I love Zoodles and I love Bolognese; that is when the two meet and magic happens in the kitchen. Totally comforting, tasty meal made exclusively with budget-friendly ingredients.
I used to enjoy traditional Bolognese when I was a kid. Since I went vegan at a pretty young age, I wanted to replicate a really good recipe with just plants and at the same time healthy.
This version really delivers—it’s still meaty thanks to the tamari and smoked paprika. The bolognese sauce is made entirely with healthy ingredients like red lentils and walnuts. Lentils are amazing powerhouse, rich in iron therefore great way to help fight off anemia; very rich in fibre which may aid weight loss.
Walnuts are are good source of omega-three fatty acids, which are crucial for our skin, eyes, brain and heart.
Feel free to make it to use your Bolognese with pasta. I used Zoodles here, since it is very hot here in Malta at the moment so I am trying to keep hydrated as much as possible. Courgettes happen to be made up of around 95% water. That's 3% more than watermelons.
Healthy Zoodle Lentil Bolognese
- 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 180 ml Vegan White Wine
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tablespoons Tamari
- 400ml Vegetable Stock, using 1 Stock Cube
- 1 Medjool Date
- 185 grams Dried Red Lentils, rinsed and drained
- 75 grams Walnuts, crushed
- 4 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 8 Sun-dried Cherry Tomatoes, to garnish
- 1 Spring Onion, to garnish
- Fresh Basil, to garnish
- 4 Big Courgettes, spiralized
1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently, stirring often, for 4 minutes until soft.
2. Add the tomato paste and smoked paprika and cook for a minute, then add the white wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, tamari for that umami kick, vegetable stock, the chopped date, lentils and walnuts.
4. Bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the lentils are tender. You can add a splash of water or stock if it becomes too thick.
5. Add the nutritional yeast and mix in well. Season to taste with salt and serve over the Zoodles. Top with a couple of sun-dried cherry tomtoes, fresh basil, some sliced spring onion and a good grinding of black pepper.
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Photo: Roberta Farrugia