Ribbon Veggie Salad with Almond Pesto (AIP-Option/ Paleo)

With summer quickly approaching I always feel a desire to eat fresher, more vibrant dishes. On a warm sunny day, the thought of digging into a crisp, colorful, and flavorful salad instantly makes my mouth water. So, with all the fresh and colorful veggies that are bountiful this time of year, it’s not hard to pull an easy salad like this one together. 

Is there a more refreshing summer herb than basil? I really don’t think so, which is why I’m excited about this almond pesto sauce! It adds a rich depth of flavor to these veggies, especially if you let the salad sit for a while after you make it. If you are still in the elimination phase of AIP, the almonds can easily be swapped out for an avocado. You’ll still get that delicious pesto flavor, but a creamier texture. Also, if you don’t have a Y-Shaped peeler to make the veggie ribbons, a spiralizer would work well too. 

This is a great salad to make for a family dinner or take to a cookout or potluck. It’s bright, colorful, and so delicious! 


Ribbon Veggie Salad with Almond Pesto (AIP-Option/ Paleo)

Serves 4 – 6

Salad Ingredients

2 zucchini

1 yellow squash

2 carrots

1 cup finely shredded red cabbage

2 TBS olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper (omit for elimination-phase AIP)

Zest from half a lemon


Pesto Ingredients

½ cup almonds (substitute 1 avocado for elimination-phase AIP)

2 cups of packed basil

½ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

Juice and zest of half a lemon (may need more juice if using avocado)



Using a Y-Shaped peeler, peel the zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots into long ribbons and put in a serving bowl. (If you don’t have a peeler, use a spiralizer instead) Add the finely shredded red cabbage and toss the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and set aside while you make the pesto. 

Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until a pesto consistency is formed. If using the avocado in place of the almonds, you’ll get a creamy pesto rather than the traditional texture. Add the pesto to the salad and toss everything to combine. The salad is best served about an hour after making it to allow the flavors to really meld together.


Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.

Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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