minutes to whip up a nice salad for lunch/ dinner. Toss in whatever veggies you have in your fridge and then mix it with the pesto you have on hand – Result is some serious goodness on your plate people! Try it out and let me know how it turns out.

Basil pesto salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 medium servings
  • 1 no onion
  • 1 no capsicum
  • 1 no carrot
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup paneer/ cottage cheese cubes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning/ oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2.5 tbsp basil pesto *(See Notes below)
  • 1.5 tsp olive oil
  1. Make basil pesto (link in the Notes below) and set it aside

  2. Dice all the vegetables thin and long. If you are using frozen paneer, then soak it in hot water. 

  3. In a pan, heat some oil & add the garlic and sauce for a few seconds.

  4. To this add the onions and saute till the onions start to brown.

  5. Add the capsicum at this stage and sauce for a minute.

  6. Add all the other vegetables at this stage (corn, carrot & broccoli), add some salt and sauce for a few minutes.

  7. You can close the pan with a lid at this stage. 

  8. Now add the Italian seasoning & red chillies flakes and saute for a minute. 

  9. Once the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat and add the paneer. The veggies should be crunchy and not too mushy.

  10. Once the mixture cools down a bit, add the basil pesto and combine well. 

  11. Chill for a few hours in the refrigerator so that the flavor soaks up well in the salad.

  12. Serve the salad warm or in room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

1. Recipe to make the pesto - Basil pesto
2. You can use any veggies you like/ any protein you like.
3. You can throw in a bit of cooked whole wheat/ regular pasta for added carbs.

Stepwise pictures

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