Besides updating at least four to-do lists on the notes app on my computer on a daily basis, I have a separate list for food-related ideas. Usually they’re something I intend to make for the blog, for client work, or just to try out at some point. The list keeps growing far more faster than I manage to cook from it, but when the inspiration hits and an idea comes to me, I need a place to write it down. Our weeknight cookings are usually the result of daily feels towards a certain food / ingredient, but when nothing comes to mind the list is a good source of ideas. Also, one of my goals for this autumn is to be more organized with the weeknight meals and cook more in batches (yay for leftovers!), as it saves time, money and energy, and ’cause a long day + hanger + food in the fridge = perfection.
I’m a part of Go Green’s blog campaign this month, in which I + few fellow bloggers were asked to create tasty meals for weeknight dinners, and it naturally offered a perfect chance to cook something of my list. I’ve been thinking about a vegan lentil bolognese for a while already and tried two different versions of it. The first time I used uncooked green lentils and let the bolognese cook for a longer time like the real deal, but the second time I wanted to try a fast-food version of the sauce and used cooked red lentils. I think both worked well but when the hanger hits, I’ll go for the fast version and in general I just always like red lentils more. This one is a truly nourishing and comforting meal and it’s a perfect thing to offer for both the veggie-loving and the non-vegetarian friends, as it’s full of flavor. Another one of my goals is to cook more for friends and make them love veggies even more, and this one will definitely be in my repertoire :)
I added a bit of coconut milk to my version of bolognese, as I’ve always been into creamy tomato sauces. But if you’re more into just the tomato, feel free to skip the coconut milk. The bolognese is great as it is with some gluten-free pasta (brown rice pasta is my favorite!) but I do like to have some greens on the side too. For example steamed broccoli and lightly cooked zucchini slices are my favorite for a meal like this. And if you feel like eating even more vegetables, this would be great with zucchini / carrot pasta too. That’s what I call a veggie heaven :)
Eat well and stay cozy, friends! And let me know how your pasta turns out if you make some! xo
This post was created in partnership with Go Green. All opinions are my own, as always in here. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my work!
Creamy Vegan Lentil Bolognese
notes: you can use red or green lentils in the bolognese, so feel free to choose your favorite. you can also use dry lentils and either cook them first separately or add them to the sauce with some water. this one also freezes well if you end up with way too much of the sauce!
2 cans (à 285g) cooked red lentils
2 big carrots
2-3 cloves of garlic
4-5 sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 cans (à 295g) organic crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coconut sugar
salt & black pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk (or other plant-based cream)
1. Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside. Peel and grate the carrots. Finely dice the onion and garlic and chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces.
2. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil to the pan. Sauté the onion and garlic for about a minute, until softened. Lower the heat a bit and add the grated carrots, lentils and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and spices and stir well to combine everything. Bring to a boil and simmer at a low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
3. While the bolognese is cooking, prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package. When the bolognese is ready, stir in the coconut milk and turn the heat off. Taste, and add spices if desired. Serve the bolognese with the pasta, a generous handful of fresh basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and enjoy!