One of the first things I learned to cook (ever) was pasta. Yes, I had to learn to boil water and open a box; that’s solid proof that I stayed away from the kitchen most of my life.
Anyway, so pasta it was for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. It was fantastic. But since then, I’ve learned to keep my love for pasta (and rice, and bread, and all the carbs!) under control, sort of, and I’ve switched from white or enriched to brown rice or sprouted grain pastas. Brown rice pasta is more nutrient dense than regular white pasta and some are gluten-free as well so it’s a better option overall.
This filling and easy to make salad is a great way to enjoy nutritious foods like kale & artichokes with carb goodness. Kalamata olives not only give this salad a delicious Mediterranean twist but they also contain many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients (making them extra powerful in the protection against many cancers and chronic inflammation). Although small in size olives are clearly pretty important and the combined health benefits of kale, basil and artichokes take this salad to the next level of yum.
So while I perfect my water boiling and box opening skills and dream of one day visiting southern Greece I hope you try this zesty, fresh vegan Mediterranean artichoke salad. Whether you can cook or not, it’ll be worth it.
- ½ pound pasta (opt for rice pasta or whole wheat)
- ½ cup oil-packed julienned sun dried tomatoes, cut and drained. Save 2 tablespoons of the oil
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, cut and drained. Save 2 tablespoons of the oil
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 cups kale. Washed, stem removed and thinly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Follow instructions on pasta package to cook pasta. When pasta is done, drain but don’t rinse it.
- Transfer pasta to large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of tomato oil and set aside to cool.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tablespoons artichoke oil and 1 teaspoon salt.
- When pasta is cool, add lemon mixture to large bowl. Also add 1 cup chopped artichokes, ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, ½ cup kalamata olives and ¼ cup chopped fresh basil.
- NOTE: Can be made the night before! TIP: Buy kalamata olives, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes at a grocery warehouse and you’ll have left overs to make more salad (plus it’s cheaper!) OPTIONAL: Add 4 tablespoons hemp seeds for an extra protein punch.
What is your favorite part of this salad? The olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, basil or pasta? Everything? Yeah, me too.