• Simple & Delicious Lunch Ideas for Store-Bought Pesto

    February 11, 2016

    Hi, friends!

    I recently bought some pesto from Trader Joe’s (it’s really good) and found myself adding it to a lot of my meals as a way to amp up the flavor while adding some additional satiety. I also receive quite a few questions from readers about what I eat for lunch, so I decided to create a round-up of some of my recent pesto creations. I hope they give you some tasty ideas for quick and healthy lunches!

    Simple & Delicious Lunch Ideas for Store-Bought Pesto

    Cauliflower (or brown) rice mixed with pesto, white beans, and steamed broccoli 


    Avocado toast with pesto, sliced tomato, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper 

    pesto lunch idea

    Pesto as a salad dressing mixed with brown rice and your favorite veggies 


    Spaghetti squash mixed with pesto, white beans, and grate Parmesan cheese 


    Pesto scrambled eggs with roasted sweet potato and avocado 


    CNC Blog Birthday Giveaway

    A huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered my 8-year blog birthday giveaway! And THANK YOU so much for all of your feedback. I read each and every one of your comments and appreciate you taking the time to respond so much. Here are your 8 winners:

    I’ve been reading CNC for several years. You’ve given me so much support, encouragement, and motivation over the years. I love your recipes so I’d love to see more.

    I love your workout posts but usually skip the recipe posts.

    Congrats on 8 years! I really love your blog and I feel like we are very similar! We were pregnant at the same time (my daughter was born in April 2014) so I loved reading all of your pregnancy posts…AND I am also an avid crossfitter, so I loved reading your workout posts during your pregnancy and I’ve loved seeing your journey back to crossfit post-baby! I used to be a big runner too, so I enjoy your running posts but I unfortunately have fallen off the running track so I’d say I skim those posts.

    R.C. Liley
    I enjoy reading about your blogging adventures since I’m a small time blogger always eager to learn. Also love the crossfit workouts you share and have used several of them. Can’t really think of what I’d want less of, what you post is what keeps me reading! Congrats and thank you!

    I like things like travel tips and workouts – especially ones I can do at home. I used to like reviews of parks and restaurants around Boston, but now I don’t live there anymore.

    I love the personal posts and that you always post regularly. 8 is great!

    I love the running, day in the life and most of the recipes!! I usually skim the crossfit posts since I don’t understand it exactly. However, I do enjoy many of the workouts you create for us! (Example kettlebell)


    I love your attitude — you’re very motivating! Even when times are tough, you keep your chin up. I’m not a cross fitter so sometimes I scroll through that but I’m sure a lot of your readers are so I’d never ask you to change that.


    Congrats, winners!! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com with your full name and mailing address to claim your prizes. Also, please send along your registered Stitch Fix email address, select your choice and size of Bombas socks, flavor of Nikki’s Coconut Butter and Chex cereal. Erin, please let me know which pair of shoes and size you’d like from Brooks Running. And THANK YOU to all of the wonderful companies who supported this giveaway!!

    Question of the Day

    What’s your favorite way to eat store-bought pesto?

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    { 21 comments… read them below or add one }

    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious February 11, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Oh yum! I need to look for this pesto. Love that spaghetti squash with beans. That needs to happen this weekend.


    Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me February 11, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Pesto is my FAVORITE pasta sauce… and I love to bring it into other meals. I’ve never put it in my eggs, but that obviously needs to change ASAP!


    Anna February 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Pesto is great on a caprese, basil & mozzarella sandwich 🙂


    Stacy February 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I love TJ pesto! I actually am using it tonight for this soup, yum!



    Tina February 11, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Yum! That sounds awesome! And easy!!


    Angela Dublikar February 11, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Love Trader Joes pesto! Have you tried the one with Quinoa in it? Delish!


    Tina February 11, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I haven’t. I’ll have to look for it next time!


    Erin @ Erin's Inside Job February 11, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I would pesto on everything if I could. I usually make mine at home, but store-bought is good in a pinch!


    Erin February 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I’m so excited that I won!!! I need to decide on my shoes and then I’ll give you all my information. I was sitting in a meeting about legal contracts when I read this (clearly not fully engaged, oops) and almost started jumping up and down when I saw that I won which would have been totally awkward 🙂


    Mandy February 11, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Hi! I recently started eating more vegetarian protein and I was curious if you know what your protein intake is especially since you Crossfit? Love your blog and seeing your little guy especially since mine is two months younger than yours. He is adorable.


    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby February 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Have you heard it is the year of pulses (aka beans)? You are right on track! Unless in refried or hummus form I can’t really stand the texture! I’ll try some of your creations to see if I can get on the bean train because I LOVE pesto!


    Tina February 11, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Yes! The year of pulses is actually a running joke in our house!!


    Rachel @ Simply Rachel Nicole February 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    You may just gasp but I have actually never purchased pesto and used it in a recipe so I absolutely loved all of these ideas! I honestly didn’t know of anything to put it in except pasta so I am really excited. 🙂


    shelly February 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I have to try the pesto toast!


    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday February 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Love pesto! It’s great on panini with mozzarella and tomato (and a little turkey or chicken, if you’re into that) and I love pesto with shrimp and pasta or spaghetti squash!


    Kelsey @ Chatterbox Blog February 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I was on a huge pesto kick last year – it went on everything! Especially loved it as a spread for wraps or panini for lunch! Right now I’m putting TJs tahini sauce on everything!


    Dorota | HappyForks.com February 12, 2016 at 5:24 am

    I like to marinate the meat in pesto. Pesto is most commonly used as a sauce but it works great as a marinade. I tossed chicken breast in the green pesto and leave overnight in the refrigerator. The next day I cook it with steam so it is juicy and tender.


    Heather@hungryforbalance February 12, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Great ideas!! I love pesto, but I never think to make it. I’ll have to give TJ’s a try!


    Katrina February 12, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I used to add pesto to my salads and use it as a salad dressing to mix things up! 😀 It’s so so good!


    Valerie @ Geaux Momma February 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

    As always, great food ideas! Saving for later.


    Taylor February 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I love pesto!! My mom and stepdad actually make their own and freeze it to use throughout the year. Every time my mom visits, I get restocked with homemade pesto (cashew pesto is my favorite)! My favorite way to use it is on homemade zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, but I will definitely be trying it with cauliflower rice and scrambled eggs!! Thanks for the inspiration!


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