If you’re looking for healthy comfort food, this is the recipe for you. All of the taste and texture of bolognese in a nutrient dense, vegan and gluten-free package.
As a transplant from sunny Southern California to the cooler climate of New England, I must confess that usually in October when the first real chill is in the air, I start to freak out a bit. After over 30 years living in Boston I have yet to get used to the winter. I plan my life from October-April around how to stay warm. From what clothes to wear to what food to eat….it’s all about avoiding being cold. This recipe for Vegan Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash is comfort food that’s intended to warm you from the inside out.
Vegan Bolognese: the ultimate comfort food.
This vegan Bolognese is the perfect balance between something enormously satisfying and something that’s light and healthy. The extra veggies in the recipe assure ample nutrition. The spaghetti squash in leu of pasta keeps the carbs and the calories in check, naturally gluten-free. Simple to make with wholesome ingredients that you are familiar with.
Vegan Bolognese served over Spaghetti Squash is a nutrient dense delicious meal:
- Lentils provide: protein, fiber, energy, satiety and lower the risk of heart disease
- Mushrooms: immunity boosters, help lower cholesterol, are anti-inflammatory, high in B and D vitamins, good for your brain and have cancer fighting properties.
- Walnuts: A wonderful plant source of Omega-3s, rich in antioxidants, loaded with protein, help reduce inflammation, promote a healthy gut and are good for weight control.
- Spaghetti Squash: A gluten-free wonder…loaded with fiber, vitamin C, B-vitamins, manganese and potassium. Plus it’s richer in protein yet has lower calories and carb content than regular pasta.
What else can I do with vegan bolognese?
I like to make a batch of this vegan Bolognese during meal prep on Sunday because it’s so versatile I know it will be used in many ways. My favorite is to use it on top of spaghetti squash, but it is also delicious served over cauli-rice or as part of a grain bowl with sautéed greens and roasted veggies. YUM. Substitute this nutrient dense sauce in place of anything you would use a rich and robust red sauce for. Let me know in the comments how you intend to use your vegan Bolognese.
Spaghetti Squash: easy to make.
I’ve been really into spaghetti squash this fall. I like that it tastes a bit buttery before you even put anything on it. I usually roast it with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Really all you need. I like that it readily accepts any sauce you put on it and because it has such a neutral flavor, the sauce really shines. Follow the recipe below for the spaghetti squash and then add this kale pesto for an alternate choice that’s quick and healthy.
Rooting for the home team!
As the Dodgers and Red Sox get set to face off in the World Series this week, I feel inclined to root for my home team….and then I realize I’m a product of two cities. Growing up in LA, I always rooted for the dodgers. I remember vividly learning the names of players back in the 70s in order to impress a certain boy who sat next to me in the 5th grade! AND…I remember vividly when my son was young, learning the names of the Red Sox Players so I could keep up my end of the conversation that always had to do with sports. Who to root for? What a decision…..The weather will be nice and hot for the games played in LA and cool and rainy in Boston….hmmmm, on that I know which I would prefer….but I guess I’ll just have to let this vegan Bolognese warm me up while I root for my favorite home town team. The good news is that MY home team is going to win the world series regardless of the outcome!!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded (about ½ cup)
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups assorted mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (I used a combo of shitake and baby bellas)
- 1 cup rinsed red lentils
- 1 cup FINELY CHOPPED walnuts
- ½ cup Red Wine
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup plant milk (I used almond)
- 2 Tablespoons tamari
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- Drizzle of Olive oil
- S + P
- Preheat oven to 400. Prepare squash to roast. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet and roast until tender, approx. 45 minutes. Use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” and place on a rimmed platter.
- In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat and saute onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Add in garlic, carrots, celery and dried spices. Cook for 3 minutes and then add in the mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook until mushrooms soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils and walnuts, and mix well. Then add the wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. Pour in the tomatoes, milk and tamari and mix to combine. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- When all is tender, remove the bay leaves and assess for chunkiness. I like to blitz a bit of it with the immersion blender for a thick and slightly less chunky sauce that resembles a ragu. It’s an optional step that is subjective…and it will have the same delicious taste whether you do this or not.
- Ladle sauce onto prepared spaghetti squash and serve warm.
Amount Per Serving Calories 344Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 2mgSodium 799mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 11gSugar 13gProtein 11g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.