Ragu. Bolognese. Tomato, Tomahto. This quinoa dish is a hearty helping of perfection with a crunchy nut topping. Interestingly enough, this recipe started off as “Lentil Ragu and Parsnip Noodles.” Let me tell you how it came to be what you see today.
By the way, I’m totally happy that it played out this way.
It was a cold and stormy night. JUST kidding! First, I went into the pantry to grab a bag of lentils. The bag wasn’t there. Hmph. I lugged out my “dry goods crate” which is basically an unorganized messy container filled with my grains, nuts and legumes. Tons of wheat berries, farro, rice, almonds, and 6-month old crushed pine nuts.
Resigning to run downstairs to the market to replenish my lentils, I grumbled and pushed the crate back into its spot.
Then, my eyes caught the quinoa! Good ‘ole quinoa. My old vegan self smiled, and I grabbed the box. As I reached for it, a bag of almonds fell out and broke open everywhere. Thanks God, for the tip. From there, I decided it would be “Quinoa Bolognese with Parsnip Noodles and Toasted Crushed Almonds.”
I prepared my parsnip, which I got from the farmer’s market two weekends ago. Eh, I thought – it’ll be fine. Well, it wasn’t. I spiralized it and the noodles broke apart! What to do? My second choice was always sweet potatoes, so I quickly spiralized one.
So there ya go, that’s mah story!At the end of all of this, I’m thrilled that not only was I out of lentils, but that my parsnip wasn’t fresh enough to spiralize.
Happy Monday, everyone. May your weeks be full of unplanned successes! Life’s funny sometimes, ain’t it?
Quinoa Sweet Potato Noodle Bolognese with Toasted Crushed Almonds
- 3 tbsp dry quinoa
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp water
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup peeled and chopped carrot
- handful of almonds less than 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp oregano flakes
- pepper to taste
- 1.5 large sweet potato peeled, Blade C
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Place a small saucepan over high heat with the quinoa and water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until all water evaporates and quinoa is fluffy. Set aside in a bowl once done.
- As the quinoa is cooking, place your carrot and celery in a food processor and pulse until no large chunks remain. Set aside.
- Clean out the food processor and add in the almonds. Crush until chunky. Place a small skillet over medium heat and add in the crushed almonds. Cook for about 3 minutes or until almonds become fragrant. Set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and once it heats up, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the red pepper flakes, cook for 30 seconds, and then add in the celery-carrot mixture and red onions. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until vegetables soften.
- Add the diced tomatoes, season with oregano and salt and pepper. Crush tomatoes using the back of a fork or potato masher. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until sauce is mostly reduced. You want the sauce to be thick but still be juicy.
- As the sauce is cooking, add the sweet potato noodles to a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray the noodles with cooking spray and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss frequently until noodles have wilted and softened, about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the sauce is done, add in the cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add in the cooked sweet potato noodles and toss to combine.
- Plate the noodles into the bowls and top each with even amounts of toasted crushed almonds. Enjoy!