This Plant-Based Sauce is a lightened up, hearty and delicious! A recipe to master.
This Vegan Bolognese is big on flavor with a “meaty texture” ~ the sauce get more flavorful with age (best made a few hours earlier to mingle the ingredients.)
Tempeh is an amazing fermented soy product, full of fiber – “a complete protein.” It has a neutral but nutty & earthy flavor.
Add cremini mushrooms, and you will achieve a sauce with a meaty texture and flavor.
Tempeh grabs flavors very well, kinds just soaks it up. More about Tempeh below…
Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a slowly cooked sauce, and its preparation involves several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising.
Classic Bolognese is a meat-based sauce in Italian Cuisine known as
ragù alla bolognese. Milk or cream are typically added in a small amount – said to tenderize the meat and add rich body.
These techniques are NOT complicated!
Here are a few meanings:
Sweating is essentially sautéing at a lower temperature.
Sauté – brown or cook a food quickly over fairly high heat using a small amount of fat in an open, shallow pan.
Braising is simply a cooking method that involves browning food in oil, then cooking it in a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.
Mirepoix is the French culinary term for a combination of diced carrots, onions and celery sautéed in butter or oil, and acts as a flavor base.
(One of the first technique I learned in culinary school.)
Tempeh (pronounced TEM-pay) is made from naturally fermented soybeans, unlike tofu – which is more processed and not fermented.
An excellent source of protein, Tempeh is also high in fiber, iron, and other minerals. It is a complete protein – meaning, it supplies all nine of the essential amino acids we need to get from food sources.
Tempeh is a great source of protein, providing a whopping 15 grams in each 3-ounce serving. Also – it is jam-packed with prebiotics, which is a type of fiber that provides fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Known to be easily digestible – the fermentation process creates enzymes that pre-digest carbohydrates, protein and fat.
What a great substitute for ground beef, chicken and turkey!
Tempeh in this recipe is chopped into a small dice and sautéed until golden brown around the edges.
Sometimes tempeh has a slightly bitter flavor and steaming helps remove that. (It takes all of 10 minutes.)
Tempeh will absorb any flavors you add to it, these flavors tend to be bold.
Whenever I make this plant-based bolognese sauce it, I’m compelled to double the recipe, so I can have delicious leftovers for another day. This recipe makes 8 portions of sauce – so it’s a “big batch.”
We all should be doubling up on our veggies – so I have added roasted Zucchini Cubes on top, as an option – which complements the flavors well.
While my diet is not vegan, I am most definitely eating many more vegetables.
Those who know me understand I am a stickler for reading ingredient labels, and eat as little “processed foods” as possible. I primarily cook most of the food I eat.
Have you ever tried the new Plant Based Meat Alternatives… Beyond Beef or Impossible products? I have – once, and I was impressed by the flavor, but would never eat again! That is, after I researched the ingredients. Dozens of ingredients ~ water the first ingredient, then soy or pea protein, many thickeners and Natural Flavoring (which… I’ll say it, I despise.) Highly processed foods concocted by food scientists to mimic the color and flavor of meat. So, if you want a burger, go with meat, turkey or chicken, which are mostly ONE ingredient foods, with some flavoring and seasoning. “Grass feed beef” is highly recommended, although not very accessible and expensive… although I do not eat red meat.
Or, try making your own veggie burger with grains, nuts, vegetables and beans!
So, if you’re looking for a plant based meaty substitute, try tempeh – the type I used here has two organic ingredients: fermented soybeans and brown rice.
Here’s to making our food choices in 2020 a little more plant-based!
See RECIPE: Bolognese Sauce with Tempeh and Mushrooms: It’s Vegan!