Friday, January 24, 2014

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce

This week’s recipe comes from a recommendation by my friend Lisa Muras.  Lisa is a dietician and always on the lookout for tasty, healthy recipes.  She found this recipe in the Washington Post.  Lisa recommends serving the dish over pasta.  The only change she made was using a blender on the lowest setting, rather than a food processor.  Enjoy!

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce (credit to Washington Post, Food Section (photo credit:  Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post, tableware Crate and Barrel)

  • 1 cup dried lentils (preferably brown or green), rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, well scrubbed then cut into large chunks
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded then chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 ounces no-salt-added crushed tomatoes or 3 cups homemade tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into small pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine the lentils, carrots and water in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low; cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a medium saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and stir to coat; cook until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and garlic, stirring to coat; cook until tender, 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor.

Once the carrots and lentils are cooked, transfer the carrots from the pot to the food processor, along with the tomatoes or tomato puree, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes and kale. Pulse until mostly smooth.

Add the quinoa and red wine to the pot of lentils, stirring to incorporate; cover and cook until the quinoa grains start to show their white tails, 6 or 7 minutes.

Stir the carrot-kale puree into the lentil-quinoa mixture; cook, covered, over low heat until the sauce melds and heats thoroughly, about 20 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Serve hot, or cool completely before storing.


Adapted from "The Great Vegan Bean Book," by Kathy Hester (Fair Winds Press, 2013).

Tested by Nicole Schofer.

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