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Vegan Lentil Bolognese



This vegan lentil bolognese is full of protein, a perfect comfort food and, most importantly, ridiculously delicious. 

The bolognese sauce originates from Bologna in Italy and is traditionally tomato, onion, herbs and, of course, minced beef. 

But this vegan alternative replaces beef with a vegan's best protein friend: lentils. 

Whilst it can prove quite hard to be vegan in Italy [read: How To Be Vegan In Italy], they do have lentils, albeit often only in tinned form. 

Incidentally, according to NutritionFacts.org, nutrition-wise, cooked and canned lentils are about the same - though the sodium content is a lot higher. 


Now vegan lentil bolognese isn't really something you can make over a tin-can or in a hostel or a hotel, so save this one for when you have access to a real kitchen. 

(Wondering how to have access to a real kitchen whilst travelling?? Check-out Airbnb and house sitting.) 

Personally, I think vegan lentil bolognese is the ultimate comfort food (perhaps because my mum makes such good bolognese). BV (Before Vegan) meat bolognese was one of my absolute favourite dishes, and I was sad to 'give it up'. Until I found this recipe, which I think is even better than the meat version! (Plus of course, it doesn't involve dead cows.)

How to make vegan lentil bolognese

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour
Serves: 2 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tin brown lentils
  • 1 tin chopped tomato
  • chilli, salt, pepper (to taste) 
  • pasta 
  • red wine 

Method  
  1. Heat oil in a large pan, crush garlic cloves and add to pan with chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant
  2. Add in your chopped carrot and mushrooms, cook for another 3-4 minutes until mushrooms soften
  3. Add in the lentils with their water, the tinned tomatoes, two tins of water and a teaspoon or two of red wine
  4. Bring to the boil and the simmer for about 50 minutes until the sauce has thicken and turned from red to brown
  5. Cook your pasta for the last 10 minutes in its own pan and drain well
  6. Place pasta in bowls and add a little oil and salt (to make the sauce stick and for flavour)
  7. Serve with plenty of (organic, vegan, red) wine
  8. Enjoy!


Extra additions: Depending on your tastes/ what's available to you, it's nice to add celery (when you add the carrot); vegetable stock cube (when you add the water, though not really necessary if you're putting in the salty lentil water); extra spices; onion (with the garlic); and basil (at the end). 





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