Monday, April 23, 2012

Meatless Monday - Easy veggie bolognese

Poor Veggie Dad. He loves spaghetti bolognese and I absolutely loathe it.

Sometimes I make it and play around with the ingredients to make it more Stacey-friendly, and I always add capers and olives to mine, which terrifies Veggie Dad no end.

We both are at the point now where we wig out somewhat if there's no veggies in our dinner. I couldn't abide the thought of just fake meat in sauce on pasta, so if we're making it, we always make sure there's veg and often fresh tomato in it. I don't like massive chunks so I cut them quite small and we're all happy.

Well, I'm happy on the outside. On the inside, the me I'm trying to ignore is screaming "BUT ITS SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE! GROSS!"


Serves 4

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet veggie mince (I used Quorn) or 2 cans green lentils
assorted chopped veggies - I do miniscule dice, or even grate. Carrot, zucchini and mushroom usually.
1 jar tomato pasta sauce
I can tomatoes
pinch of sugar
bay leaf
a splash of red wine
a splash of balsamic vinegar
whatever herbs you have on hand... dried is fine.
salt and pepper
cooked spaghetti, to serve


1. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat with the assorted vegetables.

2. When tender, add the veggie mince or lentils and break up with a spoon.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until you're ready to serve.

4. Remove the bay leaf or someone will complain!

5. Serve with spaghetti, lots of cheese, and if you're like me, olives and capers.

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  1. Michelle DawsonApril 23, 2012 8:37 AM

    Oh geez this is so funny, I made myself veggie spaghetti last night and thought nah, cant put that up for Meatless Monday LOL, it's too common.  We have a very busy few days so for days when I know I wont be home until around 6pm, spaghetti is my go to meal, I do a massive big pot and we just heat and serve for a couple of days and even put some in the freezer for the can't be bothered nights.  I too add a tonne of veg, grated zucchini, grated carrot, finely diced celery, capsicum and sometimes a bit of eggplant!

  2. oh snap... I love me some lasagne but just the thought of Bolognese makes me want to barf.

    Meat or meatless. 

  3. Never tried veggie mince before... feedback from my veggie friends (that were previously meat eaters) is that it doesn't brown up as well as meat and therefore the depth of flavour isn't as strong for the sauce. Would you agree?

  4. That sounds so much nicer than the veggie bolognaise I used to make. I'd choose the lentils which is my fave:)

  5. It's not pasta if it doesn't have olives, and capers make everything more delicious. You're not alone!

  6. I haven't had Quorn since I lived in Edinburgh 10 years ago - we loved it over there! For some reason fake meat freaks me out a bit now, but I think that's because of a dodgy brand I had once. I must try Quorn again.  I do love a fake bolognaise though with lentils and tomatoes and other veg hidden away too. I haven't tried it with green lentils, only brown, so I think I'll definitely be adding this to the menu plan!  And I'll add olives to my hubs so he doesn't notice there is no meat!!! ;-)

  7. I'm making  making veggie bolognese tonight using veggie mince. I must admit I'm a little freaked out by the idea,  I'm not keen on it looking like meat...I guess I'll just have to persist and hope it turns out okay!

  8. OMG - how funny - I have had something v similar hanging out in the slow cooker all day.  Smells divine.  Two additions to consider - grated beetroot - the colour is amazing - and the secret weapon alongside tomatoes - cinnamon - it makes anything tomatoes sing out super loud - try it - it's a match made in heaven.  Try omitting the vege mince completely - I do and this rocks our world!

  9. JustafrugalfoodieApril 24, 2012 2:49 AM

    Thank you for hosting!  Iam trying to incorporate more meatless meals in to our rotation so I've been hunting for other bloggers to provide some inspiration.  I came across your site and thought I'd participate.  I can't wait to look around! :)

  10. This is going on the menu! x

  11. oh capsicum! I forgot! We add that too. So handy a recipe, I just wish I liked it more. It seems it's everyone's go-to meal :)

  12. It is seriously so gross. I don't know how on earth it got so popular. It was always at sleepovers.

  13. Well I don't know, I'm not looking for depth of flavour in bolognese because I rarely make it! Nor do I want a deep minced-beef flavour in my meals. Having said that, it doesn't brown the same, no. The Sanitarium version has a stronger flavour overall, that might be a better option.

  14. I've never had it with lentils! I don't like it however it's made haha

  15. haha Quorn is pretty cool. We don't do fake meat often, but when making those things you loved as a kid, Quorn works well!

  16. Yeah that can be a little weird! To be honest, it just looks like sauce xx

  17. Grated beetroot! I never thought of that! I make this all the time without mince. I still don't like it though! But given I was making a bolognese recipe, I thought I should include it.

  18. Welcome aboard! The previous weeks have got some fabulous inspiration xx

  19. I hope you like it more than I do!

  20. easy peasy! this would be a good quick dinner of school days!

  21. It so is! Pity I don't like it!


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