Whole30 Day 6 Dinner: I typically cook vegetarian multiple times in a week. Usually I have one tofu and one legume dish in rotation and at least one vegetarian Italian or Indian inspired dinner on my menu. Whether it be Crunchy Tofu Tacos, Tofu Veggie Stir Fry, Chickpea Potato Curry, Lentil Chili, or Red Beans and Rice, I mix up a lot of soy/legume main dishes along with our usual ground turkey, chicken thigh, or occasional beef dinners. After committing to Whole30 however, suddenly half my typical dinner rotation is now off limits. This past week I’ve either eaten animal protein or eggs at every meal. I just never realized until now how difficult it would be to cook vegetarian without using beans or tofu. Enter the oh so majestically meaty mushroom.
Fortunately I had a surplus of fresh tomato sauce sitting in my fridge from my last canning session, and so I quickly sauteed a bit of fennel seeds and mushrooms in EVOO before adding in my sauce to simmer. I let the liquid nearly completely evaporate out of the tomatoes to add depth of flavor (which I normally rely on Amy’s red wine for that) and then added back in about a 1/2 cup of water to loosen the Mushroom Bolognese back up a bit. To make this dish super care free and quick, just add your favorite jar of (sugar free) tomato sauce to the sauteed mushrooms. I’d say the pine nuts are optional, but they add a really nice sweet note to the sauce that I personally wouldn’t recommend skipping.
Spiralized Zucchini in Mushroom Bolognese with Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Zucchini, trimmed and spiralized
3 cups Tomato Sauce, or 1 jar sauce of choice
1/2 cup Button Mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1/4 tsp Fennel Seed
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
1 tsp EVOO
Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a small Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the EVOO over med low flame. Toast the Fennel seeds about 1 minute. Add in the mushrooms and saute until just cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add in about 3 cups of homemade tomato sauce and simmer 30-40 minutes until most of the liquid in the sauce has evaporated. Add back in 1/2 cup water and stir until well blended. Finish with a drizzle of EVOO and Red Pepper flakes, if desired. Serve immediately with Spiralized Zucchini and Toasted Pine Nuts.
Alternately, add in a jar of your favorite sauce to the sauteed mushrooms and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately with Spiralized Zucchini and Toasted Pine Nuts.