Vegan Pesto Pasta (Gluten-free) Complete Guide

Vegan Pesto Pasta Complete Guide (Gluten-free)

This dish below is sure to blow your mind with its mix of sweet, sour, chewy, tangy flavours! You can create a restaurant styled dinner at home with this recipe and I guarantee that you will not regret it. The pesto we are making here is vegan and has garlic-free options, and not to mention, this special pasta is naturally gluten-free as well! The combination of complex carbs, healthy fats and quality protein keeps you full for hours, and is especially good for those of us looking to reduce insulin resistance- — a great meal to whip up as part of a PCOS diet. Before we proceed on to the recipe, let me introduce why this dish is the ultimate healthy meal to go and what makes it sooooo delicious! 

Benefits of Basil

The key ingredient going into homemade pesto is — basil. Other than being packed with flavours, there are numerous health benefits to the consumption of this plant.

1) Good for digestive health

It has anti-inflammatory properties on the digestive tract, calming digestive distress, relieves acid reflux, bloating and promotes a healthy gut by feeding good bacteria. Basil has medicinal properties as stated in the book ‘Healing Foods’, and has been used as a natural remedy by many branches of traditional or alternative medicine.

2) Supports liver detox

We are exposed to so much toxins in our lives everyday, from the pollutants in the air, chemicals, additives, hormones, preservatives etc in our food! Our liver is a primary detox organ and it is so important to keep it running in an optimal, healthy condition. Basil’s strong detox properties can increase liver metabolism and prevent fat-buildup in the liver.

3) Skin benefits and cancer prevention

Basil contains two important water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants, known as orientin and viceninare. These potent antioxidants strengthen immune system, protect cellular structure, DNA and delay effects of skin ageing. This herb contains a range of natural antioxidants, which can help protect body tissues against free radical damage, reducing oxidative stress (which causes cell damage) on the body.


Instructions to make your vegan pesto

  • 3 cups basil leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts/pine nuts (any nut is good)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic OR/AND 1 tsp cumin+1 tsp parsley

Blend everything together and you will get a bowl of beautiful pesto sauce

Benefits of King Oyster Mushroom

Another real deal in this plate of pasta…

  1. Very good source of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and dietary fiber
  2. A good source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese
  3. Very low in saturated fat and cholesterol
  4. Calories are only around 35kcal per 100g
Studies have shown that oyster mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, anti-cancer and antiviral properties as well! incorporating them into your daily diet can make a significant difference in your health state. They are indeed a gift and a blessing from Mother Nature. 

Instructions to whip up a mushroom dish

1. First, slice up 2 King Oyster mushrooms into individual round pieces and slice crosses on the surface of each piece so that the sauce can penetrate deeper, making the dish so much more flavourful!

2. Prepare the sauce! It is really simple and hassle-free!

  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown/unrefined sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce

3. Marinate the mushroom pieces in the sauce for 10 minutes (if you wish) 

4. Heat up a bit of cooking oil in the pan and pan fry these mushrooms at medium heat until the edges turn a little dark-coloured.

Buckwheat Pasta and its benefits

1. Gluten-free and non-allergic

Buckwheat is 100% gluten-free and it is great for people with celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), estrogen dominance, leaky gut syndrome or general gluten intolerance.
2. Good source of vegetarian protein
 Besides being rich in fibre, buckwheat is also a great protein source. Buckwheat is higher in protein than most whole grains, including rice, millet, corn or wheat, it has up to 14g of protein per 100g! Incorporating it into your daily diet helps to meet your protein intake requirements.
3. Improved heart health
Buckwheat also promotes heart health. It contains many heart-healthy compounds, such as rutin, magnesium, copper, fiber, and certain proteins. Buckwheat is one of the richest source of rutin, an antioxidant that help cut your risk of heart disease by preventing the formation of blood clots, decreasing inflammation and blood pressure. Buckwheat has also been found to improve your blood lipid profile, including lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

4. Good for blood sugar control

As buckwheat is also a good source of fibre, it has a low to medium Glycemic Index (GI) of 55– this means that the carbohydrate content is absorbed slowly into the blood stream, providing your body with a steady flow of energy. By preventing a sudden spike in blood sugar, this helps with diabetes management and aid in improving insulin resistance, which is also a step that PCOS patients are encourage to take.

This effect is believed to be caused by a type of protein that binds cholesterol in your digestive system, preventing its absorption into your bloodstream.

Serve! Vegan, gluten-free pesto pasta

If you do not have buckwheat pasta, feel free to replace it with other alternatives such as lentil pasta, brown rice noodles, kelp noodles, or whole grain pastas! This wholesome meal not only contains macro nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, proteins (nut and buckwheat), unsaturated fats (olive oil and nut), it is also super packed with micro-nutrients such as your essential vitamins and minerals. Super healthy, super easy to make. Oh and before serving, you may want to top it up with cherry tomatos for that appetising colour of red on your plate. Enjoy!

About the writer

With a dedication to health and a heart for animals, Little Ling Chef is passionate in making cruelty-free, healthy vegan foods. 

“Let food by thy medicine, and medicine by thy food.” Healing comes from the inside, I always believe that we have a choice to decide what we put into our bodies, food is to nourish, to energize and to heal.  Let’s make your health and the world a better place together <3.


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