When I was a carnivore, there was one thing I lusted after: spaghetti bolognaise. It was the only thing standing between me and vegetarianism for many years, but I finally took the plunge and left my precious spag bol behind. It didn’t take me long to recreate a vegetarian variety of my childhood memory and it is delicious, not to mention packed with nutrients.
Basically all I did was swap out the mince with lentils – ta dah! So if you’ve got a favourite spaghetti bolognaise recipe that you simply adore, substitute the main ingredient for lentils and see how divine a plant-based, happy version of vegan spaghetti bolognaise can be. I also pack in the vegetables so that my kids can get a decent dose of essential vitamins and minerals.
The winning element about this recipe is that it is so quick and easy to make so it’s a perfect dinner solution for busy moms and dads who still want to make sure their kids are getting a healthy and nutritious meal.
- 1 onion
- Clove of garlic
- 5 baby marrows
- 1 tin whole peeled tomatoes (find one with no preservatives or additives. The ingredients will simply say tomatoes and tomato juice)
- 1 tin lentils (or you can prepare your own from scratch. This is the version for busy parents)
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper and origanum
- Start by boiling the pasta so that it can be cooking while you’re making the sauce
- Chop the onion and garlic and fry gently in olive oil until the onion is translucent
- Chop the baby marrows and add to the pan. Add salt, pepper and origanum to taste
- I add a splash of water to cover the base of the pan at this stage otherwise the pan gets really dry and the onions start to burn
- Cook the marrows until the water cooks off and until they are soft and cooked through
- Add the lentils and stir through
- Add the tomatoes, stir through, break down any chunks of tomato
- Add a tablespoon full of chutney to take the tart edge off the tomatoes
- Let it simmer for about five minutes
- Strain spaghetti
- Dish up, add the sauce and serve!
Top tip: If your kids hate eating veggies, blend the vegetables and sauce together before adding the lentils and they won’t even know they’re there!
Another top tip: Add any vegetables or additions such as mushrooms, carrots, peppers or brinjals for even more goodness!
That’s it! It’s so simple and so completely delicious. My son and daughter like theirs with a little grated cheese, so you can use vegan cheese to keep it completely happy and animal friendly, or you can use regular cheese if you eat dairy.