Pesto Pasta for Gluten-Free Carb lovers

I love pasta, does that even need saying? I mean, who doesn’t love pasta (if you answer ME, then we are no longer friends, sorry). I grew up on fine carbs of Mediterranean Croatian cuisine, and I have even witnessed my grandma and mom making their own pasta with their bare hands! Anything pasta related is the ultimate in comfort food for me.

I am trying to cut breads and pastas out, and find the most healthy alternatives to my favorite breads and pastries. After all, I ate the whitest of white pastas all through college, with red sauce and plenty of cheese, and I am sure a good percentage of my freshman 15 came from there. Pasta is so easy to cook and there are so many fabulous varieties, it’s simply a must in any cookbook or pantry.

Luckily for all trying to quit white flour, the Gluten-free movement is taking over, and there are plenty of pasta alternatives in my local Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I hit the mark with my latest purchase of gluten free fussily from TJs, made of quinoa and brown rice. The pasta has a great texture, it’s not mushy or too hard, and it goes down pretty light as well.

It’s the improvised pesto sauce that really made my day! As it sometimes goes, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw a mouthwatering picture of green pasta dish and told myself - let’s do this! I had no pine nuts at home, as they are the ultimate fancy nut, and when I do splurge on buying an ounce or two, I regret eating them any other way than as they are - so I rarely make any dishes with them! I was also out of fresh basil. Pesto is luckily a very versatile sauce, all of the ingredients are easily replaceable to create your own unique version!

GLUTEN FREE PESTO PASTA RECIPE

{vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, high carb}

PESTO SAUCE:

  • 2 cups (handfuls) of sweet greens (spinach and baby kale)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 hass avocado
  • 1-2 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • dash of oregano or other Italian spices
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk
    OTHER INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella (add in later)

  • 1.5 cup gluten free fussily
  • 1 cup rainbow cherry tomatoes
  • Quarter package of Gardain Vegan Mandarin chicken (with sauce)
     

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients but the cheese in a blender or food processor, and pulse a few times. As you can see by the texture that I didn’t blend it into a totally smooth paste. You want the avocado and spices blended well, but a few bigger pieces of greens and pumpkin seeds make for a nice, crunchy texture.
  2. Cook the pasta according to instructions. Drain well, mix in the pesto sauce (if you want less sauce in the pasta, leave a few tbsp of your mixture on the side).
  3. Mix in the cheese, and the cherry tomatoes (you can keep them whole if you want, I cut them in half - this way they release more juice and make for a flavorful combo with the pesto).
  4. For a full meal, prepare the vegan chicken and serve on the side with a large salad of choice.
  5. Serves well hot or cold. Enjoy!
     
Share