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.

Thai Peanut Sauce with Rombi Pasta & Peas

Thai Peanut Sauce with Rombi Pasta & Peas
(Serves 8) – Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free (Use with GF Pasta)
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This sauce is the best…it has the perfect balance of sweet, heat and savory. This recipe is kid approved I received two thumbs up from each 🙂 . Every time I make this sauce it’s a hit, love the creaminess. This sauce is excellent with the pasta and peas tossed in. I also incorporated a protein (tofu), this is a complete meal. The pasta I used was Rombi, a short ribbon-type pasta hangs on well to the sauce (picture a chopped up lasagna). Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
¾ Cup Peanut Butter
1 (13.5oz Can) Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
¼ Cup Blue Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Add-In:
1 (16oz Pkg) Rombi Pasta
1 (10oz Pkg) Frozen Peas
1 (14oz Pkg) Extra Firm Tofu

Directions:
-Prepare pasta according to package and drain.
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-Heat Olive Oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan, add Garlic and Red Pepper flakes. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes.
-Stir in Peanut Butter, Tamari Sauce and Vinegar. Whisk together to combine and continue to heat for another 1-2 minutes.
-Whisk in Agave and slowly stir in Coconut milk. -If adding frozen peas, add then now and heat through for about 5 minutes on low. Turn off heat and finish with Sesame Oil.
IMG_6986 -If you’re not adding Peas skip the last step and just finish with Sesame Oil.
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-Toss to combine with cooked Pasta and sautéed Tofu
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-I just cube up the Tofu and season with salt and pepper then sauté in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!
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Thai Peanut Sauce with Rombi Pasta & Peas

  • Servings: 8 ~ Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
¾ Cup Peanut Butter
1 (13.5oz Can) Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
¼ Cup Blue Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Add-In:
1 (16oz Pkg) Rombi Pasta
1 (10oz Pkg) Frozen Peas
1 (14oz Pkg) Extra Firm Tofu

Directions:
-Prepare pasta according to package and drain.
-Heat Olive Oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan, add Garlic and Red Pepper flakes. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes.
-Stir in Peanut Butter, Tamari Sauce and Vinegar. Whisk together to combine and continue to heat for another 1-2 minutes.
-Whisk in Agave and slowly stir in Coconut milk. -If adding frozen peas, add then now and heat through for about 5 minutes on low. Turn off heat and finish with Sesame Oil. -If you’re not adding Peas skip the last step and just finish with Sesame Oil.
-Toss to combine with cooked Pasta and sautéed Tofu
-I just cube up the Tofu and season with salt and pepper then sauté in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!

Bucatini with Smoked Tomato Sauce

Bucatini with Smoked Tomato Sauce
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Soy-Free
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I love Pasta! There are so many different kinds of pasta. This one I’m using here today is Bucatini – it is a long spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center. This pasta has a hole running down the center; I really enjoy the way this pasta grabs the sauce with every bite. You can certainly use spaghetti in this recipe. Just like I said in my prior spaghetti post, I never need a reason to make spaghetti! This sauce is more of a smoky sauce you can certainly kick up the heat too by adding additional red pepper flakes or make it sweeter by adding additional sugar. The spinach in this sauce adds a level of sweetness as well. Enjoy!

Bucatini Pasta with Smoked Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: VeganRescue.com

Ingredients:
2 (12oz Pkgs) Bucatini Pasta
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + additional for pasta
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 oz White Button Mushrooms, chopped or sliced
1 (28 oz can) Crushed Tomatoes
1 (14.5oz can) Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 Tsp Oregano
½ Tsp Ground Pepper
2 Tsp Sea Salt
4 Tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke, optional
1 (10oz Pkg) Frozen Spinach, thawed

Directions:
-Bring large pot of water to boil and prepare Bucatini according to package directions.
-Add 2 Tbsp Olive oil to sauté pan and sauté crushed red peppers for about a minute. Add Garlic and continue sautéing for another 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
-Add 2 Tbsp Olive oil back to sauté pan. Add Tomatoes (both cans) and seasonings, bring to slow bubbling boil then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Feel free to add more sugar if you’re enjoy a sweeter sauce.
-Prepare Spinach according to package to thaw. Add Spinach and Mushrooms back to sauce and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
-Serve over warm Bucatini Pasta, I toss the pasta in a pan with additional olive oil before topping with sauce to serve. Enjoy!

Citrus Soba Noodles with Asian Glazed “Scallops” (King Trumpet Mushrooms)

Citrus Soba Noodles with Asian Glazed “Scallops” (King Trumpet Mushrooms)
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan / Gluten-Free

Soba Noodles and Asian Scalloped Mushrooms
I was inspired by the King Trumpet mushroom. Seth and I were browsing in our local whole foods store yesterday and I saw these beauties. These mushrooms have thick meaty stems that hold up well during cooking; they also keep well in the fridge and should stay fresh over a week. The stems remind me of scallops when sliced. You can easily substitute these mushroom stems sliced up as a vegan alternative to any ‘scallop’ dish. The soba noodles are a great gluten-free alternative to pasta. This dish is hearty but doesn’t feel heavy or leave you feeling bluh! Enjoy, I hope you try this one.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
9.5 oz King Trumpet Mushrooms
2 (8oz) Pkgs Soba Noodles (100% Buckwheat Pasta)
2 heads of Broccoli Florets
1 (12oz) Pkg Frozen Edamame
5 Scallions, chopped (white/light green parts)
4 sm-med. Carrots, shredded

King Trumpet Mushrooms

Dressing/Sauce for ‘Scallops’:
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Sriracha
1 Tsp Blue Agave Nectar

Dressing/Sauce for Soba Noodles:
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp Blue Agave
½ an Orange, juiced
1 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger

Directions:
-Trim ends from trumpet mushrooms, then cut in ½ – 1 inch pieces. Cut stems only for ‘scallops’ then slice tops and any smaller pieces and set aside – reserve for later.
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-Combine all ingredients for ‘scallop’ sauce in a bowl, whisk together. –Add mushroom stems to bowl and allow the mushrooms to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
King Trumpet Mushroom/Scallops
-Meanwhile, fill pot with water and bring to boil. Add Soba noodles and boil for 8 minutes, drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
-In large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Drain mushroom stems ‘scallops’ and pat dry. Sauté stems in pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Seared Mushrooms
-In a large pot bring 4 Cups of water to boil. Add Edamame and return to boil. Add broccoli on top and cook for 4 minutes. –I don’t stir the pot; I just allow the broccoli to sit atop the Edamame so they steam up. Drain and rinse under cool water and set aside.
-Back to sauté pan that ‘scallops’ were in. Heat pan over medium heat, then add remaining mushroom tops and pieces – sauté for 1 minute. Add carrots and scallions and heat for another minute. Add Soba noodles and toss with dressing/sauce and heat through. Serve and top with scallop pieces. Enjoy!
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Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe
(Serves 6-8) –Vegan, Soy-Free and can be made Gluten-Free

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Easy breezy orecchiette and rapini. Rapini aka Broccoli Rabe is bitter, bold and tasty. The first time I sampled Broccoli Rabe was at a vegan restaurant in NYC, oh boy were we all thrown by the bitterness. These leafy greens may be an acquired taste for some. Blanching/shocking coupled with the heat of the crushed red pepper flakes should help cut the bitterness. We enjoyed this preparation much better than our NYC experience. I absolutely love simple pasta dishes.

When you’re eating out, choices can be simplified. An effortless ‘go to’ dish for me, other than the obvious salad, would be pasta tossed with fresh garlic, olive oil and veggies-typically broccoli or whatever veggies are on hand. –Be sure to confirm the pasta is eggless. Eating out doesn’t have to be over complicated, I always get the same question from non-vegans, “what are you going to eat, I don’t see anything ‘vegan’ on the menu.” My response is typically, “Food” hehe. Keep it Simple. This pasta dish is flexible try it with Broccoli Rabe, Swiss chard, Kale, Peas or Broccoli. You can add in vegan Tofurky sausage if you’d like to make it a traditional Orecchiette, Broccoli Rabe and Sausage dish. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
1 bunch Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)
2 (12oz) boxes Orecchiette pasta
5 cloves Garlic, chopped, divided
7 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
¼ Tsp crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Fresh ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Directions:
-Prepare ice bath – fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
-Bring pot of water to boil.
-Trim ends of Broccoli Rabe about 1 ½ inch. Chop remaining in thirds.
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-Rinse in colander under cool water.
-Blanch & Shock: Place Broccoli Rabe in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from water then immediately transfer to ice bath for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
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-Prepare pasta according to package. –I boil the pasta in the same water that I blanched the broccoli rabe in. I cook for exactly 12 minutes. Drain then set aside.
-Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in pan over medium add crushed red pepper flakes and heat for about a minute. Add half of the garlic and continue heat thru for another minute.
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-Add Broccoli Rabe to olive oil, garlic mixture and toss to coat and heat through.
-Add Pasta to pan and toss to coat. Then add remaining Garlic, Nutritional Yeast, Salt/Pepper and remaining olive oil. Serve and Enjoy!
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Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

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I was inspired to make spaghetti today (01/19/15); I don’t really need much inspiration since Spaghetti is high up on my list of comfort foods. I was however inspired this day because I cut my hair, chopped it all off! The spaghetti was a warm reminder of my long locks. Speaking of locks…I donated to Locks of Love, this time 21 inches (braided) and 28 inches from 2013 [see pics below]! Now back to my spaghetti recipe. The great thing about this recipe, other than the yummy cruelty-free ingredients, is that it is unbelievably easy to make your own pasta ‘meat’ sauce. The ‘meat’ in this recipe is simply: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mushrooms and whole walnuts. These three ingredients make a great ‘meat’ base; I’ve used this base in recipes from lettuce wraps to burgers or sloppy ‘joes’ among others. It is so versatile the possibilities are endless.

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Ingredients:

Meat Base:

1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

4 Whole White Mushrooms

1 ½ Cups Whole Walnuts

Directions: Process all three ingredients in food processor, pulse for 30-45 seconds.

 

Pasta Sauce:

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ large Sweet Onion or 1 Med. Yellow, chopped

¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced

10 fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade

2 (28 oz) cans Crushed Tomatoes

1 (16 oz) can Tomato Paste

½ Tsp Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp Sugar

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp Salt, divided

½ Tsp Italian Seasoning

Directions:

-Heat olive oil in a large pot; add onions and crushed red pepper flakes sauté over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 mins. Turn off heat. -To Food Processor/Chopper: Add walnuts, chickpeas and mushrooms, pulse for 10-15 seconds. Add in fresh basil and ½ tsp Salt then pulse for another 5 seconds to incorporate. -Add ‘meaty’ mixture to onion mixture. Turn heat back on to medium. Add tomatoes and remaining seasonings (garlic powder, sugar, pepper, salt, italian seasoning), heat to a low slow simmer and continue to simmer for an hour stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t stick/burn. – Remember low and slow that is the key.

-Prepare pasta according to package until al dente about 9 minutes. Sauce the hot pasta just before serving. My preference is to add a touch of olive oil or earth balance butter to the pasta then ladle in sauce and toss to incorporate. Top with extra fresh basil. Enjoy!

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Notes:

-This meat sauce recipe makes enough sauce for (2) boxes of pasta or make spaghetti one day and ‘sloppy joes’ the next. If I use the meat sauce for spaghetti both days, I’ll make a fresh box of spaghetti the next day.

-I do suggest organic as much as possible – mushrooms are on the list of always for me. It is suggested to wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth instead of submerging in water, why? Because they are like a sponge and will absorb the water and they just won’t cook up the same. This concept (sponge) pertains to their growing environment also – so shoot for organic.

-This recipe suggests canned tomatoes but can be easily made with fresh tomatoes. On about 10-12 plum tomatoes cut a shallow ‘X’ on the bottom and top. Place them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water and place in ice-cold water. Once cooled to the touch remove skin. – Scoop out seeds and reserve liquid – you can add this liquid back in just before serving when you toss the pasta to coat.