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Carrot & Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

If you’re looking to add a 100% fresh and raw meal to the rotation, this Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons with Cilantro Pepito Pesto recipe is easy, delicious, and ready in 15 minutes!

Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

I love regularly including clean-eating raw dishes like this in my meal rotation. They’re a great way to cleanse the body and tend to leave me feeling alive and full of energy.

When the warmer months of spring and summer arrive and the produce is at its peak, this dish is easy to throw together for a fresh and tasty meal.

So I share with you another wonderful raw dish to add to the collection of Raw Recipes. It can be eaten generously and frequently!

Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

Cilantro Pepito Pesto

With a ton of pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and cilantro on hand that needed to be used up, I thought making pesto was a great way to use them. What I really love about cilantro, besides the lovely flavor, is that it’s available in bunches and easy to find. In general, it’s hard to find basil in large amounts enough to make pesto, making cilantro a great alternative to the traditional basil pesto.

To spice it up a bit, I added a small amount of garam masala but feel free to omit it if you don’t have it on hand or don’t care for it. I had yet to use my garam masala and thought, why not try it here for something unusual? After testing it out, I rather liked it as it adds an interesting layer of flavor and pairs well with the vegetable ribbons.

I even used my leftover pesto as a dip for carrot sticks…so good! But keep in mind that I’m quite strange and can eat the weirdest combinations. So If you feel like experimenting, go for it…if in doubt, leave it out. I also added in some hemp hearts as well, two tablespoons or so. If you have some on hand, this is a great place to use them!

Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

How To Make Zucchini & Carrot Ribbons

The ribbons are easy to create. I used a mandolin to ribbon the zucchini and a peeler to do the carrots.

It’s best to use smaller-sized zucchini so the mandolin will be wider. This will help keep the zucchini edges cleaner looking instead of scoured. But do it however you’re comfortable and use whatever tools you have.

If you only have a peeler, you can just as easily use that to ribbon the zucchini too. You can also simply use a julienne tool for thinner ribbons or julienne everything by hand if need be.

Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

More Fresh & Healthy Recipes!

Carrot + Zucchini Ribbons + Cilantro Pepita Pesto

If you try this raw recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think or any changes you make.



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A fresh, nourishing, and delicious raw recipe with carrot and zucchini vegetable ribbons tossed with an easy cilantro pepita pesto!


  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 small zucchini
  • pepitas, for serving
  • mineral salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • almond parmesan, for serving

Cilantro Pepita Pesto (serves 4)

  • 1 large bunch cilantro (3 cups loosely packed), ends removed, leaves and small stems ok
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), toasted or raw
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno, seed removed (leave a few seeds for heat if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon himilayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, optional


Pesto: Place pepitas in your food processor and pulse a few times until seeds are broken down fairly well. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined and fairly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin if needed (no need to add more oil unless you want). Taste for flavor and season to taste. Set aside.

Ribbons: Peel the outer layer of your carrots and discard. Using the peeler, ribbon the carrots. Wash your zucchini, cut the ends off, and using a mandolin, or tool of choice, ribbon the zucchini. You can just as well julienne your carrots and zucchini with a julienne tool or by hand if you would rather have thinner strands.

Combine: In a medium size bowl, place carrots and zucchini, add a few spoonfuls of pesto and mix to combine. You will have pesto leftover unless you really love the stuff and use it all!

Serve: Plate your ribbons, top with a sprinkle of pepitas, and a nice dusting of almond parmesan. For a little extra color, you could add some red pepper flakes to the top.

Serves 2

Store: Leftover pesto can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Use the pesto for pasta, as a dip for vegetables, as a spread for sandwiches, thin it out with water or lemon juice, and make a dressing for salads, etc. Lots of ways to use pesto.


Use almonds in place of pepitas if needed. I used raw pepitas instead of toasting them. For the garam marsla, if pairing this with regular pasta, I would leave it out. It pairs well with the freshness of the carrot & zucchini ribbons. Also, I found that it tasted fine with almond parmesan. But like I said earlier, I can eat some really unusual combinations. If you feel like experimenting, try it out…if in doubt, skip it.

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  1. Just found this – can strips be tossed in boiling water for a few to soften like pasta- then tossed in pesto?

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Yes, you can try that! Enjoy :)

  2. I love carrot sticks dipped in pesto too! I've never really gone beyond the classic basil pesto but do love cilantro so I'm sure I'd enjoy this. I really like that you did wide ribbons as well :)

  3. The Yogi Vegetarian says:

    Wonderful! And good to see you eat a decent portion. I think for vegans, especially with raw and low-carb meals, we really do need to eat a sensible amount. That's one of the great bonuses of it for me, as I love to eat:) I can eat all I like of this kind of stuff and still not put on weight, plus I feel really good! Thanks for the inspiration and the lovely story too. I think this might appear in my lunchbox over the coming week, as it just so happens I have all the ingredients to hand..

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Oh yes, I am like you and LOVE to eat! I don't count calories either and eat what ever I want, whenever I want and have maintained a perfect weight for myself. I actually don't even weigh myself but twice a year but can feel that I do fluctuate about a few pounds up and down by the fitting of my clothes…but we know this is normal. Raw or cooked…I love to eat! But something about eating mostly raw really gives your body a boost! I hope you enjoy this, with or without the garam masala. :)

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