By JJ Virgin

Dr. Mark Hyman’s Feel-Good Pesto Steak Salad

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November 5, 2019

Virgin Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3
Sugar Impact Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3

This simple and stunning steak salad is full of healthy fats, clean protein, and filling fiber, topped with a bold basil and mint pesto vinaigrette.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings



1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup raw pine nuts

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt

1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


1 red bell pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded

1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded

1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise

1 bunch green onions, trimmed

10 radishes, halved

1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and quartered

1 small red onion, quartered

2 fennel bulbs, cored and quartered

2 cups mixed mushrooms (such as maitake, King Trumpet, or others)

1 1/2 lbs grassfed sirloin steak

6 Tbsp avocado oil, divided

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


6 cups fresh organic arugula

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts)


1For the vinaigrette: Combine the basil, mint, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse several times until a coarse mixture forms.

2Add the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

3Turn on the food processor, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until incorporated; set aside.

4To grill the veggies: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.

5While the grill or grill pan is warming, prep the veggies: In a large bowl, toss the peppers, zucchini, green onions, radishes, avocado, red onion, fennel, and mushrooms with 4 tablespoons of the avocado oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.

6Place the vegetables on the grill rack or pan and grill 4 minutes on each side, or until slightly blackened.

7Remove the vegetables from the grill and cool slightly.

8Cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

9To grill the steak: Heat the grill or grill pan to high.

10Coat the steak with the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

11Grill the steak 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer to desired doneness.

12Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then cut into slices.

13To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, combine the grilled vegetables with the arugula, tomatoes, and hemp seeds.

14Add the vinaigrette and toss gently.

15Transfer the salad to a serving platter and place the steak slices on top. Garnish with a sprinkle of hemp seeds and enjoy.

“Here’s a simple, fresh, and satisfying salad full of healthy fats to boost brain health, cellular integrity, and metabolism—and it’s a personal favorite that I make every week. A bright vinaigrette of basil and mint is the perfect complement to savory steak and spicy arugula. Don’t forget to always choose grass-fed beef to get the most nutrition out of your animal protein. The steak and veggies can be grilled on a grill or a grill pan.” – Dr. Mark Hyman

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Nutrition Facts

Sodium486 mg
Protein60 g
Cholesterol152 mg
Sugar8 g (including naturally occurring sugars)
Total Fat73 g
Total Carbohydrates28 g
Dietary Fiber12 g