Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti

Growing up my Mom would make spaghetti once a week. It was always my favorite. I’d always help her stir the sauce. The smell of sweet tomatoes and pasta always takes me back to those memories with her.

She worked hard and always made dinner for my brother and I. We never had much money, and to me that never mattered. It was the time and memories we were creating that I take with me that mattered the most. I keep them close to my heart, and I have her to thank after all these years. I looked up to her, and not realizing back then how important these times and memories would be for me, she instilled my passion for food. She cooked with love, and shared that with me, and that’s what made it special.

She inspired me, instilled good values, taught me life lessons, all through food. I have a lot to thank her for, and I miss her every day. So, I’m dedicating this recipe to my Mother, Gloria.

For a vegan parmesan try this: In a coffee grinder add: 2 tbsp. raw almonds, and 1 tbs. nutritional yeast and grind very fine, almost into a powder. Then sprinkle on top of your pasta. It’s healthy, dairy-free and tastes wonderful.

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Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound of spaghetti

1 large can Italian whole plum tomatoes

½ cup lentils, rinsed

3 tbsp. fresh basil, plus extra for garnish

extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. red chili flakes (optional)

parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preparation:

 Get a small pot of water, and a large pot of water, on the stove and set both on high. The small one will be for cooking the lentils, and the large one for the pasta.

For the small potHeat the water up to boiling. Once that water is boiling, turn down to heat to medium, and add in the lentils. Cook for 15- 20 minutes until al dente. Drain the water and set aside.

For the large pot: Heat the water up to boiling. Add in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the water is boiling, add in the pasta and stir. Turn down the heat to medium high and let the pasta cook 10-12 minutes, or until al dente.

Strain the water out and put the pasta in a large bowl, and toss with a 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a medium pot, add the tomatoes, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, brown sugar, and fresh basil.  Lightly crush the tomatoes with a spoon, and heat on medium high for 5 minutes.

Serve the pasta in large bowls, layer on top the lentils, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you made this recipe tag me @noshchefjulie on Twitter and Instagram!

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Zoodles with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

Spiralized noodles are so fun to make! It’s a great way to get more veggies into your diet and so delicious and ready in minutes! This dish is whipped up with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil in a simple sauce of olive oil and a little butter.

Vegan Note: Non-dairy butters can be found in most supermarkets.

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Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 zucchini

1 squash

6 sun-dried tomatoes

1 tbsp.  butter

3 tbsp. olive oil

fresh basil leaves 6-10

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Wash and pat dry all produce. Remove the ends of the zucchini and squash and spiralize into noodles.

Hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in just enough hot water to cover and let sit 5-10 minutes.  Reserve the liquid.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and butter.

Add the zucchini and squash noodles, the sun-dried tomatoes with the reserved liquid and saute for 5-7 minutes until noodles are cooked through and some of the liquid has reduced. Serve with fresh basil and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you made this recipe tag me @noshchefjulie on Twitter and Instagram!

Vegan Pasta Salad

I love making this in the Summertime. Its fresh full of healthy ingredients, and so easy it’s ready in just a few minutes! I love to take this to friend’s barbecues, and lunches at work. I also love to toss in a can of tuna with this salad for a simple and satisfying meal.

Vegan note: Use a dairy-free mayonnaise found in most supermarkets.

Ingredients:

2 cups rotini pasta (add nutrients using whole wheat or a veggie pasta)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 radishes

1/2 cup green cabbage

1/2 cup green peas

For the Pesto:

4 ounces of fresh basil

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tbsp. flax-seed

1-1 1/2 cups olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

*For the pesto:

In a blender/ food processor combine the basil, walnuts, flax-seed, and olive oil. Blend until well processed, and add more oil until desired consistency is reached.

*For the Salad:

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Cook the pasta, during the last minute, add in the peas to cook . When pasta is al dente, take off heat and run under cold water to cool, then drain. Wash the produce and slice thin the radishes, and green cabbage.

In a medium bowl add the pasta, mayonnaise, and 2-3 tbsp. of pesto and mix well. Add in the radish, cabbage, and toss. Gently fold in the green peas, and season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you made this recipe tag me @noshchefjulie on Twitter and Instagram!