Reducing Meat Intake – Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

After watching Before The Flood, the Leonardo DiCaprio documentary about climate change, I decided to make a more conscious effort to be selective of the foods that I buy.

Until now, I have been mainly focused on what the food will do to me by looking at additives, salt, processed sugars etc. This has certainly served me well. But I’ve never really had any consideration as to where the food comes from in light of the environmental impact (apart from free-range eggs really).

So as a house, Sam, Flo, Arno (a Luxembourger) and I have decided to make 2 key changes to our diet:

  1. Reduce our consumption of meat, especially Beef
  2. Not consume anything that contains Palm Oil or Palm fats

So far we are doing OK. It’s easy not to select the beef burger, or the steak on the menu wand walk past the meat counter. Palm Oil has sneaked in there a couple of times by accident.

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of my Easy Win meals. It’s simple, quick and delicious. So I decided to try a vegetarian version instead. The flavouring ingredients are the same:

  • Olive Oil
  • Herbs (Bay, basil, oregano)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tinned Tomato
  • Worcester Sauce
  • Seasoning
  • Red Wine (very important!)

But the bulk is what I really needed to replace. There are many ways to do this, so I took inspiration from a couple of recipes that I found and combined them. So for the mince replacement I used the following:

  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • Shredded Spinach
  • 1 tin of Lentils
  • Quinoa, to taste (however thick you want it to be)
  • Dried mushrooms (soaked in hot water – broth used for flavouring)


  1. Boil water and add dried mushrooms into soak (I used a small packet)
  2. Fry off onion and garlic on a low heat
  3. Add carrots and spinach
  4. Once softened add drained lentils and mushrooms, including broth
  5. Mix in well. Add herbs and worcester sauce
  6. Pour in a couple glugs of wine to taste. Start off small and add more if necessary
  7. Add the tinned tomatoes and mix well
  8. Last but not least, add the quinoa in. This will soak up all the juices. Add sparingly at first, depending on how tick you want your bolognese.
  9. Keep on a low heat whilst you bring the spaghetti to the boil. Add more herbs, seasoning or wine depending on your preference
  10. Whilst this simmers away you can wash-up the few dishes that you have. I did buy a nice garlic and rosemary loaf as well, so I put a couple of slices in the oven to warm up ready for serving.

Vegetarian Bolognese.jpg

And you know what, it turned out perfectly. I didn’t miss the meat in this dish. It gave me a great veggie boost which you don’t usually get from this dish, it’s wholesome and it’s one meal towards helping reduce my mean consumption and therefore impact on environment. Lastly, it’s just easy!

Cheers, Scott


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