Pasta and sauce are frequent “go to” staples for a filling dinner.  While a hearty Bolognese sauce can be made with little effort, so can a healthier version that is also vegan-friendly. If you crave the chunkiness of a meat sauce but want to lighten things up a bit, try this vegan chunky vegetable sauce loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and delicious flavor!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Medium White Onion, chopped fine
  • 2 to 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 to 4 Bell Peppers, chopped into two-inch pieces.  Try to use an assortment of red, green, yellow, and orange for a variety of flavors.
  • 8 oz. Button Mushrooms, chopped into 1/2-inch slices
  • Approx. 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt-Free Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 1 16 oz. jar No-Sugar Added Tomato Sauce
  • 1 16 oz. box pasta

To Prepare The Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add in the chopped onions.  Cook the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Then, add in the chopped garlic and stirring, cook another 5 minutes until garlic is soft and onions begin to caramelize.
  2. Add the chunky chopped bell peppers and mushrooms to the pan, adding more olive oil if needed.  Season with the salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning blend.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. When the vegetables are cooked about half-way through, add in the jar of tomato sauce.  Stir to coat vegetables, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Simmer sauce and vegetables for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a stock pot. Add the pasta and cook approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or according to the package directions.
  6. Drain pasta and serve with a hearty scoop of Vegan Chunky Veggie Sauce.

Serves 4 to 6

For some additional twists, you can top the sauce with fresh basil, or Parmesan cheese if you aren’t cooking strictly for Vegans.  If you have Celiac’s Disease or a gluten sensitivity, substitute a gluten-free pasta.  For an even healthier meal, consider using a tasty whole wheat or brown rice pasta instead.

The mix of vegetables in this recipe offer multiple vitamins and minerals essential to maintaining your body’s good health.  These vegetables provide rich sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and the B-complex of vitamins.  They also contain antioxidant flavonoids such as alpha and beta carotenes, and the minerals iron, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

Vegetables, like the ones used in this recipe, are packed with soluble dietary fiber.  In addition, vegetables such as onions, for example, contain chromium, which helps facilitate insulin action and control blood sugar levels.  They are also a good source of the antioxidant flavonoid quercetin, which has been found to have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

So the next time you are craving a hearty pasta meal, remember to pile on this chunky vegan veggie sauce for some comfort food that satisfies your taste buds as well as nourishes your whole body.

Source:

Rudrappa, U. Vegetable nutrition facts. (n.d) retrieved January 27, 2017, from www.nutrition-and-you.com Web Site:  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/vegetable-nutrition.html