If you're looking for a pasta that is healthy and hearty, look no further than making a lovely Italian Bolognese sauce with lentils! Packed with protein and vegetables, this is one heart-healthy pasta that should be included in every vegan diet.
This simple whole-food recipe makes a large vat of sauce, so it is perfect for family-cooking, batch cooking or an affordable meal for an at-home party.
I created the Mind Body Soul Food blog, to give insight to the beauty of alternative health and wellness, and help people navigate the kitchen with simple and affordable whole-food dairy-free recipes. With the motto, "a lifestyle inspired by nature," my hope is to inspire people to connect to the heartiness of the land, the foods that come directly from nature.
Since America has this protein obsession, this recipe is packed with protein that doesn't use fake-meat crumble.
Not only is protein important, but fiber iron and polyphenols are also important, which lentils are chocked full of!
What people don't realize is that in today's new normal, wearing masks, specifically while exercising is not ideal long term, especially when breathing in your own metabolic waste and microbioms. Polyphenols in lentils are or aide in: antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, nephroprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-obesity, hypolipidemic, and chemopreventive activities.
I believe if people respected human physiology as well as understood the power of nature, one would naturally adopt this type of eating more and refrain from the chronic junk-food eating culture.
Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese
Total Time: 40-45 minutes
2.5 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cups red lentil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced tomato
1 cup crushed tomatoes (or used diced)
1 tsp Italian spices
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp pepper
Pinch of salt
In a large pot, sauté the first five ingredients (vegetables in the oil) for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Next, add the tomato paste, and mix into the vegetables well. Next, add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Simmer on medium-low heat with a lid on the pot until the lentils are edible, usually around 20 minutes of cooking. Serve over your favorite pasta! Enjoy!
Let's Connect! Check out my other pasta recipes below!!
I've worked in the fitness industry for 15 years now. We've long known biodiversity of the diet is the most optimal way of eating because the more diverse the diet, the more nutrients and vitamins one consumes.
A simple and easy way to eat more diverse produce is through raw food salads, and Dr. Fuhrman's dressing is an excellent compliment to consume more whole and raw food without making junky salad dressings.
What is unique about this dressing is that it uses walnuts to replace oil and raisins to replace any sweeteners that go into dressings. Walnuts look like little brains and are major sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, so these little nuts aide in heart and brain function.
This by far is my favorite salad dressing recipe I've ever had and made.
Dr. Fuhrman is a medical doctor who healed himself from an injury with alternative medicine. That healing experience inspired him to become a medical doctor. He advocates for eating G-BOMBS, which is considered the healthiest, most anti-cancer foods. What does G-BOMBS stand for?
This rainbow salad was inspired by G-Bombs; however, you can add, eliminate or swap any vegetables. To make this a further rainbow salad, one can add purple cabbage, purple onion or even blueberries. I am not a fan of mushrooms or raw onions in any traditional raw salad, unless it is a more hearty kale salad.
However, choose the ingredients that work best for you and your budget!
Dr Fuhrman's No Oil Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 3/4-1 cup
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinager
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
For the salad, choose the vegetables you would like to add in, including a bean and seed if desired. Wash, chop, mix together and top with dressing. Enjoy!
Let's Connect! Here are some other salad recipes you may also enjoy!
We live in a society that craves change. We want everyone to change, often to our perspective to how we view life. However, the deep reality is that we are the only ones who can change ourselves.
Often times when seeking change, most relate to the softer voices in life rather than the harsh, "pull yourself up by your boot straps," approach. However, I do think a mix of both energies are necessary to light the fire to ignite change.
Change is an opportunity to grow, and ascend from tough to better situations. The path to change isn't always easy, but know the journey is one worth taking.
So if you are seeking a change, here are some powerful questions to ponder upon to inspire change or awakening in your life.
Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired? Or am I "sick" of my current situation?
What situation in your life are you sick and tired of dealing with? Is it poor health? Is it constantly being broke? Is it chronic negative thinking?
Whatever it is, bringing awareness to the situation is the first step making a change. Once you bring awareness, you are conscious or cognizant on the situation or problem.
Once you have the awareness, what was the "a-ha" moment that made you realize you needed a change?
One of my former morbidly obese clients said his "a-ha" moment occurred when he took a flight and couldn't fit into the seat. That was his moment that he realized he needed to change his life as he couldn't do many things before of his weight.
What situations or life event led me to this point?
Most people have a trigger event, unresolved trauma, childhood trauma or a string of chaotic events that led them to a certain situation or down a path of self-destruction.
Common causes include: death of a spouse / family member, abuse from a parent / spouse, divorce, loss of finances (job or bankruptcy), bad breakup, or hitting rock bottom.
In the event of becoming morbidly obese, this change did not happen overnight. It took years of overeating to get that person to the point of becoming 350-500lbs. Most morbidly obese people I worked with used food to cope with their emotions to make themselves feel better.
What is your deepest "why?"
As a personal trainer for 15 years, I've noticed that there are various surface level responses to change, and then there are deeper ones that hit the core of our emotional body.
Discovering your deepest why, is like peeling back the onion layers.
One example I see in fitness is that people want to lose weight. Okay, so why? Many will respond with "to look better," and after each response I keep asking, "why?" Many people on the surface want to look or feel better, but deep down there is something inside of them such as they want to be able to play with their children. Or have energy to participate in their kids life (like playing baseball) instead of having the passive experience of just being on the sidelines.
What is stopping me from achieving these goals? Or are there any barriers to my success?
These questions bring awareness to potential challenges or barriers that may hinder growth or our goals.
I suggest writing down 5-10 potential challenges. Do you work long or erratic work hours? Are you a busy parent? Do you self-sabotage your situations because of unresolved trauma?
Many people are eager to change, but don't realize it is a journey. They want to automatically jump from Point A to Point B. They fail to realize that living our daily life may cause barricades or stepping stones that may make life go up and down.
Change isn't linear and sometimes the road blocks pushes the pause button in our path to growth, but know that this moment is temporary.
What am I willing to let go of to make space for change?
Many people want to keep the same habits and try some program or teaching, expecting the same results.
As an example, people want to lose weight, so they decide to exercise and expect to be thin while continuing to eat fast food and drink lots of alcohol. Many people don't realize that its an entire lifestyle change. They don't want to let go of the same habits or addictions that will take them down.
However, in order for something new to begin, the old ways must be let go, removed or decreased to make space for something new.
What did I try in the past? What worked and what didn't?
Many people have tried "life altering" programs, but unfortunately did not see any results or change. Many mass marketed programs offer false-hope or unrealistic results in a short amount of time. Sadly, most of like doesn't work like this.
Nature doesn't plant a seed and then in 7 days a flower blossoms. Good things that grow take time.
I recommend not being discouraged from past efforts, but rather sit and reflect on what worked and what didn't. This time around one can adopt a better or a different game plan to navigate towards success.
Who is my support system?
We all need support. That is why community is so powerful and friends and family are so valuable. They are our cheerleaders to encourage us through difficult times.
We cannot be codependent upon people and shouldn't overburden individuals as that is where professional help is necessary to navigate the deeper parts of our change.
So ask yourself, "Who is part of my support system?" Friends, family, co-workers, church/community groups, neighbors, coaches, trainers, psychologists, doctors, nutritionists - somewhere out there, there is at least one support network for everyone.
YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN GROW! YOU CAN HEAL! YOU CAN LIVE A BETTER LIFE!
What do you "see" when you look at this package of bloody fake meat, The Impossible Burger? Or what do you see when you look at a package of Beyond Burger that looks exactly like the real thing?
Take a moment to sit, see, reflect and really engage with thoughts on this piece of fake meat that bleeds. This piece of vegan fake meat that bleeds is not only controversial, but it really shows the rise of the two worlds of consciousness.
We've long known.."You Are What You Eat."
Just for a bit of a background....I've been involved in the vegan world since 2004. One of my college jobs was that I worked for a vegan cafe and health food store for over four years. I've seen the industry grow, and evolve and what back then was a counter culture of food rebels and peace-loving "hippies" who were a bit more rooted to the earth and gardening, is now a mainstream trend that attracts all areas of life.
Today, veganism has become like a cult or like a religion, where there is damnation and hate for people who eat animals, even hate for those who are vegetarian. However, the industry before it got mainstream was never entirely like that.
There were always some anarchists, but for the most part it was a more peace-loving culture. Every counter-culture starts off as "cool," and then eventually loses its charm once it becomes hijacked by mainstream reality.
Although back then everything was soy-based, for the most part people embraced bean burgers, various types of salads and soups - things that were made from earth-based ingredients! People cared about the ingredients as well as reading food labels to mitigate artificial flavors, food colorings etc.
In reality, vegan meat and cheeses were never "healthy" because it was just a conglomerate of processed soy products. They were not essential for health purposes.
My journey into not wanting to eat meat, rooted back to my childhood. My body didn't want it, nor did I crave meat. I enjoyed vegetables, fruit and carbohydrates a lot more. My family always had me eat at least one meatball or small piece of chicken to get my protein. One day my mother was marinating chicken and I asked her several questions. When she sporked the chicken in preparation of cooking it, I began to cry. I knew something deep down wasn't right. Seeing flesh and blood always repulsed me. Even entering high school, I knew companies like McDonald's were "bullshit," because I was raised off eating garden-based vegetables.
However, that is something that is innate in my physical and spiritual well-being.
So this perspective comes from someone who has more connection to the land per say by understanding the difference between homegrown vs commercial food.
Like all things right now...there is a divide in lifestyle and perspective....
The vegan community has a massive division into various types of vegans. Some have turned vegan for health reasons, others for spiritual reasons (which also connects to health), and others just to save the animals. Although many "castes," are alive and well, throughout my time in the community as well as being a fitness / health coach for 15 years I've seen this divide and gap widen.
We primarily have two general categories.
1. The more health-conscious / spiritual based plant-based eater who is connected to the land, understands natural / spiritual law and understands how the higher intelligence of nature is a self-organizing organism that regenerates and heals itself. These people know you do not mess with nature because human meddling can destroy it. These are commonly more spiritual / religious based people. These include the yogis, food rebels, energy gurus, vegan Christians and Seventh Day Adventists (more vegetarian than vegan). These people follow the scientific natural laws, as well as intuitive guidance.
2. The other type of vegans are the ones who claim they are more "science-based," or junk food vegans who are in it for the animals but not necessarily for health purposes. Throughout my work as a health coach, I say they are "replacement" vegans as I've coached these people who swap hot dogs, pizza and chips for the dairy-free version. It is the same processed version of how they ate before. Many are atheist in nature with no spiritual belief, rebellions against anything from the past. Many work in technology and see veganism as progress, so anything that helps people not eat animals is a "yay." They see GMO or processed foods as okay, because we've been eating them for decades and science says it is ok. The more trendy types reside here. They see group one as quacks or weirdos.
One example I shared on a vegan community Facebook page was about the impossible burger and its GMO ingredients, labor/creation practices and how it went on the market before FDA approval. According to Forbes, an article they wrote the article, "Why Bill Gates Is Betting Millions On Synthetic Biology," stating, "While most people have heard of Beyond Meat and the plant-based meat mania by now, they don’t realize that this is all part of a much bigger opportunity. In fact, many of the wealthiest investors on the planet have been going “all in” on this obscure megatrend. Synthetic biology involves reconfiguring the DNA of an organism to create something entirely new. It allows scientists to design living things with attributes and characteristics we desire. In short, it allows you to “program” biology just like you would a computer! It’s a way to create just about any product in the world. This is HUGE. Consider Beyond Meat and competitor Impossible Foods. These companies use a DNA coding sequence from soybeans to create meat that looks and tastes like beef but is actually made of vegetables."
Not only did I get kindly put down, but people who worked in pharmaceutical and the video game industry said, "It's okay, don't be worried...we've been eating GMO and processed foods for a while."
But we're not talking about processing flour into a noodle, or grinding the stevia plant into a sugar-based substance. We're talking about a new form of technology and synthetic biology, which includes gene editing, something that is happening now to farm animals as well as in vegan meats.
Back to the Burgers for a moment...
The burgers are controversial. Some are okay with it. Others are not.
If you look at the image above, these fatty pieces of fake meat actually have ZERO vegetables in it. It's technically not a veggie burger. When comparing it to beef, it actually has similar fat contents and calories as any normal beef patty. Even Registered Dietitians have weighed in their thoughts in this article. None of the protein comes from actual real food sources.
Besides soy, beans and nuts, hearty grains like quinoa and dark leafy greens like kale provide plant eaters real and healthy protein.
Some important things to note:
First, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a legal challenge against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2019 approval of soy leghemoglobin (“heme”), a color additive used to make the plant-based Impossible Burger appear to "bleed" like real meat. Because GMO heme is new to the human diet, and substantial quantities are added to the Impossible Burger, FDA should have required extensive safety testing before approving its use as a color additive. The CFS states, "FDA approved soy leghemoglobin without any of the long-term animal studies that are needed to determine whether or not it harms human health! This means it didn’t even consider whether it causes cancer, reproductive impairment, or other adverse effects. To make matters worse, a short-term rat trial detected adverse effects like the disruption of reproductive cycles and reduced uterine weights in females, and biomarkers of anemia, reduced clotting ability, and kidney problems."
The CFS is still in legal battles. I suggest reading about gene editing in animals stated from the CFS. It's the same gene editing that is happening to vegan meats.
Second, according to a 2017 vegnews.com article, "Last week, food technology company Impossible Foods revealed that it tested its key ingredient—soy leghemoglobin (aka, “heme”)—on rats. In a statement entitled “The Agonizing Dilemma of Animal Testing” dated August 2017, Impossible Foods’ CEO Patrick O. Brown explained his stance on the matter, revealing a systemic issue with the process of receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the safety of uncommon ingredients.
HAVE ANY BEAN OR QUINOA BURGERS EVER HAD TO GET TESTED ON ANIMALS? NO BECAUSE THE PRODUCTS COME FROM THE EARTH.
Third, we have to understand that America is a processed food nation, with serious obese and health issues. Much of this arises because we eat more processed foods than other nations. The National Post writes, “The Beyond Meat burger is technically a processed food. We know that diets higher in processed foods are linked to the development of disease,” Lapidus said. When people eat more processed foods, they are likely to consume more calories and gain weight, a study by the National Institutes of Health found. With added weight gain can come such complications as kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. Just because a product is plant-based doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy. “French fries are plant-based,” Langer pointed out. For someone who has hypertension, a Beyond Meat burger at A&W — which has more than half your daily requirement of sodium (1,110 mg) — is not a good option. Conversely, A&W’s teen burger, which has bacon, has 910 mg of sodium."
Fourth, Throughout the history of plant-based eating, we've never consumed anything that is bloody in nature. The closet thing to blood is juicing a beet or sacrificing a blood orange.
If you are a strict vegan, search within yourself and ask, "Why am I vegan?"
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com