Vegan Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 300g spaghetti, or a mixture of spaghetti and courgette zoodles (allow 1-1.5 large courgettes per person)

...

  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely sliced
  • 400g tofu mince
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 heaped tsp. mixed herbs or oregano
  • ½ tbsp. tamari or soy
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. protein powder (soya bean or pea)
  • Optional: Add either 1 ½ tbsp. mushroom ketchup or 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast or 3/4 tsp. miso paste or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Who loves spaghetti bolognese? It is perhaps the ultimate comfort food; savoury, nourishing and satisfying all at the same time. It was a childhood favourite of mine (I thought it was magical watching big pencil thin stick-like noodles disappear into a pot of boiling water and come out like wriggly worms). I think it was also the novelty factor of twirling the spaghetti onto a fork (so different to chopsticks, which I was brought up using!). Little did I know many years later I would be making a vegan version of it!

Vegan tofu mince is  widely available in the supermarkets now. There is even a brand where it is coloured red using beetroot colouring to give the appearance of real meat! To bump up the nutritional value, I have added chia seeds, which add protein, fibre and omega-3s and also help thicken the sauce. I have also added some protein powder!

For traditionalists, you can use traditional spaghetti or whole wheat spaghetti. If you want to reduce your carb load, you can always use a base of courgette noodles (raw or pan-fried for a few minutes) or a mixture of the two.

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. In a large deep bottomed pot, melt a little coconut oil and then on a low-medium heat, sauté the chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the tofu mince and cook for about 3 mins.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and continue cooking for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, mixed herbs or oregano, bay leaves and tamari or soy. Cook for about 18-20 minutes until the sauce reduces.
  5. Add the chia seeds and protein powder, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. For an extra umami kick, add mushroom ketchup or nutritional yeast or miso paste or balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine. Serve on your spaghetti noodles of choice. Serve with parmesan (vegan if required) and fresh basil. Enjoy!