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Combine These 2 Veggies to Make a Healthy (and Convincing) Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce

Emily Laurence

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Craving pasta right now? This vegetarian Bolognese sauce will hit the spot. 

As a registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, of course preaches the importance of all nutrients, but there’s one in particular she’s pretty obsessed with: fiber.

The F-Factor founder formulates all her meals around this gut health hero, which gives her a leg up in the latest episode of Well+Good’s cooking show, Cook With Us. Host Jessie Van Amburg (W+G’s senior food and health editor) asks Zuckerbrot to make a sneaky veggie sauce as part of a high-protein, high-fiber meal that’s also low in sodium. Oh, and it all has to be done in less than 30 minutes.

Zuckerbrot decides to make a vegetarian Bolognese sauce to crush the challenge. “I love pasta Bolognese. I always tell people it would be my last meal on earth,” Zuckerbrot says. That means any substitutions that don’t taste like the real noodles-and-meat thing aren’t going to get her seal of approval. “As people are moving toward plant-based diets, I wanted to take this classic dish and make it more modern.” Hence her plant-based twist.

To create a Bolognese that truly has a meat-like feel, she uses mushrooms. “This is what’s going to give the heartiness and the meatiness to the Bolognese without using meat,” she says. (It doesn’t hurt that mushrooms offer up a dose of fiber in every serving.)

But that’s not her only smart, fiber-forward substitute. Zuckerbrot also adds in an unexpected ingredient: riced cauliflower. “Cauliflower is loaded with antioxidants, it’s super healthy, and basically adds volume to foods,” she says as to why she incorporated it into her Bolognese sauce. The result? A hearty, rich, flavorful sauce that’s surprisingly meat-free.

Watch the episode above to see exactly how both the entire dish is made and, most importantly, if it passes the taste test.

If you love comfort food like this vegetarian bolognese, check out these hearty and healthy recipes. And join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group for more healthy cooking inspo.

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