Recipe ReDux/ Recipes

Recipe ReDux: Hide Your Veggies “Meat” Sauce

If you clicked on this because you thought it was a meat sauce, I’m sorry to say that this is my vegetarian version of a meat sauce. If you clicked on this because you wanted a delicious healthy marinara sauce filled with fresh vegetables and the texture of a meat sauce, then you’ve come to the right place! I am excited to say that my Hide Your Veggies “Meat” Sauce fits in perfectly with August’s Recipe ReDux challenge.This month’s challenge is to “Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’” Many of my family centric dishes include a meat sauce.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Hide Your Veggies %22Meat%22 Sauce 2

I grew up eating homemade pizza every Friday, lasagna at holidays and pasta and meatballs weekly. When I think of sitting around a dinner table, I think of sauce. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t lighten up my sauce by adding almost 4 cups of veggies, a vegetarian protein (lentils) and a fresh herb (parsley). The lentils in this dish pack a protein punch but also give the sauce a meaty flavor. Serve this with whole wheat pasta and I bet your friends and family won’t even know they’re eating their veggies, lean protein and whole grains. My favorite part is that there’s enough for leftovers—put half in the freezer for your next pizza or pasta night!

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

¼ cup dry brown lentils

½ cup water

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

½ medium white onion, diced

1 red pepper, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup of chopped parsley (about 4-6 sprigs)

½ teaspoon salt

1 28-ounce can of San Marzano purée tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

Hide Your Veggies %22Meat%22 Sauce

Directions:

  • Combine the lentils and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. When boiling, cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, heat a sauce pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and heat for about 1 minute. Add the onions, peppers, and carrots to the pan. Sauté the vegetables for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, parsley and salt to the pan. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the tomato purée into the vegetable mixture and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Once 15 minutes has passed, remove the sauce from the heat.
  • When the lentils are cooked (all the water will be absorbed), add them to the sauce.
  • Add the sugar. Stir and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Hide Your Veggies %22Meat%22 Sauce

Nutrition Notes:

  • A ¼ cup of dry lentils contains 12g of protein, 35% of the daily value of thiamin and 58% of the daily value of folate. Thiamin helps maintain healthy brain function, while folate keeps your red blood cells healthy and happy!
  • Carrots contain beta-carotene, which has been shown to decrease the incidences of developing cancer.
  • Red peppers are packed with Vitamin C. A ½ cup of chopped red pepper (about the amount in this recipe) has over 300% the daily value of Vitamin C. Take that oranges!
  • Onions and garlic are a great way to add intense flavor to a dish without adding calories or sodium.
  • Parsley contains Vitamin K, which helps to maintain a healthy heart. Herbs are another healthy way to flavor a dish without adding salt or fat.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    SErena
    August 21, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    My sister makes a mean lentil spaghetti. I’ve asked her for the recipe several time – she keeps forgetting. Now i won’t have to. This looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @NourishedSimply
    August 22, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Mom’s are always looking for ways to sneak veggies into dishes!

  • Reply
    Manafield Electronics Custer Service
    August 22, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Gonna try this next time

    Sent from my iPhone Pete Rizzo Mansfieldriz@gmail.com

    >

  • Reply
    Kristen Chang
    August 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Wow never thought to do this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Nutrition a la Natalie
      August 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Glad I could teach you a new easy and delicious way to eat pasta! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Melanie, MS, RD (@nutritiouseats)
    August 26, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Sounds delicious. Love the addition of the lentils in there.

  • Reply
    Comfort Foods Made Healthy - Your Choice Nutrition
    December 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

    […] Hide Your Veggies “Meat” Sauce via Nutrition A La Natalie […]

  • Reply
    30-Day Healthy Living Challenge: Day 4 | Nutrition à la Natalie
    January 4, 2016 at 7:04 am

    […] & Rice Soup Faux Meat Sauce Tofu Nuggets with Sriracha Dipping Sauce Inside Out Veggie Pizza Farrotto Roasted Herb & […]

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    7 Surprisingly Sugary Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs | Healthy Not Crazy
    June 13, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    […] tomato sauce may be a quick fix to a boring dinner, but making your own is the only way to go. Try this recipe (feel free to swap in ground turkey for the lentils) or just chop some fresh tomatoes, garlic, and […]

  • Reply
    7 Surprisingly Sugary Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs – Tim's Blog
    June 14, 2017 at 5:36 am

    […] tomato sauce may be a quick fix to a boring dinner, but making your own is the only way to go. Try this recipe (feel free to swap in ground turkey for the lentils) or just chop some fresh tomatoes, garlic, and […]

  • Reply
    7 Surprisingly Sugary Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs
    June 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    […] tomato sauce may be a quick fix to a boring dinner, but making your own is the only way to go. Try this recipe (feel free to swap in ground turkey for the lentils) or just chop some fresh tomatoes, garlic, and […]

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