Vegan spaghetti bolognese |

Plant based or animal protein

A while ago I attended a dinner where there were a lot of speakers that discussed the topic of animal protein versus plant based protein. The problem with animal protein is that we use too much of it. More than the planet can endure. All the cattle ranches and feedlots or whatever they are called are putting an enormous strain on the environment, on animals and eventually it will also put a strain on humans. The organisor of the event didn’t say we should all go vegan (as that would have different problems all together) but that we should increase the amount of plant based protein versus the amount of animal. In the Netherlands 60% of our protein comes from animal sources. We have to get back to a more healthy ratio of 50/50 to begin with. That alone would make a huge difference.

Vegan spaghetti bolognese |

Just one day a week

So if we all would eat vegan one day in the week (extra) that would be all that is needed. Not too bad right? Take for instance this – very simple – vegan spaghetti bolognese. I substituted the meat for mushrooms and lentils. The spaghetti itself is gluten free and made from red lentils as well, but feel free to use any spaghetti you like of course. (as long as it doesn’t use eggs)

You won’t miss the meat at all! The mushrooms give it that special kind of “meatiness” and the lentils provide you with some protein. Do be aware that the bio availability of plant based protein is different and so you should – ideally – combine various protein sources. The amount our bodies are able to absorb increases when you combine for instance grains with legumes. Or vegetables with grains, etc.

Do you eat animal protein every day or are there days you skip and go for plant based?

Vegan spaghetti bolognese |
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Vegan spaghetti bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 200 gr mixed mushroom sliced
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 can of tomato cubes
  • 1 small tin of lentils
  • 150 gr lentil spaghetti
  • handfull of pine nuts roasted
  • fresh parsley to serve
  • olive oil for baking


  • Prepare the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
  • Place a large fryingpan on medium heat and put some olive oil in. Bake the onion until soft. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and bake until done.
  • Add the tomato paste, the herbs and the tomato cubes and bake this along with the rest. Add the tin of lentils and heat it through.
  • Serve the spaghetti with the pine nuts and the fresh parsley
Author: Simone van den Berg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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