How Not to Die Cookbook: Whole Wheat Pasta with Lentil Bolognese [RECIPE]

Dear Dr. Greger,

I’m writing this open letter to you because for the past week I have cooked along with your latest cookbook, “How Not to Die Cookbook”, and we’ve been through some up’s and down’s. As a fan of your work I look forward to your daily email from nutritionfacts.org. I eagerly scan the email title first thing in the morning, and most of the time trash it because it deals with autism or mammograms… both of which I have no need for (yet). But still, I’m a fan. I’ve listened to your TED talks on Youtube and read (okay, skimmed) through “How Not to Die” and found some points very interesting and definitely worth sharing.

But I’m a foodie. A tried and true food junkie who loves to cook and experiment with new flavors. I was excited to try your plant-based recipes and I’m glad I did. But, Dr. Greger, we need to talk. First off, you had me at the mac and cheese recipe. That still is my all-time favorite mac and cheese recipe, period. It’s incredible. So thank you for that! But can we talk about the green smoothie? I’m still a little bit scarred. I love spinach just as much as the next gal, but I don’t think I need to drink it! >.<

Last night I made the whole wheat pasta with lentil bolognese. Now I get it…. it’s beans. Not meat. I didn’t expect it to blow my mind. But I had hoped that it would cover up the whole wheat pasta that, (and let’s be honest here), tastes a little bit more funky than normal white pasta. No such luck. And how come you put crushed nuts on top of your pasta? Okay, so you don’t like cheese. I get that. I can jive with the no-cheese thing… but nuts? That makes me cringe a little. But I tried it and… it was odd. Maybe it’s my Italian side that is revolting and screaming, “No! What is this blasphemy of a pasta?!”. I know it’s healthy, but Dr. Greger there has to be a line here somewhere, where flavor and health come together.

Okay, so we add a few calories to make sure it tastes good. That should be okay, right? Now I’m used to Filipino-style Jollibee Spaghetti that is loaded with meat and cheese. It is sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, so I didn’t expect this to be anywhere in the same ballpark. I wanted to love this bolognese. I really did. I cooked my heart out to make this as tasty as possible. But…. I ended up saving what I could, dumping the sauce, and I’ll be turning this into vegan spaghetti pie.

It’s been a fun ride Dr. Greger. Thank you for the recipes. But I think… I’ll just need to move on, and keep on cooking โค

Sincerely,

The Noob Chef

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And mine….

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Whole Wheat Pasta with Lentil Bolognese

Courtesy of: Dr. Greger, “How Not to Die Cookbook”

Serves: 4

Ingredients:ย 

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup jarred tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon date sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned lentils
  • 8 ounces 100% whole-wheat spaghetti
  • Nutty Parm for garnish (basically 1/2 c. almonds and nutritional yeast blended together)

Instructions:ย 

  1. Pour the liquid from the jar of tomatoes into a large skillet over medium heat. Set the tomatoes aside for now. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes longer; then stir in the tomato paste, miso, nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and date sugar.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of water, then add the tomatoes and lentil, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add more water if need be. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. In a large pot cook the spaghetti in boiling water until al dente,
  5. To serve, top the pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with Nutty Parm. Serve hot.

 

 

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