Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

Ever since I went to that conference to learn more about pulses (legumes like dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils), I have been extra-aware of how many I consume.

And I realized… I eat pulses pretty much every single day.

Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

Honestly, I’m not just saying this, I’ve never had this easy of a time managing my weight. I haven’t said, “I’m going on a diet” in over a year and a half. And since that conference, I’ve found myself feeling more satisfied and nourished than ever.

What happened during that year and a half? Well, first off, I finally embraced the power of spiralizing and incorporated spiralized veggies into at least one meal a day – whether that’s sweet potatoes at breakfast or a zucchini noodle curry at night, I’ve found the secret: using low-calorie and low-carb veggies as pasta and noodle replacements satisfies your tastebuds while trimming your waistline.

But enough with the spiralizing PSA, you all know my love for these colorful spirals.

Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

The second thing that has kept me at this healthy weight is consuming pulses. I never ate lentils as much before that conference, but now, I’ve found myself having them up to twice a day and the difference is noticeable: I have more energy, my weight stays put or lowers (if I increase my exercise), and I find that the food I’m eating keeps me interested. There’s just so much you can do with pulses!

I promise, I wasn’t paid to write about pulses – I just love to share my own personal tips for maintaining a healthy weight.

Most importantly, the last – and most important – thing that has helped me accept my body and become my happiest body weight is this:


Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

Now, of course, this means a lot to different people. And it’s important to understand the word “healthiest.” Healthy means a lot to different people. To some people, if they don’t have a thigh gap, they don’t think they’re “healthy.”

However, healthy to me means this: feeling happy every single day with my body and mind.

Thus, I used to think that my healthiest weight was one where I fit comfortably into a size 2 and when I wore a tight dress, I had no “lumps.” I used to think that my healthiest weight meant one where I could sit down and a little pooch wouldn’t roll over my jeans. I used to think my healthiest weight was one at the lower end of the healthy BMI range, and I used to think my healthiest weight meant one where I woke up and could feel my hip bones popping out ever-so-slightly.

Most importantly, I used to think that my healthiest weight was defined by a number: 135-140.

While I still like to use the scale to keep myself motivated and check in every once in a while (when I feel my pants getting tighter, I weigh myself), I now place more importance on the way I feel as a person than the number on the scale or how flat my stomach is.

I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life – with my career, my love life, my family, and my body – and I am not at my lowest weight (my lowest weight was in college at about 128, totally too thin for my 5’8″ curvy frame.) I enjoy birthday cake without stress, and I have that extra glass of wine “just because.”

Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

Not only am I the happiest in those aspects of my life, I’m the happiest with my physical aptitude. I can crush a 45 minute spin class with ease, I can do burpees without dry heaving, I can curl 15 pound weights for up to 15 reps, I can do 100 squats without batting an eyelash, and I can run at least 3 miles without giving up.

Now, I realize: I don’t need to be my thinnest to be at my happiest. And happiness is more important than anything else. If you weigh your “dream weight” and you’re not happy with your life, what’s the point of reaching that number on the scale? What does it mean?

As I sit here at my parents’ place in Florida, getting ready to slip into my bikini and head to the beach, I’m finally, at almost 29 years old, okay with the fact that I have a little jiggle, because you know what? I couldn’t be happier!

My point is this, my friends: care more about your happy levels as a whole and less about reaching this sometimes unobtainable goal weight and I promise you, you’ll feel like a weight (no pun intended) has been lifted off your shoulders and you can finally breath and enjoy the things in life that matter most: spending time with those you love and enjoying what life throws your way.

Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 10 points

*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.

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5.0 from 5 reviews
Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, Blade D, noodles trimmed
  • chopped parsley, to garnish
  1. Heat half the oil in a medium saucepot over medium high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables soften and onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add in the tomatoes and season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir again. Add the lentils, stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a medium simmer (over medium-low heat) and cook for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more broth if the sauce dries out as the lentils are still cooking.
  3. While lentil Bolognese cooks, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the remaining oil. Once heated, add in the sweet potato noodles, season with salt and pepper and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente or to your preference. Divide into bowls and tent with foil or similar to keep warm while the lentils finish cooking.
  4. When lentil Bolognese is done, taste and adjust with more salt, if needed. Divide the Bolognese over the sweet potato noodles and garnish with parsley.


Chunky Lentil Bolognese with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes

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  1. What is Blade D?

  2. I’m really enjoying these vegan recipes. I always thought of vegan meals as mostly tofu, soy milk, and raw vegetables (I’ll admit my ignorance.). But I could happily live on recipes like this month’s. Thanks for the eye-opener. I’ll definitely try these March meals.

  3. Welcome to Florida…I live in West Palm Beach!

  4. If you are looking for a vegan restaurant while in Florida….my favorite is Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens.

  5. I’ve never understood why women even think that we’re not supposed to be jiggly. We’re not men after all. Thank you for another great recipe. You are an inspiration.

  6. Bay leaves and broth is left off of the instructions.

  7. I absolutely love this, Ali. I know I’m only 20, but I still struggle with learning that your weight should NOT define your happiness – we have so much more to offer than that. Glad to hear you’ve found your sweet spot! Still working my way there. Also, the recipe is perfect and pulses are amazing!

  8. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I love this post! Thank you for sharing this valuable information about “healthiest” weight. I’ve been disappointed that my weight hasn’t been going down lately even though I’ve been eating healthier and increasing the intensity of my workouts, but overall I FEEL better and I know my body fat % is going down, which is way more important than a number on the scale.

  9. I love this post, thank you for sharing your experiences and I totally agree with what you’re saying about your healthiest weight. This is something I’m struggling with myself. I became really ill while trying to be too light for my body as an international lightweight rower. I’ve recently finished doing sport at an elite level and I’m still adapting to what my body feels like doing less exercise and eating more. I’ve put on weight around my stomach, back and hips and I was feeling really fat, reading what others have wrote about their jiggle has made me feel better about myself and the changes my body is going through. Thank you!

  10. LOVE this!! I respect you for sharing and love every word, =it really resonates with me. I’m so happy for you and love how empowered you feel, and that you OWN it! It definitely sets the right tone and allows us to know that we can be happy with ourselves and love our bodies and souls without feeling ashamed! (And I don’t mean this just for women)

    And side note, you and your lovely little Inspiralizer have drastically changed my life and my outlook on health. I may have mentioned it before, but after my wedding/honeymoon I gained 20lbs and, despite sweating my bum off at Exhale for 6 workouts a week, I never saw my body lose the extra weight. Fast forward to beginning to spiralize about a year ago, plus some smarter lifestyle changes/workouts, and I’ve lost it all – I’m actually in better shape than I was at my own wedding, haha!

    Anyway, thank you again. You’re amazing!

  11. LOVE this post!!! I’ve been on the same journey – trying to find acceptance, rather than that size two. I’ve never been healthier, more active and more grounded than I am when I am eating healthy and following my workout routine. Am I as small as I was in college? Nope, but then again that is no longer the goal. Thanks for this – definitely coming back to it, if I need motivation. Oh, and I love pulses as well!!

    xo Annie

  12. Just enjoyed this with the hubby, and it’s definitely another inspiralized hit. The bolongese made six good-size servings for us!

  13. Love the post; common sense. We were not made, in real life, to look like pencil-thin models– at least not most of us. Often this is NOT healthy. Thank you for spreading the word! I had to smile tho… “at almost 29″. Sigh. I am almost 47. Even as a Physical Therapist, always into fitness & sports, I am having to accept the change that time inevitably brings. It is not always easy, though. :) As you age, you will have to put this realistic, common-sense mentality into overdrive. I, personally, would be happy w/ just a “little jiggle” in a bikini…. after 6 kids & 46 years of what-life-has-thrown-at-me. BUT I AM SOOOO HAPPY; I am!! :) :) Thanks for the great recipes!

  14. SOOOO excited for this Vegan month! My husband and I are vegetarian, not vegan, but love to eat vegan when we can. Eating leftovers from last night for lunch as we speak and it is SO delicious. Excited for more March vegan recipes!

  15. Ahhhh Ali… If I could tell my 29 year old self something it would be that life is about relationships and helping each other through this life. You are wise beyond your years and are spreading a wonderful message. I hope you will always be in that sweet spot you are now. AT almost 57, I can say that middle age has been putting me to the test. Staying fit becomes harder because you can get injured so much easier now and heal so much slower… and the menopausal belly fat hit me about 4 years ago. Still working to get that off. Not because I want to look like I did before turning 50, but because it makes me less healthy. For me it is not the scale, but the waist circumference that I am measuring. Everything in its time. I love your blog and I have many of your recipes in my arsenal! Cooking for yourself… eating real, whole foods… not too much… mostly plants – Michael Pollan’s words have never been more meaningful. Happy Vegan March!

  16. I commented earlier, but I hadn’t made the dish yet, so couldn’t rate it. OH MY. I seriously think this is my new favorite food… meal, whatever. :) I keep scanning the ingredients to try to discover just why I love this so. And it is not just me; my ENTIRE family, down to the 4 yr old, LOVED this!! AMAZING: 6 stars+ This was only the second recipe I’ve tried of yours, as I’ve only owned the inspiralizer for a few months. (The first recipe was really good too!) I am now working my way thru your recipe section and finding some more! I am super excited to eat more veggies this way; thanks!

  17. I try to cook a vegan meal once or twice a week Just made this last night and it was excellent. Lots of flavor and textures I used a white sweet potato Very filling too We have leftovers. This will be a keeper Thanks!

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