Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe for Pasta
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When times are tough, I look for ways to keep the family feed that both protects the pocketbook and yet? Still has the ability to tickle the taste buds. Our Red Lentil Bolognese recipe does just that: brings back a normal spaghetti night, but packs a nutritious punch at the same time.
Red Lentil Bolognese Recipe for Pasta
When it is hard to find ground beef, or hard to find it at a good price? Lentils are a natural substitute. I have said before that they are long-lasting, and since they cost less, are often referred to as the bargain protein. My Doomsday Preppers know that lentils have an excellent shelf life and are very easy to store. One can make a wide range of recipes with them, including desserts and entrees.
Lentils can be found in pretty much every culture, when you start looking. Italians serve lentils with cotechino sausage during the holidays. North Africans include lentils in various soups or rice dishes. In the Middle East, there is noodles with lentils, usually seasoned with onions and/or tomatoes and fresh herbs. The Greeks make bread with lentils. Those of us in the United States? We are just starting to catch on, unless we are vegetarians or vegans.
Are lentils a Super Food?
In a word, yes. Lentils are filled with the nutrients you need. Use lentils in soups, salads, or casseroles for a great addition to a healthy diet. Lentils are a part of the legume family. These small seed-like vegetables are nutrient dense and inexpensive, making them an ideal superfood.
Let’s talk about nutrition for a moment:
When a person replaces meat in the diet with a high fiber food, such as lentils, they decrease their risk of heart disease. Studies have found that the potassium, calcium, and magnesium in lentils can decrease blood pressure naturally.
Brown, green, yellow, red or black — lentils are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein. They pack health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors. They’re easily cooked in 5–20 minutes
You can add lentils to your weight loss diet without feeling guilty. Lentils are long known for their protein and fiber content but are also low in calories and fats! A mere 1.5 cups of lentils contains just as much protein as a 3 oz chicken breast, but lentils contain the dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus, and manganese that you can’t get from meat. One cup of cooked lentils has nearly 18g of protein — more than the amount in a hamburger too!
Lentils are great for your hair and skin
Lentils are also full of folic acid. Folic acid is necessary in restoring the health of red blood cells that supply skin and scalp with much-needed oxygen. Folic acid is also essential for hair growth and cell renewal. If you are serious about having healthy hair, lentils are something you should just not skip.
Are there any drawbacks to eating lentils?
This great source of protein is also high in fiber, like we mentioned. While it means you will stay fuller longer, as it takes your body a while to “process” it, that can mean there will be a little bit of gas as you digest it. Stick with the red lentils as they break down a little faster, making them easier to digest, even if the black lentils are a tiny bit higher in protein. The red lentils are also a lot easier to find at a local grocery store.
This recipe uses only 2/3 cup of lentils for making 4 to 5 servings of this tasty sauce! When you find a 2 cup bag for about a buck at most stores? That means you can make this recipe THREE TIMES. Talk about a thrifty and powerfully packed dish to serve your family!
Red Lentil Bolognese Sauce
You will need:
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup red lentils
1 can (14oz) chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Italian Spices
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the carrots, onion, garlic and celery until they are tender – about 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened.
Serve over hot pasta with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese.
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