Won’t-Miss-The-Meat Bolognese

The other night, I was going through the fridge and realized I had a bunch of mushrooms that were basically on their last leg — it was a use ’em or lose ’em situation. I mean, we’ve all been there, right?!

Taking a quick inventory of everything in the house, I realized I had a spaghetti squash… and an idea for an easy, meatless “bolognese” was born. This was totally a spur of the moment concoction, and it’s probably one of my favorite off-the-cuff “recipes” I’ve come up with in a while!

Pulsing the mushrooms in a food processor (or any blender, I used my Magic Bullet and did it in batches), allowed the mushrooms to take on a texture much like ground beef. And then roasting them in the oven with a pinch of salt really amps up their flavor and dehydrates them just enough for an awesome texture in the final sauce.

 

Assembling the sauce is super simple. Chop a shallot or onion, and sauté with a small amount of oil and garlic. Then add your roasted mushrooms, and allow the flavors to marry for a little while — it’ll also allow the ‘shrooms to crisp a bit more. Then take your favorite jarred marinara (or something from scratch if you’d like) and add to the pan, warm through and then add basil right before you serve, for freshness! Seriously delicious.

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It goes well over spaghetti squash, pasta… I mean, sky’s the limit. It’s super hearty and you won’t miss the meat — I swear!

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Easy Meatless Bolognese

⁃ Two 8oz package of wild mushrooms (or whatever shroom is your fave), pulsed in a food processor or blender (to resemble ground meat)
⁃ 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
⁃ 1 garlic clove, chopped
⁃ 1.5 cups of your favorite marinara — can be from scratch or store bought!
⁃ Handful of fresh basil, chiffonade
⁃ Coconut oil spray
⁃ Salt, to taste
⁃ Pepper, to taste
⁃ Red pepper flakes, optional.

——-

Mushrooms:

1. Preheat oven to 400* F.
2. Prep a sheet pan with coconut oil spray.
3. Process or finely chop mushrooms (I used my MagicBullet) until they resemble the texture of ground beef.
4. Spread ground mushrooms evenly on sheet pan.
5. Spray top of mushrooms with additional coconut oil spray.
6. Sprinkle salt, to taste
7. Roast mushrooms for 10-15 minutes (stir them periodically). Take mushrooms out of the oven when there is no longer any excess moisture and mushrooms are slightly dehydrated.

Sauce:

1. Chop shallot and garlic.
2. Add a small amount of oil to a sauté pan and place on medium heat.
3. Cook shallot and garlic in pan until soft, add a pinch of salt.
4. Add roasted mushrooms and warm through until most of the moisture has been removed.
5. Add marinara until you reach desired consistency.
6. Add chopped basil immediately before serving.

Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash or whatever your heart desires.

Going Bananas

We’ve all had those store-bought banana chips… the ones that come in the big clear tub? The ones have have close to zero actual banana flavor? Yeah, those.

Well, this week, I was determined to find a crunchy fix that wasn’t a potato.

In rushes the banana!

These beauties are ridiculously simple to make, sweet, packed with real banana flavor, a little salty, and can be as crunchy or chewy as to want them to be. Oh, and your entire house will smell like banana bread.

Not too shabby.

All you need to do is thinly slice a banana, coat the slices in lemon juice (I just put juice in a bowl and threw the slices in as I sliced), and place in a single layer on a foiled, oil-sprayed sheet pan. I added a light sprinkling of salt and a quick spritz with coconut oil to the top, as well.

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Then place in a 250*F oven — bake for 1 hour and then flip the slices. Bake for another hour or so, until the slices are somewhat crisp (the longer you bake, the crispier they’ll be). Keep in mind, the slices will crisp further as they cool.

Your result? Beautiful crispy, chewy and flavorful bites. Sure, it takes a little while. But I think these cuties are totally worth it!!

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