Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce from The Great Vegan Bean Book + Review and Giveaway!

zucchiniTopped with Easy Almond Parm, pg. 27

Kathy Hester is one of my very favorite cookbook authors. She’s saved my vegan bacon on many rushed days with her book: The Vegan Slow Cooker.  Every. Single. Recipe. I’ve tried out of that book has turned out fabulously, so you can imagine I jumped at the chance when she asked me to review her newest cookbook: The Great Vegan Bean Book. I’ll be sharing (with her permission) the recipe for the Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce later in this post, but first feast your eyes on some of the other creations I made from her book.

Artichoke DipLets just say that the dip disappeared before the bag of pita chips was gone. I thought for sure I was going to need to doctor this recipe with some vegan sour cream to fatten it up. Nope. It’s perfectly skinny and delicious just the way it is.

Chickpea SeitanA certain someone in my house likes to occasionally nosh on the Boca Vegan Chik’n patties. Not ever buying those again after making these. I’ve been looking for a “chick’n” patty replacement I could make at home for some time now. I once made another way inferior chickpea patty recipe from a certain plant based author. Those sucked. These ruled.

SandwichThen I combined the above two recipes and made a Crispy Grilled Sandwich Delight on Marbled Rye Bread with the Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip White Bean Dip, the Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patty and Kimchi. SO good I could have cried.

Coconut Pecan BlondiesOf course I had to try a dessert. These babies were absolutely calling my name.

Bite Sized BlissCoconut Pecan Blondies, pg. 181. I heart you.


Now back to the Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce. Did I mention your kids will eat it, and ask for seconds? Here’s the conversation surrounding that dinner:

Silence while everyone is nomming on the sauce over noodles…

Somer: Did you guys know I put a whole head of kale in this?

Kid #1: I can’t even taste the kale

Husband: My head turned into kale today

Kid #1: All I can taste is vegetable deliciousness

Kid #2 who doesn’t like vegetables: Silence whilst gobbling down all his dinner.


Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce

This hearty, protein-rich sauce serves a crowd, or it can be a staple you make every month or so, freezing any leftovers so they will be there for you during those crazy weeks (we ate it all weekend, hence photos of all the ways we used this delicious and nutritious pasta sauce)

  • 1 cup (192 g) lentils (green, brown, or beluga)
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled if not organic), each cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1-2 cups (235 to 475 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces, or 560 g) crushed tomatoes, or 3 cups (750 g) homemade puree plus 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (2 g) dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilies (optional)
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces (about 3 cups [201 g]) (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (87 g) quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine or 2 tablespoons (28 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked pasta, for serving, use GF pasta for a GF meal

Add the lentils, carrots, and water to a large soup pot. Turn the heat to high, cook until the mixture is simmering, and then decrease to low and cover. Cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Once the carrots and lentils are cooked remove the carrots from the pot of lentils and add them to a food processor or blender along with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kale, and sauteed veggies, and puree until smooth.

At the same time, add the quinoa and red wine to the pot of lentils. Turn the heat to medium, cook until it starts to simmer again, and then cover and decrease the heat to low. Cook until the quinoa start to show their white tails.

Add the puree to the lentil-quinoa mixture and cook, covered, over low heat until the sauce melds and heats thoroughly, about 20 minutes.

Eggplant LasagnaKathy’s going to have to forgive me, since her book is so popular, her publisher didn’t have review copies available, so I got the book in a PDF format until a hard copy is available to send out. The PDF copy is stamped with the publisher’s logo on each page and was difficult for me to read cover to cover (the way I always read cookbooks). So, I invented a Grilled Eggplant Lasagna, using the leftovers of Kathy’s amazing Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce, then later read through the PDF to find that Kathy has her own Eggplant Lasagna recipe in the book. Well, the more the merrier I say! I’ll be sharing my version with you later in the week.

hi-res image

Buy “The Great Vegan Bean Book” in paperback book on Amazon here or the Kindle version here

Visit Kathy Hester at her site Healthy Slow Cooking here

Visit “The Great Vegan Bean Book” Blog Tour page here

Visit the photographer’s site for the book, Renee Comet, here

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Monday the 10th of June to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Wednesday the 12th. GO!!

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  1. what a great post. I really have my eye on that cookbook. About a year ago, I decided to make a conscious effort to cook beans more often, and it has been lots of fun. 🙂

    Also, wanted to thank you for ordering some copies of my little VidaVeganCon cookbooklette – I’m putting them in the mail today! There will be two envelopes with two in each… just so you know! 🙂

    ~ Amey

    1. Yay! Thanks Amey! cannot wait til they arrive 🙂 When I saw Kittee’s post about them I was totally freaking out over the cuteness.

      Did you get to meet Kathy at VidaVeganCon? her books are luscious!

  2. It sounds like a grand & very easy recipe cook book! I am in, to using wholegrains in my cooking & I am loving it too! The recipes that you made look sensational & I loved how your hubby& kids reacted to that quinoa lentil bolognese! Ha!

  3. I am trying to find a favorite, not a big fan of beans so I have been doing some searching for new bean recipes.

  4. Lentils for everything. i just made a black bean/lentil tacos that were pretty much awesome. If only I could make four bean meals for my In-laws to just heat up while we’re gone.

  5. I love all beans! (Though it took me a while to get used to garbanzo beans). I especially love black beans! I love them in a Caribbean stew with sweet potatoes.

  6. Just discovered your blog via Frugal. Love the look of your vegan recipes. We just started Mark Bittman’s VB6 approach to life and eating so I am happy to see your ideas. The quinoa bolognese sounds delightful and creative!

    1. Cool! Frugal is the best, and I equally adore Mark Bittman (I think he and Nick have a slightly similar approach to food actually). Neither are afraid to embrace their inner vegan 😉 Best of luck to you! I’m sure you’ll start reaping health rewards immediately! 🙂

  7. the water with the lentils evaporated before they were done-i used 2 cups. Its not enough>
    And how am I going to cook the quinoa now with no water and the lentils are still hard.

    1. Hmm, Lauren, I’m perplexed. 2 cups of water to cook the lentils in should be plenty… Some thoughts:

      Was your pot covered with a tight fitting lid during the whole cooking time? If not, most of the water would definitely evaporate.

      Did you turn the heat right down to a simmer after the water came to a boil? (low or 1-3 on electric stoves or lowest gas setting on gas stoves). Having the heat higher would cause the water to evaporate faster.

      I used 2 cups and still had plenty of water to cook the quinoa in. However, my lentils weren’t soft until the quinoa was finished cooking as well. I think the total cook time is what’s required for the right consistency.

      I’m sorry it didn’t work out quite right for you.


  8. I just cooked up a batch of the sauce (and your moxarella) to make the lasagne because I have leftover grilled eggplant & veggies begging to be made into this. The sauce is DELISH!!! I added a hefty pinch of cinnamon to it (I add a hefty pinch of cinnamon to everything, lol!) The flavor and texture is perfect..can’t wait ’til dinner! Definitely getting the book. 🙂

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