Five a day. Do you think you hit yours? ‘Five a day’ is probably one of the most widely communicated public health nutrition messages, and yet as a population (both here, UK, USA, and most Westernised societies) the majority of us don’t consume the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Personally, I am a major veggie lover, and if I’m honest, I probably eat 7 and above servings a day. I’m not saying that to be superior – I’m telling you because I use my recipes to sneak in extra servings of veggies, and I share these recipes with YOU guys! To help you boost your fruit and veg intake. This food group combined provides us with such a range of nutrients – micronutrients like vitamin C in citrus fruits, folate in green leafy veg, and of course – FIIBRE!
I recently wrote on the blog about Sustainable Diets and how we can all make a difference to help the environment by reducing our meat consumption a little. This recipe is a great example of how to do that. I’ve taken one of my favourite home-cooked recipes – my mom’s Spaghetti Bolognaise, usually made with lean beef mince – and swapped the mince for lentils, and added LOTS of easy to find, cheap veggies! Hey presto – a delicious, nourishing dinner, one you can use for meal prep too, and full of plant protein, fibre, and hits FIVE veggie servings in one go!
Recipe (Serves 5)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
- 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
- 2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 1 400g tin of Bijoux Vert or Green Lentils drained & rinsed
- 1 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes
- 300ml water
- A twist of black pepper & a pinch of sea salt (As always, to season!)
- Prepare your veggies first by washing and dicing up the onion, carrot, celery, courgette, pepper and set aside. Peel and finely dice the garlic clove too.
- Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a big pot, and then add the onions and garlic, cooking for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Next, add the veggies (peppers, carrot, celery, courgette), and cook for another 3-4 minutes to sweat them a little.
- Add the oregano, thyme and red wine (or balsamic) vinegar, and stir to combine everything.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, lentils and water, and stir again.
- Add a twist of black pepper, and a pinch of sea salt.
- Bring to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the bolognaise is simmering, place a pot of slightly salted water to boil, and cook your spaghetti (or pasta alternative) according to package instructions – if not cooking with pasta, feel free to serve with a side salad, courgetti, or store in tupperwares if you’re not consuming immediately.
- When the pasta/side serving of choice is ready, turn the heat off your bolognaise, drain the pasta and divide it out into bowls.
- Place your pot of bolognaise in the centre of the table, and let everyone tuck in!
- If storing for meal prep – you can store this bolognaise in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze some portions easily too!
Enjoy guys! Tag me if you try this one out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!
Ciara 🙂 x