Kick up your tomato sauce with protein from lentils and antioxidants from carrots, onion, and garlic! This homemade version of a 'bolognese' sauce is 100% vegan, absolutely delicious, and perfect atop zucchini noodles or pasta of your choice.
GUYS. VEGANISM IS AWESOME.
I don't miss cheese as much as I thought I would, my skin is SO clear, I can still drink all the beer, wine, and tequila I ever wanted (aka all of it), and I'm cooking SO much more. Mostly because I can't just stop by Chick-fil-a on the way home from the metro like I used to, which is both a blessing (my pants fit!) and a curse (dat SAUCE though).
Well, ya know what? I can make my own baller meals that don't have trans fats and cost $10 and threaten to clog all of my arteries. I need those to be open, guys. Also, CHICKEN LIVES MATTER. Someone had to say it.
So, I made this ~baller~ bolognese on a rainy Tuesday, and it was awesome. If you don't make it, re-evaluate your life choices. Drink more tequila. Be a better human. Etc.
Vegan Lentil Tomato Sauce + Zoodles
To make this sauce, you will need:
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups dry green lentils
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 150g carrots, grated (about 2 carrots - couldn't find whole ones at the CoHi Giant, so I used baby carrots)
- 3/4 cup red wine (I used a full-bodied Shiraz)
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
To start, mince your onion. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add onion. Saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and grated carrots, cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook 5 minutes.
Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan (read - let the acid get all the burnt bits off the bottom as the alcohol burns off), and then add your lentils. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Now, the big one - add the diced tomatoes, veggie broth, basil, and seasonings to taste. Remember: you can always add more seasoning, but you can't magically extract them. Think about it. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for 25-30 minutes, until lentils are your desired consistency.
Just LOOK at that basil. So fresh and so green, green. Anyway, moving on.
You can use any sauce vessel of your choice, but I chose to go with the humble zucchini noodle (aka zoodle). Because veggies are our friends! I spiralized half of a zucchini for one lunch serving.
Once your sauce reaches your desired consistency, take it off the heat and ladle a generous helping onto your zoodles. Top it with cheese or an extravagant basil leaf (#dairyfreeprobz) and dig in! Your body will thank you.
Also, FYI, this recipe makes a butt-ton of sauce, so if anyone wants any PLEASE come to my house. I'm begging you.