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Vegan Bolognese

I made a “real” bolognese sauce about 6 or 7 years ago that my husband went crazy over. I never wrote down the recipe and of course I could never repeat what I had created the first time around. I like to believe that the Vegan Gods were the cause of my forgetfulness. Well Seitan, you won…

The Chicago Marathon was held this past weekend on Sunday, October 7th. I ventured out on my bike at 8:30am to cheer for my friend Jami as well as all the runners who spent months preparing for the 26.2 miles. They ended up with great running weather – it was 40 degrees when I woke up that morning and it only broke 50 degrees in the afternoon. One could argue it was a little too chilly – as you can see I was handing out tissues to runners instead of water.

What goes hand and hand with distance running? Carbo-loading of course – something I am all too familiar with as an athlete. When I was a swimmer I looked forward to our team pasta parties held the night before a big swim meet. As runners, my husband and I would eat pasta (more often than we should) to get our calories back after a long training run. I do like pasta, however I enjoy it in moderation now.

The 2012 Chicago Marathon inspired me to go home and carbo-load for dinner. It was a bit chilly out, so I was in the mood for a hearty sauce to top off my linguine. Bolognese was the heartiest I could think of, so, I created my Vegan Bolognese sauce. Bolognese typically means a meat sauce, but my protein of choice was Gimme Lean Ground Beef. To give my sauce a ragù consistency I used my food processor and my immersion blender.

Vegan Bolognese

Serves 8

2 Carrots peeled
4 stalks of Celery
1 Yellow Onion
3 cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
14 ounces Gimme Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup Red Wine
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of Crushed Tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can of Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons of dried Basil, Oregano and Thyme
1 teaspoon dried Bay Leaves or 1 whole Bay Leaf
Red Pepper
1 Cup Unsweetened Soy Milk, room temperature

  1. In a food processor combine garlic, carrots, celery and onion into a paste.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot on Medium-High heat.
  3. Add carrot mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid evaporates.
  4. Add your protein of choice and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add Red Wine and reduce down.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and dried seasonings. Stir and cook, covered, on Medium heat for 20-30 minutes to combine flavors.
  7. Decrease heat to low and add Salt and Red Pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in Soy Milk
  9. Serve over pasta of choice or freeze for later use.

Note:  I did not have crushed tomatoes on hand, so I used diced tomatoes instead.  I then used my immersion blender just after adding the tomatoes.

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