24 February 2017

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese - Batch Cooking

Spaghetti bolognese is one of our favourite family meals. My mother-in-law Jean gave me this recipe over 20 years ago. This is the same basic recipe with a few tweaks and made in a big batch.

The original recipe used dried soya mince, but I use frozen veggie mince which I buy from my local supermarket. Dried soya mince was all you could buy in the early 90s and you could only buy it from a health shop. Yes, times have moved on thankfully.

This bolognese is super tasty and full of vegetables to help with your five-a-day. It's packed with onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms and has a rich flavour thanks to lots of red wine. The red wine gives it a wonderful depth of flavour, but don't worry the alcohol is burned off during cooking.

Batch cooking is a great way to serve up healthy and substantial meals midweek, when you arrive home late feeling tired and not in the mood to cook. Yes, I have those nights too. Way too often!

It doesn't take much longer to make a bigger portion than usual and it's really worth the effort. As well as bolognese fill up your freezer with batches of chilli, soup and stews.

I store my batch dishes in the clear, flat rectangular tubs Chinese takeaways often use. The ones that are microwave and freezer safe. They stack well in the freezer and they're not expensive. Your local supermarket will probably sell them.

Pick up some sticky labels too so you can mark the bottom of each container with the date and name of the dish. Believe me chilli and bolognese look very similar when frozen. I have learned this to my horror. Chilli is not good on spaghetti. Been there, done that (many years ago) and just about lived to tell the tale. It was so wrong! UGH!

I hope you will try my family bolognese! As you can see below, it is super healthy.

Nutritional Value

  • low in saturated fat
  • high in dietary fibre 
  • high in fibre
  • very high in vitamin A
  • very high in vitamin B6
  • very high in vitamin c


  • 10 individual servings = 174 calories 
  • 75g spaghetti = 118 calories
  • 1 tbsp grated vegan parmesan = 14 calories

Each serving of spaghetti with bolognese and parmesan = 306 calories

print recipe

Vegan Bolognese for Spaghetti
A rich bolognese sauce for pasta, filled with lots of veggies to help with your five-a-day and enriched with red wine. Make a big batch, eat some and freeze the rest for anther night or two. Serve over freshly cooked spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 300g mushrooms, chopped
  • 500g frozen vegetarian (or meat-free) mince
  • 1 large glass/250ml red wine
  • 500ml vegetable stock (3 stock cubes)
  • 4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 100g tomato puree
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper

1. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. 
2. Add the carrots and let them cook gently for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft then stir in the veggie mince. 
3. Pour in the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and wine. Stir well and cook gently for half an hour or so. 
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti and enjoy 
6. Once the remaining bolognese is cool, box it up, label it and pop it in the freezer.

Total time:

Yield: Makes 8-10 portions

Here are more vegan batch recipes for you to try

22 February 2017

The Ultimate Rolo Cheesecake

This isn't one for my vegan readers. I've not mastered a dairy-free cheesecake yet, but one of these days ........ 

This deep and luxurious no-bake cheesecake was made for my baking club. We meet every 4-6 weeks for chat, cake and a quiz. This time my good friend Stuart (you may know him as Cakeyboi) was in charge and the theme was celebration. It had to be something pretty special so I decided to make this deep no-bake cheesecake. 
A deep no-bake Rolo cheesecake topped with caramel, melted dark chocolate and Rolos. It's easy to make, but a really stunning cake for a party or celebration, but easy enough to make and serve after Sunday lunch or dinner.

The base of the cheesecake is crushed digestive biscuits (Graham crackers) mixed with melted butter and pressed into a deep loose-bottom cake tin, then popped in the fridge to chill. Next I made the cheesecake filling with cream cheese and whipped double cream flavoured with vanilla seeds. I topped the cheesecake with caramel and melted chocolate and finished it with Rolos. It's a very easy dessert to make but the final result and flavour is sensational.

My photo was a quick snap on my phone, so not to my usual standard, but hopefully it is good enough to encourage you to make this awesome dessert.

20 February 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (20 February 2017)

Happy Monday!

How are you? 

It's been sunny and warm here in Dundee today. Most unexpected for February and it's lighter earlier and dark later, so things are looking up. My leg is definitely improving too, so I'm feeling quite perky.

I'm just unpacking groceries from a late night delivery while I think about what to make this week. Well when I say I'm unpacking, at the moment I'm chatting to you and watching Graham unpacking. My first meal planned is dinner for tomorrow, as I've had a request for bolognaise, so spaghetti it is coated in a rich sauce packed with lots of veg.

To help you plan your week, scroll down for this week's Meat Free Monday recipes. A glorious selection as ever.

16 February 2017

Vegan Choc Chip Scotch Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

It's twelve days until Shrove Tuesday and I'm already excited. 

Yeah, yeah, I know I don't have to wait until Shrove Tuesday to make pancakes, but it's a good reminder of how awesome homemade pancakes are, not to mention how super easy they are to make.

We go crazy making pancakes in the run up to Shrove Tuesday, then I don't know, I suppose we scunner ourselves eating them so often, so we stop making them. I have to admit Cooper loves making them and it's a fun project to do together in the kitchen.  Of course chocolate is usually involved.

13 February 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (13 February 2017)

Happy Monday!

How are you? Have you had a good week?

I don't know where the last week went. It whizzed by. The weekend wasn't quite what I hoped for as my wee boy had a fever and was feeling poorly, but as usual with kids, it was over quickly and he's back to his usual energetic self. He was busy tonight with homework, but made time to write not one, but two Valentine Cards for girls in his class. How sweet is that? 

We've already discussed some of our meal plan for the week, Tonight we kept it simple with a toastie and lots of salad, tomorrow I'm making soup and on Wednesday I plan to make homemade mushroom burgers, but the rest of the week is wide open and it's always great to have more inspiration. Tra-la-la it's Meat Free Monday time!

11 February 2017

Simple Spaghetti with Olives

In November I travelled to Provence in Southern France to tour olive groves and visit olive oil producers (I know, how lucky am I?). Before my trip I was totally oblivious to French olives. I always assumed olives came from some of the hotter parts of Europe. Spain, Italy and Greece to name a few. 

French olives? Really?

Olivence is a co-operative of five of the best PDO producers of olive oil and olives in the region of Provence. These craft producers supply some of the finest olives and olive oils, some of which are still harvested by hand.
Simple Spaghetti with Olives plus a guide to buying and storing olive oil as well as a look at how olive oil is made in Provence, France. www.tinnedtomatoes.com