Thursday, May 10, 2012

post-race fuel :: creamy vegan bolognese sauce

"Meaty" vegan pasta sauce: healthy decadence
I raced in the Broad Street Run on Sunday, along with nearly 35,000 other runners. Considering I'd undergone two surgeries and several hospitalizations in late 2011/early 2012, had only returned to running again in late February, and had re-injured my hamstring about a week ago (!), I was hoping, at best, not to embarrass myself. Somehow, I ended up setting a personal record for the 10-miler! While an 8:40 pace is not the fastest in the world, I was thrilled with it – for now. Not bad for a 47-year-old, protein-deficient, malnourished vegan [Read that with tongue planted firmly in cheek]. My finish made me realize how far I've come healthwise over the past 2 years and has motivated me to train harder for my next race.

After running hard for 10 miles, I returned home voraciously hungry, craving "stick to your ribs" food. An image of Bolognese sauce popped into my head, and since I had a package of tempeh in the 'fridge, I threw together a creamy, plant-based version while I sipped on some celebratory post-race vino. You can serve this sauce over your favorite pasta, polenta, gnocchi or grain. I enjoyed mine over my latest obsession: Shiratake Noodles. I used about 1/4 of the sauce over an entire bag [Hey, I'd just run 10 miles!].

I calculated the nutrition information below using the full amount of vegan cream cheese. While this recipe is not exactly low-fat, it is extremely filling and healthful – packed with protein, vitamins A & C, iron and calcium.

You can further reduce the fat by using only 1/2 a container of cream cheese and by water-sauteeing the veggies in broth instead of oil. Also, use your noodle when choosing your noodle. Eating this sauce over an entire bag of Shiratake noodles adds only 40 calories and 6 grams of carbs – as well as 20% RDA of calcium, making this dish an uber bone builder. Serving it over a cup of enriched white pasta, on the other hand, will add 210 calories and a whopping 42 grams of simple carbs.

Creamy Bolognese Sauce [Plant-Based]
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Up to 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce package of tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 T fresh basil, or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese [I recommend Galaxy Cream Cheese. Get a coupon here]
Serves 4 – enough for about 1 pound of pasta. Freezes well.

Heat oil over medium in a large, non-stick sauté pan. Add garlic and onion, and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes, adding broth by the tablespoon if mixture begins to dry out. Add everything except the cream cheese, and bring to a boil.

Lower to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about an hour. The most important aspect of this recipe is to allow the sauce to cook long and slow, so all the flavors can jive. This said, keep a lazy eye on it  as it cooks, and add vegetable stock if/as needed.

Adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese [Start with less! You can always add more.] Serve!



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5 comments:

Mattheworbit said...

That seriously looks absolutely delicious! I'm gonna take some inspiration from you and whip something up.. Look at those wide, flat noodles *drool*.

And congrats on your good ruN! I bet you're glad to be back at it.

KTBuns said...

Holy moley, does this look good! Definitely made it on my must-try list...

Congratulations on the race!!

London Cooking Classes said...

I love creamy pasta and this is absolutely just mouth-watering. Now that I'm hungry I'll try to make one of these creamy vegan bolognese.

Jared said...

I made this last night and it was great! Very filling and the texture of the tempeh was great. Thanks for another great recipe!

GraciaKai said...

Delicious! Just made this tonight. I used gluten free pasta and Tofutti brand cream cheese.