Trying to eat lighter for your workouts, but craving comfort food? This recipe satisfies both. The rich sauce is warm and nourishing while the rutabaga noodles are packed with fiber that won’t weigh you down when you get up to workout the next morning. It’s a freezable, make-ahead, family-friendly meal you can make any time of year—and its made purely from plants. Enjoy!
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp dried oregano, plus more to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1½ cups cooked lentils
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
½ large zucchini, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
8 medium rutabagas
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 7 cloves of slivered garlic when it’s hot.
2. As soon as garlic starts sizzling (do not let it brown), add the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, salt, and oregano.
3. Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot, 3 cloves minced garlic, and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the lentils, bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms. Sauté for another 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms give off most of their liquid. Add the tomato sauce to the lentil mixture and reduce heat to low. Stir in the walnuts and chopped basil and let simmer while you prepare the noodles. Add water ¼ cup at a time to thin the sauce as needed.
5. Rinse your medium skillet. Using a food processor fitted with the shredder attachment, shred the peeled rutabaga. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of water then transfer the shredded rutabaga to the pan. Cover and let steam for 5-7 minutes, stirring often and adding a few tablespoons of water as needed.
6. When the noodles feel mostly soft but still firm (not mushy) take them off the heat. Divide the noodles into serving bowls and top with large scoops of the bolognese. Top with nondairy parmesan or nutritional yeast if desired and enjoy!
*Uncooked rutabaga noodles can be frozen then water sauté them for 2-3 additional minutes.
Image credit: Carrots and Flowers