Lentil Mushroom Bolognese

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I never understood why "comfort" food was so often associated with junky food, I mean whats comfortable about not feeling your best? I like my comfort food to be hearty but also to keep me feeling nourished and vibrant. This vegan mushroom lentil bolognese is my kind of comfort food. It's hearty, flavoursome, filling, and warm but, it also happens to be really good for you. Chockfull of veggies, herbs, and spices and made without any oil this dish will leave you feeling satisfied but not weighed down. When I shared it with my boyfriend, a self professed lentil hater, he enjoyed it so much we had it about 4 days in a row. This great to make in big batches as it freezes well. It is a dish I am looking forward to making as fall approaches and the temperature starts to dip. I served this with brown rice pasta which is a great substitute if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance.

If you do try this out let me know, and if you take a photo tag me on instagram @bykindlykate #bykindlykate. 

Serves: 4

Difficulty: easy

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35-50 minutes (depending on lentil cook time, as I found it varies between brand) 

Total time: 50-65 minutes

FOR THIS RECIPE YOU'LL NEED

  • 1 medium sized spanish onion chopped finely 
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli flakes ( depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 6-8 cloves of fresh garlic minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine 
  • 2 cups passata 
  • 2 large on the vine tomatoes diced
  • 2 cups of finely diced crimini/baby bella mushrooms 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 5 leaves fresh basil chopped 

PREPARATION

  1. Prep all the veggies, spices, herbs. Chopping them and setting aside so that they are ready to add to the pot when needed. I find this makes the cooking process run smoother as you are not stressing out trying to chop things in time to add to the pan. 
  2. Begin by adding the onion to a large frying pan with 2 tbsp of water. Cooking for about 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Adding more water if necessary. 
  3. Then to the frying pan add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, red chilli flakes, garlic. Stir in adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Next add lentils, veggie stock, passata, red wine, fresh tomatoes, bay leaf, and mushrooms. Stir to combine, bring to a light boil, and turn down heat to simmer for about 15-30 minutes. Again cooking time depends on your lentils, check on them periodically while stirring the pot, you want the lentils to be tender but not mushy. 
  5. When the lentils are tender, add in lemon juice, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. Salt & pepper to taste. Stir to combine and let the flavours meld for 5 minutes. Serve with pasta of your choice and top with more fresh basil. 

Kindly,