Vegan Bolognese

Vegan Bolognese
(Makes one large pot) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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There are times when quick and easy recipes are the only feasible option. There are also times when a labor of love is much needed and super easy. Last Sunday, we were just lazing around, the perfect day to make this Bolognese. This recipe cooks for a long time but requires little attention – except when you have to keep stirring (think Goodfellas ). The time is needed to develop the delicious flavors. Plus an added bonus – it fills your home with a wonderful smell. It’s little a bowl of warm soup. Versatile. Warm. Appetizing.
Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 medium Sweet Onion, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
2 large Carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 Fresh Basil leave, chiffonade/chopped, divided
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 (28oz can) Diced Tomatoes
1 (28oz can) Crushed Tomatoes
5 Fresh Vine Tomatoes
1 Red Pepper, diced
10oz (2 ½ Cups) Walnuts
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 (25oz can) Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 Tsp to ½ Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Sugar (or to Taste)
1 Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tbsp Salt
(Add Sugar, Salt, Pepper to taste)

Directions:

-Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium/high heat.
-Add Red Pepper Flakes and Garlic, sauté for 1 minute.

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-Add Onion, Celery, Carrots and heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.

20181028_170936-Add half of the chopped Basil and stir to incorporate, then place the Vine Ripe Tomatoes on top of the mixture. Do Not Stir – We are only placing the tomatoes on top to steam them. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam for about 10 minutes.

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-After 10 minutes, uncover mixture remove tomatoes and set aside until they are cool to the touch.

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-Add canned Tomatoes (Crushed/Diced). Keep the pot over low heat while preparing whole tomatoes. Peel whole tomatoes when they are cool.

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-In a small bowl add Whole (peeled) Tomatoes along with Kidney Beans. Mash together – you can crush together with your hands or a potato masher will do. Add this tomato/bean mixture to pot.

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-Stir in Liquid Smoke, Salt, Pepper, and Sugar. (At this point, I am roughly 45 minutes into cook time).

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-Add Walnuts and stir all together. Cover with lid partially and continue cooking over low heat. (I break down the walnuts with my fingers so the pieces are not too large).

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-Keep stirring and keep simmering about 45 minutes.
-During the last 10 minutes, I add the remaining Basil, Paprika, Cumin and adjust Salt, Pepper, Sugar to taste also.

Vegan Bolognese

  • Servings: Makes 1 Large Pot
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: veganrescue.com

Ingredients:

1 medium Sweet Onion, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
2 large Carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 Fresh Basil leave, chiffonade/chopped, divided
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 (28oz can) Diced Tomatoes
1 (28oz can) Crushed Tomatoes
5 Fresh Vine Tomatoes
1 Red Pepper, diced
10oz (2 ½ Cups) Walnuts
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 (25oz can) Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 Tsp to ½ Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Sugar (or to Taste)
1 Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tbsp Salt
(Add Sugar, Salt, Pepper to taste)

Directions:

-Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium/high heat.
-Add Red Pepper Flakes and Garlic, sauté for 1 minute.
-Add Onion, Celery, Carrots and heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
-Add half of the chopped Basil and stir to incorporate, then place the Vine Ripe Tomatoes on top of the mixture. Do Not Stir – We are only placing the tomatoes on top to steam them. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam for about 10 minutes.
-After 10 minutes, uncover mixture remove tomatoes and set aside until they are cool to the touch.
-Add canned Tomatoes (Crushed/Diced). Keep the pot over low heat while preparing whole tomatoes. Peel whole tomatoes when they are cool.
-In a small bowl add Whole (peeled) Tomatoes along with Kidney Beans. Mash together – you can crush together with your hands or a potato masher will do. Add this tomato/bean mixture to pot.
-Stir in Liquid Smoke, Salt, Pepper, and Sugar. (At this point, I am roughly 45 minutes into cook time).
-Add Walnuts and stir all together. Cover with lid partially and continue cooking over low heat. (I break down the walnuts with my fingers so the pieces are not too large).
-Keep stirring and keep simmering about 45 minutes.
-During the last 10 minutes, I add the remaining Basil, Paprika, Cumin and adjust Salt, Pepper, Sugar to taste also.

 

Here are some ideas for your Bolognese Sauce!

You can add to Pasta, Spaghetti Squash or make Quesadillas – check these out!

The pastabilities are endless! Try it on Gnocchi too.

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I used vegan sour cream and salsa for the quesadillas.

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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It will all be worth it. That feeling of accomplishment once you’ve completed a project, despite all the lost hours of sleep… It’s definitely a balancing act sometimes as an adult if you have: a family, school, work, projects, and then try squeezing in a social life here in there. I’m so pleased and proud that Seth’s latest book has finally been released, “ApocaLips” but I will blog a separate post all about it, with links for purchasing if any of my fellow bloggers are interested.

About the spaghetti squash… This recipe served four generous portions, however, it should really probably serve six given the amount of food. This is a nice recipe to serve now that we’re in that holiday season. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
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-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
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-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
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-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy
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Spaghetti

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy

Eggplant Parm Bake

Eggplant Parm Bake
(Serves 8-10) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Can I quickly just say how much fun we had last night! We attended a game night hosted by my lifelong friend. Maribel is pretty much family since I’ve known her my entire life. She’s more like a cousin to me and growing up we hung out like sisters would. Her husband and two other close friends attended also. The six of us laughed so hard we were in tears. I love good times like this. The kids had their own game night happening in the living room with uno and cards.
I made this Eggplant Parmigiana bake a couple weeks ago. I wanted to take a quick shortcut to my ultimate eggplant parm recipe. This recipe was quick and delicious.

Eggplant Parm Bake

  • Servings: 8-10
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Ingredients:
3 Eggplants, sliced (recipe tripled)
(Prepared Eggplants – find recipe here)
Parmesan Topping (recipe tripled)
(Prepared Parm Topping – find recipe here)
1 Jar Store bought pasta sauce
3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Package Vegan Shredded Mozzarella (I used Daiya brand)

Directions:
-Prepare Eggplant and Parmesan topping according to my Ultimate Eggplant Parmigiana recipe.
-In a large 13×9 baking dish, layer in the following: sauce, eggplant slices, sauce, baby spinach, Daiya cheese then repeat. Note: If you have any additional parmesan topping remaining add on top of spinach layer.
-Oven should already be heated to 500 degrees F. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese has melted. I remove foil halfway through baking. Enjoy!

Spinach layer:
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Next Daiya Cheese and then Eggplant.img_0881
I served alongside Angel hair pasta.
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p.s. I cannot believe the holidays are right around the corner!!

Morning Smoothie!

Morning Smoothie!
(Serves 3) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw, Soy-Free

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Morning Sunshine! I should say instead. This smoothie is not so pretty, but it’s pretty healthy. I say not-so-pretty because at least that is what a co-worker thought last week. It was a bright sunny day (jk). So, I was at work reaching for my smoothie as a co-worker passed by and says, “ew, what is that!?!” To which I replied a smoothie, here try some. 😊 She thought it was delicious by the way. I honestly believe she meant no ill-will but the story doesn’t end or start here. A few weeks ago Seth was at a deli picking up some veggie sandwiches, the employee does the ‘ol “order up – veggie sandwiches!” An patron nearby hears this and says, “ew, who would even order a veggie sandwich. Ugh, a sandwich with no meat etc. etc.”  Well her supercilious comment wasn’t going to get by Seth that easily. He replies back, “that would be mine. by the way what form of dead animal carcass will be decomposing in your body today?”  Another incident within the same week occurred at a grocery store. He was on his way home, it was pouring out, I got in late myself and wasn’t up for cooking. So… he stops off to grab pizza. (Vegan – Daiya Pizzas to be exact). Another customer hears the automated self-checkout say the item and price. The customer to his son says, “whoa, that price for 1 pizza my God we could get 2 large pies for that price! The son adds or 3 medium!” Followed by both of them cackling. Now I don’t remember exactly what Seth commented back and he’s sleeping at the moment or I’d ask but I do remember in short – he let it go.

I suppose this rant is all to say or ask the burning question: Has society as a whole lost their manners?  Where is the tact? Has ill-mannered behavior become socially acceptable? Despite the popular ‘vegan perception’ I don’t look in other people’s carts at the grocery store and examine their items. I don’t arrogantly comment or turn up my nose at the person who orders the triple bacon cheeseburger. Can we not get the same treatment?
We are modest and humble people we don’t flash around or advertise our vegan lifestyle. I enjoy life, animals, family and love. I enjoy creating recipes and sharing them with all who will seek them out.
Think about it and ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.”

The best part about this smoothie is that my kids have been begging me to make it. I made this last week before heading into work. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
4-5 pieces of Kale, stems removed
7 Strawberries, hulled
½ to 1 cup Fresh Raspberries
½ Banana
1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond/coconut blend)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Sweetener (Agave Nectar or Honey)

-Blend together in high-speed blender. I used my nutribullet. Enjoy!

 

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad
(Serves 8-12) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Bursting with flavor! Try this amazing side at your next bbq/party. Beans always remind me of Seth since he LOVES beans and all things beans! Hell it even inspired us naming our first dog-child together (Beanie). 😊 So I wanted to share a funny story that happened on Monday night. Seth and I have been binge watching Oz (I know so 90’s, right?) and during one of the episodes the topic of Hell, Hades or something about a ‘lifetime of torture’ came up. (Sorry I butchered that explanation, I know). Anyhow, so he asks me what I would consider so torturous that would haunt me for a lifetime. My response was something about bugs, insects or rodents crawling all over me. I have nothing against the little guys…I just don’t want them crawling all over me. SO I ask him the same question and he replies, “what would torture me for life would be to lose all my senses… to not have the ability to see you anymore, smell or touch your soft skin, or to hear your voice… that would be torture to me – losing all my senses. Knowing that I once could experience those things but to no longer have that ability…” [melt] Um – he won, lol! ❤ well now you all know another reason why I fell in love – he’s smooth, right?

SO if anyone ever asks the question… for the love of God go with your senses.

Pft!…bugs, what was I thinking. 😊 Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 (15.5oz cans) Blackeye Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg Corn
1 Tofurky sausage, diced (sautéed for 3 minutes), optional
½ – 1 Cup Chimichurri Sauce

-Toss all ingredients to combine and refrigerate overnight. Best served cold.

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Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce

Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce
(Makes about 2 ½ Cups) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Mmm…Chimichurri sauce typically used as a marinade (hint: try on some portabella mushrooms) today used as a sauce. An insanely good garlicky herbed sauce to top gnocchi and also used in a bean salad. So good you want to put it on everything!

Ingredients:
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 Garlic cloves
3 Scallions (white/light green parts only)
1 handful bunch of Fresh Parsley
1 small handful bunch of Fresh Cilantro
5 Fresh Basil Leaves
½ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Chives (I used dried)
¼ Cup Vinegar
¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tsp Black Pepper
½ Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp Sugar
Directions:
-Blend all ingredients to combine. I used a high speed blender (nutribullet).
-Refrigerate leftover sauce for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

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Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup
(Serves 12-18) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Maybe I just don’t have it in me to make a small pot of soup or something. So I’ll just warn you now that this recipe makes an enormous amount of soup! Lol – feel free to cut it down or just go crazy and make the large pot like I did, it freezes great too. I typically go with the large pot of soup since it will last for several days – lunch and dinner. Not only is this vegan soup hearty with veggies it is wholesome too. Lentils are packed with nutrients and are high in protein and fiber – great for lowering cholesterol! I hope you try this great weeknight dinner, sample it with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
2 Large Russet Potatoes, diced/cubed
4 Scallions, chopped
7 stalks Celery, chopped
5 Carrots, diced/cubed
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
1 ½ to 2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1 (28oz can) Diced Tomatoes
4 Cups dry Lentils, picked/rinsed (I used Bob’s Red Mill – the entire 27oz pkg)
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth (about 12 cups)
3 Cups Water
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I used tomato/basil paste)
10oz fresh Green Beans, trimmed/cut (about 2 ½ cups)
4 stalks Kale, stems removed/chopped
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
-Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. You’ll need an extra-large pot! Add onions, potatoes, garlic and scallions then heat for 5 minutes. Then add carrots and celery continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
-Next, add seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. Stir to combine before adding tomatoes.
-Add your vegetable broth and water to the pot and heat to boil. While stock is boiling remember to pick through your lentils check for any rocks for example before rinsing.
-Add lentils, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.
-During the last 10 minutes of cooking add your green beans and kale. Enjoy!

Warning! – Ginormous pot of soup below!

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