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Eat Well Sep. 15. 2015
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Apple Ribbons with Basil Walnut Pesto

Sep. 15. 2015
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McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder

Some nights, when you’re craving pasta yet don’t want to fuss with something hot or do much of any cooking- this is the perfect pasta dish containing less than 10 ingredients! The marriage of tart green apples, which are not only low in sugar but contain a fiber called pectin which is great for our digestion; mixed with sweet and savory pesto made with fresh basil and meaty walnuts is so refreshing. Cheers for fall apples, apple curls, basil pesto, and the ultimate combination of sweet and savory!

Apple curls.

Nashville can’t make up it’s mind about the weather yet, does it want to stay in summer or make the move to fall? I don’t know, but making meals that are in limbo is very suitable for this season right now- introducing a transitional recipe that’s taking me (and you if you’re living in the south too!) from summer to fall…or you can eat it year round, but it sounds much more poetic the first way, doesn’t it? Summertime is all about hydrating the body with juicy fruits, cold drinks, water rich vegetables, smoothies, juices and anything that keeps you feeling cool and hydrated; fall on the other hand welcomes in soups, warming dishes, hearty grains and legumes, healthy fats, anything that keep us warm and feeling more grounded/satiated. I use the quintessential fruit of fall, apples, in a really unique and fun way via a spiralizer! Transforming apples into thin strips, curls, and noodles that make up the base of this dish. A fresh basil pesto with walnuts and nutritional yeast provide the savory component that balances out the sweetness in the apple- it’s sublime this time of year.

Walnuts are one of my favorite ingredients in this pesto instead of using pine nuts, it’s a very similar recipe to my Spinach Basil Pesto, sans the spinach, much lighter, and added olive oil to keep this thin and tossable with the apple ribbons. Walnuts are not only meaty in texture making it a perfect meat free substitute in cooking; they’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, fiber, and healthy fats in which all keep our bodies healthy from our heart, brain, skin, hair, metabolism, digestion, hormones, and more. To make this recipe optimally, you’ll need a special tool called a spiralizer or a mandolin to create thinly sliced apple ribbons that will mimic pasta while squeezing in a serving of fruit.

Boost it!

This recipe can easily be a salad or a side dish, but you can also transform this into a meal very easily by boosting the protein and some of my favorite whole food ingredients out of the kitchen. Try adding hemp seeds, chickpeas, baked tempeh, quinoa, lentils, sunflower seeds, extra drizzle of olive oil on top, or serve with a nice piece of crusty Nourishing Nut & Seed Bread with a little smeared garlic on top…so amazing! But wait, add a dollop of my Classic Cashew Cheese and you’re totally set. I enjoy this recipe most as a side dish or if I’m making a quick small lunch then this is perfect- I’ll just add on protein like some of the booster options above.

Apple Ribbons with Basil Walnut Pesto
Recipe Type: salad, supper
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Apple ribbons or curls are tossed in a dairy free fresh basil walnut pesto using less than 10 ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 4 large organic green apples, cored
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, adjust to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Using a spirializer, spiral all the apples into the ribbons or noodle size. If you don’t have a spirializer use a mandolin on the thin setting, repeat for all apples. Toss in lemon juice and set aside.
  2. For the Basil Walnut Pesto: in a food processor, combine the walnuts, basil, garlic, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon zest, and pulse until combined. Gradually add olive oil to thin mixture to desired texture, about an additional ¼ cup. Adjust to taste. This can be made ahead of time and stored for up to 4 days.
  3. To serve: Toss the pesto in the apple ribbons and squeeze fresh lemon, add hemp seeds or fresh sliced tomatoes on top to garnish. Serve immediately or store pesto leftovers for later use.

You know I’m a huge fan of the magic tool I call a spiralizer, but how do you like to use it? Have you ever tried apples instead of zucchini which is the most popular? Share your favorite way you make noodles or curls with your food below and hope you all have a beautiful day!

xx McKel

p.s.

I’ve been working hard on getting all of your questions organized from [email protected] for the YouTube Q&A videos- so many to film which I’m really excited to get back into! Coming within the week, I promise.

The Recipe

Serves 4

Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 large organic green apples, cored
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, adjust to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Using a spirializer, spiral all the apples into the ribbons or noodle size. If you don’t have a spirializer use a mandolin on the thin setting, repeat for all apples. Toss in lemon juice and set aside.
  2. For the Basil Walnut Pesto: in a food processor, combine the walnuts, basil, garlic, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon zest, and pulse until combined. Gradually add olive oil to thin mixture to desired texture, about an additional ¼ cup. Adjust to taste. This can be made ahead of time and stored for up to 4 days.
  3. To serve: Toss the pesto in the apple ribbons and squeeze fresh lemon, add hemp seeds or fresh sliced tomatoes on top to garnish. Serve immediately or store pesto leftovers for later use.

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