Friday, 13 January 2012

Two meals in one - Lentil & Vegetable Spaghetti Bolognese plus Vegetarian Chilli

Whether you're on a diet or a budget, these two vegetarian meals are ideal. Make the spag bol on the first day and reheat the leftovers with the added extras the next day to make a tasty veggie chilli. 

As the vegetables are chopped or grated, you can hide them in the sauce too...great if you have fussy children!

Both meals are low fat and vegan, unless you add cheese to serve.

Each meal serves 2 adults and 2 children.

For the spaghetti bolognese
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large bell peppers, diced
  • 1 medium courgette/zucchini, diced or grated
  • 1 carrot or ½ sweet potato, diced or grated
  • 6-8 mushrooms, diced, sliced or grated
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup dried red lentils
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree or sundried tomato paste
  • 500ml passata or 2x tins of chopped tomatoes 
  • A glug of red wine (optional)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • black pepper, to taste
  • dried spaghetti
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook for a few minutes on a low heat.
Add the rest of the vegetables, and garlic and stir well. Cook for a few more minutes until softened.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (except for the spaghetti!)
Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat down and simmer, with the lid on the pan for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked (stir occasionally to stop the mixture burning at the bottom of the pan).
Meanwhile cook and drain the spaghetti.
Top the spaghetti with just over half of the mixture, and serve with a sprinkle of vegetarian/vegan Parmesan-style cheese (optional).

Alternatives: Use 2 cups of veggie mince if preferred instead of the lentils, or a combination of veggie mince and lentils.

For the chilli

The next day, reheat the remaining mixture on a low heat, adding the following ingredients and a dash of water or stock if needed:
  • 1 tin drained pulses (kidney beans, mixed beans, baked beans etc)
  • 50g tinned or frozen sweetcorn
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • a good pinch of cinnamon
  • ½ chilli, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • a little chopped fresh coriander (optional)
Serve with rice or wraps.

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  1. You should add this to Frugal Food Fridays Lisa. I have a linky on my blog here.

    It is a good idea to add the extras next day. I will remember that next time :)

  2. Great idea. I have done similar by making up a huge batch of lentils and bolognese sauce and so far have used it in spaghetti bolognese, shepherds pie and a nacho chilli dish. As well as working out cheaper it feels so good when most of the meal is already cooked and you just need to take it out the fridge/freezer!

  3. Great ideas, left over chilli is also delicious baked into dough as a calzone.

    I need to cook up a massive batch of my 5 bean chilli, but have no room in my freezer at the moment!

    Thanks for taking part in Frugal Food Fridays - do let me know if you would like to host - we can have a veggie week or month?

  4. I love the idea of making left over bolognaise into a chili the next day but I am so bad at leaving anything. Even if I make extra I'm tempted just to have a second helping that day!

  5. Thanks for your comments Louise, Helen and Corina.
    Corina, I know what you mean!

  6. It's lovely to find new, tasty and economical vegetarian dishes. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This always worked for me only I do it backwards. I make a boat load of vegetarian chili and then use the leftovers on pasta, beans and all.
    I'll try this.
    Happy New Year to all!

  8. Thanks for your comments Perry and Debby :-)

  9. Nice to see a bolognese recipe with lentils instead of that insipid quorn meat substitute!

    1. Thanks...I do sometimes use Quorn, but lentils are cheaper!

  10. Thank you very much for this recipe. My husband and I gave up meat for Lent and I was on a lookout for veggie alternatives. We love Bolognese and Chilli, so will definitely give it a shot.

    1. I'm glad you like the sound of the recipe Marina. I hope you can find plenty of others on my blog to see you through Lent!


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