Lentil Bolognese

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This New Year, I made variety of resolutions.  But two of them, I think, are pretty good.  Number 1:  Eat produce (fruit or veggie) at every meal.  And number 2:  Reduce my intake of bread, rice and pasta type foods.  These might kinda seem somewhat random to you, but I think everyone could probably benefit from them.  More fruit, veggies and less carbs can definitely work for a lot of people – especially me!
lentil bolognese, vegetarian pasta sauce, pasta sauce, bolognese, spaghetti squash, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

lentil bolognese, vegetarian pasta sauce, pasta sauce, bolognese, spaghetti squash, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes Take #1 for example.  Generally, I eat pretty healthy at each meal.  But I realized that my meals were just low-cal.  Not always healthy.  The two aren’t always synonymous.  For example, my scrambled egg, low cal cheese and English muffin breakfast is low cal, but pretty much nutrient-bland.  Ya know?  Some protein, calcium and fiber. But not high in vitamins, minerals or antioxidants.  Adding in a serving of fruit or vegetables will take my breakfast from being ONLY low-cal to low-cal AND healthy.

lentil bolognese, vegetarian pasta sauce, pasta sauce, bolognese, spaghetti squash, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

lentil bolognese, vegetarian pasta sauce, pasta sauce, bolognese, spaghetti squash, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes

Resolution #2 comes from the fact that ever since Dario and I decided to be vegetarians we’ve been eating a lot of bread, rice, quinoa, pasta, tortillas….anything bread like.  Which can be OK – especially since our choices are usually 100% whole grain.  But we’re eating just a little too much of those foods.  Which I used to totally justify since we were vegetarians and needed to get our “protein” from whole grains.  But in all reality, I just love bread.  It had nothing to do with my protein intake.

lentil bolognese, vegetarian pasta sauce, pasta sauce, bolognese, spaghetti squash, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes So far, I’ve done really well with my resolutions.  I’m adding spinach and tomatoes to my scrambled eggs, using big swiss chard leaves as sandwich wraps, steaming tons of spaghetti squash for pasta and eating a lot more fruit.  And I feel great.  I’m more satisfied throughout the day, I’m not craving carbs all the time.  It’s been good.  Especially the recipes.  Like this Lentil Bolognese over spaghetti squash.  No pasta, tons of veggies, low-cal and nutrient dense.  It’s the perfect post resolution meal!

Lentil Bolognese Over Spaghetti Squash:
Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes (save the can!)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2/3 of the tomato can full of water
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 2-3 cups cooked spaghetti squash

Instructions:

  1. In a large stock or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the carrots, onions, mushrooms, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes until vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the tomato paste begins to brown.
  3. Add in the wine, tomatoes, lentils and water.  Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits of vegetables.
  4. Bring sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 45 mins to 1 hour.
  5. Serve sauce over 1 cup of cooked and prepared spaghetti squash.  (See this post for tips on cooking this squash).

4 Comments

  1. Laura

    January 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    So, you cook the lentils and then cook them again in the sauce?

    • mewinebrenner

      January 23, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Yup! I purchase pre cooked lentils and use those. They don’t get mushy and retain their shape and texture very well.

  2. Beca

    February 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe… I cannot believe how good it was! I do not always enjoy lentils or mushrooms, but they really combine to make a beautiful (and very filling) sauce!

    • mewinebrenner

      February 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      I’m glad you liked it!! It’s definitely one of my favorites!

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