‘Zero Waste’ Loaded Veggie Lentil Bolognese

This recipe is fairly versatile and can be served with almost any starch – or perhaps try throwing it on top of a baked potato with some sour cream!

Nothing much beats a good Spag Bol – it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it makes great leftovers served with almost anything you can think of!  Spag Bol is traditionally a mince, and it’s quite easy to access vegan mince such as TVP from supermarkets – the only problem is the packaging involved as it is always in plastic!

I’ve aimed to create a ‘mince’ of sorts by using finely chopped mushrooms and brown rice – which soaks up all the sauce and flavours as a mince or TVP would.  The texture is not exactly the same, but this recipe is delicious nonetheless.

Tips for how to make this a low impact/zero waste recipe:

  • I purchased all my herbs, dry goods and sauces from package free stores
  • If you can’t get package free products, aim for products in cardboard
  • Sometimes rice can be found at markets in fabric bags that can be reused or re-purposed
  • This is a great way to use leftover rice – if you only have white just give it a go and see how it turns out!

Loaded Veggie Lentil Bolognese

Serves approx 8


2 Tbs olive oil

1 stalk celery or zucchini, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ C dried brown lentils

2 C mushrooms – finely minced

1 C cooked brown rice

3 Cups Roasted Tomato Sauce, or 8 ripe tomatoes pulsed in a food processor

2 Tbs dried Italian herbs

2 bay leaves

3 Tbs soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos

½ C veg stock – possibly more depending on your stove top and the cooking process

Any fresh herbs you like!

Enough cooked penne, potatoes or bread for 6-8 people

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the carrot, celery onion, garlic until transluscent.  Add the mushrooms and lentils and saute until mushrooms are softened
  2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients, and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for approx. 45 minutes until the lentils absorb the liquid and it thickens – this will likely depend on the lentils and type of brown rice you have used.
  3. Season to taste, and throw in some fresh basil, chives, parsley
  4. Serve with pasta, mash, or large chunks of bread (or all 3)



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