Lentil & Vegetable Bolognaise

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I am so excited to bring you guys this latest recipe! It’s a plant-based twist on one of my favourite home-cooked dinners – Spaghetti Bolognaise. I’ve packed 5 of your ‘five a day’ into this dish, and trust me, everyone will be asking for seconds! Let’s get cooking! I’m such a fan of lentils – they’re a great plant protein-packed substitute for many dishes that usually feature meat, and are full of fibre too! Plus they have a great light crunchy texture and take the flavour of the stock they cook in so well!

Recipe (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced into small coins, then halved
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced into small pieces
  • 250g button mushrooms, washed and stems removed
  • 1 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 140g tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 300g dried green lentils
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • Seasoning: A twist of black pepper & a pinch of sea salt
  • Serve: With spaghetti (or alternative pasta) of choice (we use wholemeal/brown pasta in my house)

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Method

  1. Prepare your veggies first by dicing up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and carrots, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a big pot, and then add the onions, other veggies and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  3. Next, add the herbs, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the chopped tomatoes, red wine/balsamic vinegar and tomato puree, and mix these into the veg.
  5. Add a twist of black pepper, and then the stock and lentils.
  6. Stir everything up, bring the bolognaise to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. 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.
  8. When the spaghetti is ready, turn the heat off your bolognaise, drain the pasta and divide it out into bowls.
  9. Place your pot of bolognaise in the centre of the table, and let everyone tuck in!

Enjoy guys! A super simple plant-based alternative to the classic beef dish, which is one I do love too (my mom does an awesome original recipe)! But especially with the spirit of sustainability in how we eat as I’ve written about on my blog previously, this recipe is a great option for a meat-free dinner in your week! Tag me if  you try it out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!

Ciara 🙂 x

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