Vegan Bolognese

Vegan Bolognese

So you watched ‘What the Health?’ And now you’re thinking “what the Hell am I going to eat now that I’ve turned vegan for the next 2 weeks or until I get drunk and eat a kebab at 3am”? Well don’t stress, I’ve knocked up a family fave so you can force everyone in the house to be a tree-hugger.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for eating less meat and definitely in eating high-quality, ethically sourced protein. My plate is always predominantly plants. However, I do raise an eyebrow when people are a bit basic and make decisions based on a scare-mongering Netflix documentary made by a guy with a dodgy ponytail. Say what? You called a large organisation and expected the receptionist to answer questions regarding the recipes on the website? Be realistic. You were shocked to hear processed sandwich meat is bad for you? If you are eating this crap, you need to rethink your life choices anyway. Oh, and my favourite, comparing eggs to cigarettes. Let’s not be silly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 160g walnuts
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 400g cauliflower florets (1 small head)
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled
  • 250g brown mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons each of dried basil, oregano, thyme, onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

METHOD

  1. Prepare all your veg and nuts before you start, trust me. It makes life easier.
  2. Start by pulsing your walnuts in your food processor a few times to get a rough crumble. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Change to the shredding attachment (the larger-sized shred if you have a choice) on your processor and shred the carrots and parsnips. Remove the veg and change the attachment back to the processing blade. Put the carrots and parsnips back in and pulse to make them rice-like. Remove and set aside.
  4. Now throw your cauliflower florets into the food processor and pulse to make it a rice-like consistency (if your food processor isn’t that powerful, then do this in batches otherwise you might overdo it and the cauliflower gets all wet). Remove and set aside.
  5. Pulse the mushrooms in the food processor to a similar size as the cauliflower, also making sure you don’t over process and make them mushy.
  6. Dice your onion, celery and capsicum and crush your garlic.
  7. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  8. Add the onion, celery, capsicum and garlic and fry gently until softened. Add the carrots and parsnips, stir through and cook for a minute or two.
  9. Add the mushrooms and do the same (they will release some water, but that’s OK).
  10. Add the cauliflower rice and combine well with the other veggies.
  11. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs and mix through, cooking for a few minutes.
  12. Add the sugar, vinegar and sun dried tomatoes, stirring through.
  13. Add the crumbled walnuts , stirring through the mix and cook for a minute or two to soften.
  14. Add the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, mixing them through and letting the flavours develop.

Serve alone, or spooned over zucchini noodles or wilted greens. Sprinkle with a little more nutritional yeast and fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6.

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