Anti-Pasto Salad w/ Mac Nut Pesto

I love a good hearty salad and this combo is one of my favorites! Normally an anti-pasto salad is full of meats, cheese and an oil dressing so I’ve stripped it down a bit. No worries though,  its still jam packed with flavor!

*The Italian dressing and macadamia pesto keep really well in a closed jar refrigerated and you can use on all sorts of things like pasta, veggie dip, dressing for grilled veggies etc!

*For anyone looking to adapt a plant based diet, if you eat a salad, make sure its massive to fill you up. I am talking popcorn bowl size, like need to hands to carry size 😉

*For dinner, we had this salad paired with gluten free pasta. Corn pasta and quinoa are my favorite kinds due to the nice texture. I find rice pasta is easily soggy which my kids and husband don’t dig at all. 😛

Jam Packed Anti-Pasto Salad Vegan Style

  • kalamata olives
  • char grilled marinated peppers (optional)
  • marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
  • romano or little gem leaves
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • pepperoncini diced (adds amazing flavor)
  • cucumber
  • red onion
  • avocado

Italian Salad Dressing – oil free

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsps vegetable broth or juice pepperoncinis
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • pinch of sugar

– whisk together and drizzle over the salad

Vegan Macadamia Nut Pesto

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted
  • 2 cups fresh basil, stems removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 cup cold pressed olive oil or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Toast your Macadamia nuts in a frying pan tossing constantly on medium hear, or in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

After, place nuts, basil, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor, adding oil slowly and blend until creamy.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and more lemon juice if required (start with half a lemon’s juice).

Love Love Love Macadamia Pesto and it smells amazing as you are grinding all fresh basil, lemon and nuts together!

Well here is enough recipes to make your head spin! haha! Let me know how it goes!

Have a beautiful day!

Andy XO

Anti-pasto salad and macadamia pesto; to jam pack your taste buds with flavors of a plant based diet

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Health + Fitness + Family Journal Author of best seller ‘Plant Over Processed’ GF+Vegan Recipes

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