Who loves spaghetti bolognaise? It is perhaps one on the ultimate comfort foods; savoury, nourishing and satisfying all at the same time. It was a childhood favourite of mine (I thought it magical watching big pencil thin stick-like noodles disappear into a pot of boiling water and come out like wriggly worms). I think it was also the novelty factor of twirling the spaghetti onto a fork (so different to chopsticks, which I was brought up using!). Little did I think many years later I would be making a vegan version of it!
Vegan tofu mince is available widely in the supermarkets now. There is even a brand where it is coloured red using beetroot colouring to give the appearance of real meat!
To bump up the nutritional value, I have added chia seeds, which add protein, fibre and omega-3s and also help thicken the sauce. I have also added some protein powder, but this is optional.
For traditionalists, you can use traditional spaghetti or whole wheat spaghetti. If you want to reduce your carb load, you can always use a base of courgette noodles (raw or pan-fried for a few minutes) or a mixture of the two.
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 25-30 mins
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 plump garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 400g tofu mince
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 4 sun dried tomatoes, finely sliced
- 1 can (400g) tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 heaped tsp. mixed herbs or oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tbsp. tamari or soy
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- Optional: 2 1/2 tbsp. protein powder (soya bean or pea)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: for an extra savoury kick, add either 1 ½ tbsp. mushroom ketchup or 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast or 3/4 tsp. miso paste or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the spaghetti:
300g spaghetti, or a mixture of spaghetti and courgette zoodles (allow 1-1.5 large courgettes per person)
- In a large deep bottomed pot, melt a little coconut oil and then on a low-medium heat, sauté the chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the tofu mince and cook for about 3 mins.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and continue cooking for about 1 minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, mixed herbs or oregano, bay leaves and tamari or soy. Cook for about 18-20 minutes until the sauce reduces.
- Add the chia seeds and protein powder, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. For an extra umami kick, add mushroom ketchup or nutritional yeast or miso paste or balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine. Serve on your spaghetti noodles of choice. Serve with parmesan (vegan if required) and fresh basil. Enjoy!
Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.