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This Longevity-Supporting Vegan Pasta Dish Is Blue Zone Approved

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Harald Walker / Stocksy
December 22, 2021

Have you heard of the Blue Zones yet? If you haven't, they're—simply put—regions of the world where people live longer than the rest. Among other things, these areas often follow particular diets that focus on healthy whole foods. It's probably not a coincidence that two of the five Blue Zones identified by Dan Buettner are located along the Mediterranean and that the Mediterranean diet has been continuously identified as one of the best diets for health.

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Buettner has some particular favorite foods (which he shared on the mindbodygreen podcast), including sourdough, avocado, and bananas, but the one that he says you should eat a cup of daily? Beans, and generally legumes.

In a recent appearance on Instagram Live with Carleigh Bodrug (aka @plantyou), Buettner once again shared the power of legumes. After their chat, she was inspired to begin sharing a series of longevity-supporting dishes, starting with this recipe featuring one of our favorite plant-based proteins. This simple lentil Bolognese uses mushrooms and red lentils to get that "meaty" texture. A key shortcut: Make the mix and then add your favorite premade sauce.

20-Minute Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
  • ½ cup dry red lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups pasta sauce of choice
  • Top with vegan Parmesan

Method

  1. In a pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, and olive oil. Cook until softened, approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add the oregano, nutritional yeast, and salt, and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the cremini mushrooms and diced tomatoes, and allow to cook down for approximately 2 more minutes. Add the red lentils, broth, and tomato sauce at this point.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then simmer over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through.
Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.