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Vegan Green Lentil Bolognese & Toasted Breadcrumb Gremolata

I promised this one!! It’s one of our most popular vegan dishes (even among non-vegans!) Enjoy and please share your feedback & photos if you make it! 🙏🏻👩🏼‍🍳 🍋 (In our plating, we used quinoa spaghetti & finished it with flaky truffle salt!)

Vegan Green Lentil Bolognese

* 1 Tbsp olive oil

* 1 cup chopped yellow onion,

* 1 cup chopped carrot

* 1 cup chopped celery

* 3 cloves minced garlic

* 1 teaspoon dried basil

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, or to taste)

* 1 tsp each salt and pepper

* 3/4 cup dry green lentils (rinsed)

* 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave

* 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

* 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

* 1/4-1/3 cup red wine (optional)

* 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

* 2 tsp coconut aminos

* 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

* Splash of lemon juice

* coarse or flaky finishing salt (optional)

Toasted Breadcrumb Gremolata

* 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh curly parsley

* 1//2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

* 2 tsp nutritional yeast

* 1/2 tsp garlic powder

* 1/2 tsp onion powder

* 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend

* 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper (or more to taste)

* 1 Tbsp clean oil or vegan butter

Directions for the Vegan Lentil Bolognese

1. In a large 6-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and celery until tender.

2. Add in the garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir briefly to incorporate into the veggie mixture.

3. Add in the lentils, maple syrup or agave, crushed tomatoes, veggie broth. Season with additional salt if necessary. Stir well, then bring the liquid to a boil.

4. Once the lentils are boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to cook uncovered until the lentils are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

5. When the lentils are easily smashed with a fork against the side of the pot, they are done.

6. Add the wine, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos & lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil again to let the alcohol cook off. Reduce again to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken again for 10-15 minutes. Season the sauce with additional salt to taste before serving. Use this time to make the toasted breadcrumb gremolata.

7. Serve warm, over your favorite cooked noodles, topped generously with toasted breadcrumb gremolata. Enjoy!

Directions for the Toasted Breadcrumb Gremolata

1. Heat the oil or vegan butter over medium heat.

2. Add the breadcrumbs, spices and nutritional yeast to the pan. (Do NOT add the parsley yet). Stir continuously so they brown but don’t burn. Toast and stir until they achieve a nice golden color and then remove them from the heat. (This takes about 5 minutes.)

3. After the breadcrumbs have cooled a bit, toss them with the fresh parsley and use the mixture to garnish the vegan lentil bolognese as described above. Enjoy!!

Chef’s Note:

1. For the breadcrumb gremolata: the goal of this gremolata is to balance the savory crunch of the toasted breadcrumbs with the bright herbal pop of the parsley. If you choose, you don’t NEED to combine the parsley with the breadcrumbs. You can stop at the breadcrumbs and use them generously, using the parsley as additional garnish.

2. Leftover sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.)

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