A Simple and Tasty Vegan Bolognese
Make it an Italian-themed dinner night with this delicious vegan Bolognese dish made by the awesome plant-based Chef, Susan Pratt. Susan shows us how to throw together this impressive meal in no time. And the best part? It is 100% plant-based and healthy. Be sure to visit SusanCooksVegan.com to learn more about whipping up plant-based meals. In the meantime, let’s dive right into the kitchen and get cooking with her video demonstration below!
A Bit About Susan Pratt
Susan lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC, Canada, with her husband, Randy, and 4-year-old daughter, Carrington. Being in nature makes her feel at peace and centered. You can usually find Susan in the woods behind her house foraging for wild edibles or gardening and feeding the birds in her backyard.
Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia Susan grew up with a forest for a playground. Although she was active, unfortunately, her family ate the Standard American Diet, which was high in sugar and fat with very little variety or nutrition. Because of this, she became overweight by the time she was in Elementary School. For Susan, this was an extremely tough time in her life. However, it became the catalyst for her love of cooking nutritious food and understanding what her body needs to thrive.
Susan is a vegan blogger, but previously she was an entrepreneur and Special Needs Educator. Working in schools and with children gave Susan first-hand experience with the effects of diet and nutrition on children’s behavior and energy levels. This was one of the many reasons she became passionate about feeding her family healthy, nutritious meals.
For Susan, the decision to go vegan was an easy one. She and her husband watched some compelling documentaries on veganism and learned of the adverse effects that animal products have on our bodies and the abilities that plants have to reverse disease. Together through a plant-based lifestyle, they healed their bodies. In fact, Susan’s husband narrowly missed having a heart attack. His doctor said if he hadn’t started eating a vegan diet when he did, there would have been dire consequences.
Impress Your Family or Friends With This Vegan Bolognese
Who doesn’t love a good Italian pasta meal with a perfected Bolognese sauce? You just can’t go wrong with this recipe, it’s that good. The entire meal only takes about 35 minutes to prepare and cook, so it is a pretty simple and quick dish to make. Susan has managed to figure out the exact right spices to use to make every bite burst with flavors. Bolognese is traditionally a very thick and meaty sauce, but Susan veganizes it using a specific soy protein called Om Noms. Wondering what Om Noms are? Here is a quick background on how these protein strips that Susan uses in this dish came to life:
Yumasoy is a local, Vancouver-based, women-led company crafting easy-to-prepare plant-based meat alternatives called Om Noms. Yumasoy is on a mission to change the meat replacement game by making products with an all-real, recognizable ingredient list to make plant-based eating easy, simple, and delicious, as it should be!
It was founded in 2020 when Gina Arsens and her family were moving to a plant-based diet but struggled to find protein sources that were enjoyable, easy to make, and wholesomely produced. She met partner, chef, and nutritionist Steevi McNeely who wanted to share the positive impacts of eating healthily and the power of plant-based foods. Together they created Yumasoy to offer a truly yummy alternative to consumers looking to have it all – taste, health, and convenience.
Yumasoy Om Noms come in 3 unique flavors – Teriyaki, Mediterranean Herb, and Thai Yellow Curry. These pre-marinated, ready-to-eat protein strips are made from whole, non-GMO soybeans and are 100% preservative and chemical free. Om Noms cater to busy families with kids, health-conscious individuals, or those looking for an easy, flavourful option that takes less than 5 minutes to make – simply heat, toss with your favorite veg and/or carb, and delight in a delicious wholesome meal.
Available in select retail locations throughout the Vancouver area and soon to be expanding to the island and the Okanagan, you can also shop for Om Noms online through BC Local Root. You can find more information on the company and products by visiting their website.
Vegan Soy Curl Bolognese
- 4 tbsp olive oil or vegetable stock more if needed
- 2 cups onion finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 package of Om Noms Mediterranean Herb*
- 1 ½ tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes I use San Morazano
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup raw cashews soaked*
- 1 ½ cup plant milk
- 2 cups vegan broth or pasta water more if needed
- Salt to taste
- To Serve:
- 1 8 oz box fettuccine pasta gluten-free if needed*
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
- Nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan optional
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice optional
- Dried chilli flakes optional
- Toasted bread
- Prep: Chop the Om Noms soy strips into small pieces roughly the size of a chickpea. If using soy curls, rehydrate for 10 mins in hot vegetable stock (preferred) or water: drain and chop. Create the mirepoix - finely dice onions, celery and carrot (watch my cooking show for a demonstration).
- Cook the Pasta: Place a large pot of salted water (which should taste like the sea) on high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to prevent sticking. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook al dente(tender yet firm) following directions on the box. Just before draining, reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Do not rinse.
- Sauté: Place a large (deep) sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil (or vegetable stock). Add onions, celery and carrots. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking (4-5 minutes). Mix in the minced garlic. Add a pinch of salt to the mirepoix to remove the moisture. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables is soft. Push mirepoix to one side of the pan. Add Om Noms or Soy Curls to the exposed side, adding more oil or vegetable stock as needed. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Prep Tomatoes: Meanwhile, using your hands or kitchen scissors, tear or cut the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Season: Sprinkle in Italian seasoning and add bay leaves.
- Deglaze: Pour in red wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits stuck to the pan.
- Add Tomatoes: Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and 1-2 cups pasta water (or vegetable broth). Simmer on medium/low for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has been reduced by half.
- Blend Cashews: Blend raw soaked cashews with plant milk, scraping down the sides as needed until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add this cashew cream to the saute pan. Mix well.
- Simmer: Turn the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes (or longer to develop flavor). Stir every few minutes to prevent burning. If the sauce becomes too thick, add some reserved pasta water.
- Finish: Remove bay leaf from the sauce. Add in cooked pasta. Mix well and let the pasta heat through for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and sprinkle on chopped parsley, nutritional yeast and dried chilli flakes (if using). Plate and serve with a side of toasted bread for dipping.
*If using a high-speed blender soak cashews for 10 minutes in boiling water. If using a regular blender or food processor, soak cashews overnight.
* Tagliatelle, rigatoni, gnocchi, eggplant or any thick or ridged pasta will work with this bolognese sauce.
Thanks For Joining In
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make Susan’s totally awesome vegan Bolognese! If you decide to give this recipe a try, be sure to take a photo of your finished dish and tag @UnChained_TV and @SusanCooksVegan on Instagram. Looking for other simple and tasty plant-based dishes to try? Hop on over to our #LunchBreakLIVE page, where we have a ton to choose from. Until next time…keep cookin’!
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Donna Dennison is an UnchainedTV writer, graphic designer, video editor, and IG contributor. Donna is also a creative in the film industry.