All the Veggies Bolognese with Sprinkled Walnuts

Nothing screams a winning family dinner more than a really flavoursome Spaghetti Bolognese. Although, in my house growing up it was all about the minced beef and decent sprinkling of grated cheese (with a little veg mixed in)! These days we like to do things a little differently. The Bolognese sauce is packed full of any veggies you basically have in the fridge. This version includes carrots, zucchini, red pepper and half a head of cauliflower. The cauliflower is important for the minced texture of the sauce and soaks in the other flavours.

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Crucially though, a good Bolognese really comes down to how long you let it simmer. The Bolognese sauce needs to simmer for at least an hour to soak up all the flavours and it’s often even better reheated the next day or from the freezer stash! Make it in bulk so you can freeze portions and use for quick midweek meals.

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Some of you may question the walnut sprinkles but I can’t exaggerate enough how much they add to this vegan dish – a good crunch, the perfect balance in flavour and some good quality fats and plant-based protein! I put loads on mine, the kiddies choose how much goes on their own plates, sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it’s just a sprinkle.

Lastly, make sure you blitz everything together at the end, this gives the texture of a Bolognese and makes it much more appealing to the kiddies (and adults!).

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Vegan All the Veggies Bolognese with Sprinkled Walnuts

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chopped chilli (if you / your family likes the heat)
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 zucchini chopped
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
  • half a small cauliflower head chopped
  • Good squirt tomato paste
  • 2 x 400ml tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • Pink salt and pepper as desired
  • Add more water if the Bolognese starts to dry out
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (chop small for children, particularly those under 3)

Method

  1. In a large frying pan, sauté the onion on a medium heat for 5 minutes / until soften.
  2. Add the herbs, garlic and chilli and give it a good stir.
  3. Add the pepper through to cauliflower, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and veggie stock, stir and season as desired.
  5. Bring to the boil and once boiling reduce the heat to simmering. Allow the Bolognese sauce to simmer for an hour, keep coming back to it every 15 minutes or so to give it a stir and check the fluids. If it’s drying out add a little water/ stock.
  6. Once ready blitz in a blender for 20 seconds (ish), so it still retains the texture of a Bolognese but all the large pieces are gone.
  7. Serve on a bed of your favourite spaghetti with a good sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

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Vegan Banana, Carrot and Raisin Bread

You cannot beat a super moist and flavoursome banana bread. This recipe is definitely up there with the best of them, it is vegan and can be made nut free too.

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I’ve got into making this banana bread recently since my eldest started school. It ticks all the boxes in terms of an afterschool snack – filling, healthy, tasty, portable and allergy friendly. Great for mums too with their afternoon cuppa!

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Made with spelt flour and autumn spices; cinnamon and ginger, it’s really warming and has a very subtle zing in amongst the sweetness of the banana, date syrup and raisins.

It’s very easy to make too, no need for a fancy mixer, just a mixing bowl and wooden spoon. Then the steps are simple – a bowl with dry ingredients – a bowl with wet ingredients – mix everything together – pour into loaf tin – bake!

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One more thing – in an ideal world use bananas covered in brown spots… but yellow ones will do if that’s all you have in… don’t use green, you’d lose that gorgeous banana taste!

Enjoy x

Vegan Banana, Carrot and Raisin Bread

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 large banana mushed and 1 banana sliced lengthways for decoration
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup date syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 large carrot grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170oC / 350oF and oil a loaf tin (I use coconut oil).
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour through to desiccated coconut).
  3. In a separate mixing bowl mix together all the wet ingredients (mushed banana through to non-dairy milk).
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in the grated carrot and raisins.
  6. Pour the batter into a loaf tin and place the two banana slices on top. Bake in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes.
  7. Allow the loaf tin to cool slightly before transferring to a bread board and slicing. Banana bread doesn’t last more than a few days so freeze half the loaf for the following week if desired.