Meatless Monday has become a popular and trendy thing of late. Jay and I go “meatless” quite often (I spent 10 years as a vegetarian and Jay isn’t so meat-dependant either), so I don’t usually make a point of setting aside a specific day of the week to cook vegetarian. But since so many others do, I thought I would share a great imitation-meat recipe for those of you who want to reduce the meat in your diet without feeling like you’re denying yourself of meaty goodness.
The secret to this recipe, in my opinion, is the delectable white truffle oil that makes the recipe so mushroomy. Truffle oil is a really strong flavour, and you either love it or hate it. If you’re one of the haters, you can easily leave it out for an equally delicious, but slightly less rich “meat” sauce.
If you’ve never purchased truffle oil before, you’ll probably be taken aback by the high price tag for a very tiny bottle- a 55ml bottle can run you upwards of $20 in stores like Pusateri’s or McEwan. I have, on occasion, found bottles at a reduced price at Homesense, and even picked up a white truffle oil in a spritz bottle that helps make it go even further. The saying “a little dab will do ya” is definitely true for truffle oil, so an investment in a small bottle of this powerful stuff will go a long way.
This meatless sauce can be served any way you’d like- with spagetti, fettucine, rotini, tofu shirataki noodles, spaghetti squash, or on it’s own. This time I opted for spaghetti squash- if you’ve never tried it before, you should, and I promise you you’ll never look back. It’s a great substitute for those of us who reserve a bowl of pasta for rare occasions because of the high carbohydrate count. It’s also really simple to make- you can either microwave it or bake it, and when you buy it, it usually comes with a vegetable sticker on it that has cooking instructions.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can swap out ingredients to suit your personal tastes, and also what veggies you have in the fridge. I came up with this recipe on my own, so I encourage you to play around with it to make your own variation of it!
Mushroom “Meat” Sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 4 large mushrooms, chopped
- 4 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 1 can (156ml) tomato paste
- 3 tsp chopped basil, fresh or frozen
- 2 tsp chopped parsley, fresh or frozen
- 1-3 tbsp of water, if desired
- 1 package Yves original veggie ground round
- salt and pepper to taste
- truffle oil to taste (I really like it, so I used about 1 ½ tsp.)
- shaved parmesan to garnish
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add in chopped onion, and cook until translucent. Then add in mushrooms, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add in diced tomatoes, and reduce temperature to a medium-low heat. Let mixture cook until tomatoes become slightly wilted.
- Add in red wine, reduce heat further, and let simmer 5-7 minutes covered.
- Add in can of tomato paste, and stir to coat with paste. Throw in basil and parsley, as well as salt and pepper, then cover and let simmer for another 5 or so minutes. If sauce is looking too thick for your liking, add in water (or additional wine), 1 tbsp at a time, and stir.
- Add in package of veggie ground round, and break up so it becomes crumbled. Stir throughout, and cover again for about 5 minutes.
- Add in desired amount of truffle oil (taste it before adding more, it can be really strong!), and stir throughout. You can reduce heat to minimum and let it sit, covered, a little longer if desired.
- Serve over pasta/squash etc, and garnish with shaved or grated parmesan.
Nutritional Information for about 1/5 of recipe, not including parmesan garnish (calculated using My Fitness Pal):