5 A Day Lentil Bolognaise

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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!

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Recipe (Serves 5)

Ingredients

  • 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!)

Method 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Next, add the veggies (peppers, carrot, celery, courgette), and cook for another 3-4 minutes to sweat them a little.
  4. Add the oregano, thyme and red wine (or balsamic) vinegar, and stir to combine everything.
  5. Next add the chopped tomatoes, lentils and water, and stir again.
  6. Add a twist of black pepper, and a pinch of sea salt.
  7. Bring to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. 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.
  9. When the pasta/side serving of choice is ready, turn the heat off your bolognaise, drain the pasta and divide it out into bowls.
  10. Place your pot of bolognaise in the centre of the table, and let everyone tuck in!
  11. 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

 

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