Home ยป Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese

My week of vegetarian, husband unapproved meals continues. I guess I shouldn’t call these husband “unapproved” meals because he hasn’t tasted any. These are just the meals that were shot a dirty look of disapproval when I’ve suggested them for our weekly menus. Hey, we all have preferences. I should’ve squeezed polenta onto this week’s menu…he always vetoes that one. Mmm…polenta 🙂

As I was calculating the nutrition facts for this recipe, I was contemplating when I last had meat. And the answer is Saturday — in my breakfast skillet while in Chicago. I haven’t missed meat in the least. There are so many filling vegetarian proteins, such as lentils and soy. And there’s always cheese, like the goat cheese in the Balsamic Strawberry and Chickpea Couscous I raved about yesterday.

Without further adieu…Lentil Bolognese — a traditional, meat-based sauce turned vegetarian!


Lentil Bolognese from My Bizzy Kitchen

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dried lentils (any color – mine were yellow)
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste


In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium-high. Add carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the broth, 1 cup water, lentils, tomatoes, oregano, parsley and basil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occassionally. Yield: 6 servings (6 cups).

Nutrition Information (per cup): 116 calories; 0.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 455 mg. sodium; 25.7 g. carbohydrate; 10.5 g. fiber; 10.2 g. protein

Result: I really enjoyed this 🙂 Not surprising – Biz is the best at whipping up delicious, healthy meals. For those that enjoy beans/lentils, this is a definite go! With all that fiber and protein, this dish is very filling! The lentils work well to replace meat in this bolognese – they are hearty and slightly crunchy! Enjoy!



Thursday! Whew! Glad you’re here. Yesterday I had big plans for a relaxing hour or two before class to catch up on blogs and return emails. Instead, I found myself retreating to my bed, praying for some headache relief before teaching. Darn you, allergies. Luckily, I got some of that relief. About time. Two days is long enough for a headache!!

Speaking of yesterday, what a feel-good day. I received the cutest note from an old patient of mine. It read:

…it made my day. At times, you wonder if you get through to anyone. Trying to stimulate change in people can be exhausting….and then someone will do something to remind you how passionately you love what you do. As much as I’d like to think I help some people…they help me more. My work teaches me compassion and empathy and love. I feel very blessed!

And then there’s you. Of course I’m probably a little biased ;), but I’m pretty certain I have the best readers ever. Your comments have been putting the biggest smile on my face and I just want to let you know how much they mean to me! Hugs!

Question: What’s your favorite meat-free meal?

Lots of love,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. April 28, 2011 / 7:11 am

    Now that I’m (mostly) vegetarian, I love using lentils in place of ground meat! Best replacement ever and SO cheap! This bolognese sauce is something I NEED to try!

    Aww so sweet about your old patient and you only have rock star readers because YOU are so rock star yourself, my love!

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 4:58 pm

      You’re a peach! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I feel the same. Your patients are lucky to have you! Now & in the future! A doctor who values and knows nutrition? Woop woop!

  2. April 28, 2011 / 8:08 am

    Jason always vetoes polenta too. I don’t know why; it’s good!

  3. April 28, 2011 / 9:24 am

    Mmm, does this look fantastic! I’m definitely adding this to my “to-make” list! That’s a good question about our fav vegetarian meals…one of mine is falafel sandwiches!

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 4:58 pm

      Mine too! For sure a favorite!

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 4:59 pm

      I thought you might like this ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. April 28, 2011 / 9:59 am

    I’m excited because I am leaving for vacation tomorrow but still have all these ingredients on hand! I will have to make this tonight! I LOVE bolognese sauce! I bet meat-free is even better! Yum!

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 4:59 pm

      Let me know how you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. April 28, 2011 / 11:31 am

    I was thinking about adding lentils to my pasta sauce this weekend!

    Great minds think a like – I’ve done something similar before and it was delicious.

  6. April 28, 2011 / 11:39 am

    Great use of lentils! I love lentils, and they are one of my main protein source.

  7. April 28, 2011 / 11:43 am

    That dish looks incredible! I have been cooking more vegetarian meals and don’t miss the meat at all either.
    It always makes my day when I get something from a patient..even a kind word. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen too often.

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:00 pm

      Well, I know you’re a wonderful dietitian and I give you all the credit in the world for working with kiddos!

  8. April 28, 2011 / 1:42 pm

    I LOVE the term “husband unapproved”! Hilarious. Glad your pesky headache hit the high road!!! My favorite meat free (husband unapproved) meal is Spicy dal with naan bread. YUM!
    Have a good day Nicole!!!!

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:01 pm

      It came back today…and now it’s better. I was almost heading home from work at 9am! Ohio needs to give me a break! Have a great evening, Roz!!

  9. April 28, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    Glad you liked it Nicole! In fact, my daughter just announced yesterday that she might be going vegetarian – maybe she’ll actually try this dish then!

    And Hannah has allergies too – she used to take Claratin, but that didn’t do shit – now she takes Zyrtek and has had no problems! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:02 pm

      Duely noted. These allergies may be the end of me if something doesn’t give…quick.

      Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!

  10. April 28, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    I’m adding this to my recipe file, which is quickly filling up with your vegetarian meals. I haven’t had lunch yet and so WANT THIS.

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:03 pm

      Yay! I’m really loving the vegetarian meals. Tonight is a tofu dish I can hardly wait for. I just need get my tush up and worked out, and then I can get to business! Hope you’re pain-free today ๐Ÿ™‚ I can wish and hope for you, right? *hugs*

  11. April 28, 2011 / 3:19 pm

    I don’t know if I would like this lentil dish….but it is Biz’s recipe and I have liked all her stuff I have made thus far…and I trust YOUR tastebuds….lol So I think I should put this on the menu too…only, like you, it will need to be a meal that hubby isn’t around for!

    How so very cute and rewarding to get that note! makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:04 pm

      For more flavor, I may use tomato sauce in place of half of the broth…and it won’t increase the calories much at all. I thought of that on my way home today…but I loved every bite of leftovers at lunch! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. April 28, 2011 / 3:38 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ll have to try this recipe out. Your recipes never disappoint! ๐Ÿ™‚ And that’s great that you’ve planned vegetarian meals this week! Why is it that people get so turned off by vegetarian food when they haven’t even tried it. Meat doesn’t need to be in everything, right?!

    By the way, I finally got around to mailing your prize so it should arrive sometime this week! Sorry it took me longer to get it to you! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Nicole
      April 28, 2011 / 5:04 pm

      I totally agree!

      And THANK YOU! I love mail ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. April 28, 2011 / 11:33 pm

    I love pasta when I feel like having a meat free dish. Nothing like some linguine and tomato sauce to satisfy my appetite. I’ve never had lentils before!! ๐Ÿ™ So many things I need to try lol

  14. April 28, 2011 / 11:40 pm

    I think I’d really enjoy this as well, but my hubby would probably also not be a huge fan. He does love lentils in soup though!

    • Nicole
      April 29, 2011 / 8:42 pm

      That looks delicious to me…definitely not boring at all ๐Ÿ™‚ Green chiles…mmm!

  15. April 30, 2011 / 10:20 am

    Yum! This looks a lot like some lentil sloppy joes I made the other week, with a few changes of course. I am happy that I have a husband who will eat pretty much anything I make without turning up his nose! Even if he does make a secret trip to the bar every once in a while to indulge in a hamburger! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Inspiring change in people is hard work! I recently started working with a program between a local PT business and our Y helping obese/diabetic people lose weight and gain strength. I have two patients, one a high schooler who always has an excuse not to make our meetings and the other a lady who works the night shift and refuses to change up her diet. Slow and steady wins the race….right?!!

  16. June 21, 2011 / 7:04 pm

    i made this today and it is fantastic!!! the leftovers will last me all week and it was super simple! it was hearty enough on its own that i didnt add any pasta although it would be great with some spaghetti squash!

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