Sunday Night Hidden Veggie Double Protein Bolognese (dairy free, gluten free)

I make a Sunday evening Spaghetti Bolognese every week, and it’s my family’s favorite meal of the week. The leftovers are easy weeknight dinners or quick lunches and it’s always tasty.

My recipe calls for ground turkey (but subs like lean ground beef, tofu, or seitan are great) and has carrots, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant. Red wine adds sweetness without adding too many grams of sugar.

You can also play around with adding other veggies, such as broccoli, spinach, peppers kale, cauliflower, and beets. The trick is to roast them first, to bring out the sweetness in the vegetables. I play it safe, because my husband has a suspicious pallet.

Hidden Veggie Double Protein Bolognese (dairy free, gluten free)

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Ingredients

  • 1 32oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (Check out this article by Cooks Illustrated to see best diced tomato brands)
  • 1 large or two small eggplant, roasted until mushy
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2lbs ground turkey
  • 1T salt
  • 1/2T white and black pepper)
  • 1T oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil, chopped
  • Olive oil as needed for sautéing
  • Optional: 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese to extra umami taste

Instructions

  1. Roast eggplants (400*F for about 1 hour) until eggplants are mushy and caramelized. Combine with diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Using a hand blender, process the vegetables together. Keep these to the side in a separate bowl. (Note: If you use a blender or a food processor, be careful of processing hot food.)
  2. In a French Oven over medium heat, cook diced onion, carrots, and garlic with olive oil until caramelized (15 or so minutes). Add the wine, and cook until reduced. Add the aromatics to your vegetable mixture and blend one more time.
  3. In the same French oven, cook turkey in batches with olive oil to encourage browning (1/2lb at a time or so, depending on your pan size). As batches cook, add them to the bowl with the vegetables.
  4. When the last batch is completed, add the vegetable mixture to the meat in the French Oven and add in your spices. Let cook over low heat for one hour.

Serve with whole wheat pasta, cauliflower, or vegetable noodles.

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