Hey guys! This is André. It's about time that we'd share the one recipe that turns us into wild animals and makes us eat twice as much as we probably should. Like our recipe for Black Bean & Avocado Quesadillas with Grilled Shiitake, this one was inspired by one of the recipes Rita used to make before we became vegetarian/vegan. She used to make a mean bolognese like no other. This plant-based interpretation of her old original recipe is absolutely delicious and it requires only whole, natural ingredients. Neither of us is fond of meat-like products and substitutes such as soy and seitan because they really make us feel like we're actually eating meat. Maybe that's precisely what some vegans and vegetarians look for in their meals, but for us, the idea of eating meat has become as irrational as eating a bar of soap or a piece of charcoal. So we're a bit put off whenever we get served a meal with meaty, spongy processed soya chunks.
We slice and chop the cremini mushrooms into different sizes and chop the walnuts into little pieces — these ingredients alone provide all the texture this hearty "bolognese" needs. The sauce is packed full of flavour thanks to the balanced mix of herbs, spices and condiments. Apart from being really quick to make, it is also a great freezer-friendly recipe that constantly saves our butts whenever we work late and don't feel like cooking. We usually serve it with spelt or quinoa spaghetti with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan "cheese", but we're thinking it would be great over some mashed potatoes or perhaps in a veggie lasagna. Give this one a go and let us know how it went!
Mushroom & walnut Spicy "Bolognese"
35 minutes | serves 6
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, center germ removed and finely chopped
450 gr. cremini mushrooms, half sliced and half cut into fine strips
1 cup | 100 gr. walnuts, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 400 ml. cans peeled, chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic tomato paste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1/4 tsp ( or more ) dried chili flakes
sea salt & black pepper to taste
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, preparing and measuring all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- Heat up the olive oil in a pot or wide sauce pan on medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent — but not brown.
- Add the cremini mushrooms and cook for 6-8 minutes, during which the mushrooms will release their water.
- Once this water has completely evaporated and the mixture is fairly dry, add all the herbs and spices, the apple cider vinegar and tomato paste. Mix well to ensure the mushrooms are well coated in the spices.
- Add the chopped plum tomatoes and the canned peeled tomatoes and mix again.
- Allow to cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped walnuts and cook for an extra 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with a serving of cooked pasta (use gluten free pasta if you are intolerant to gluten) and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan 'cheese'!