Zoodles and Lentil-Marinara Sauce

Don’t be afraid of how many ingredients are in this dish, its a one-pot meal that’s full of veggies, protein and is super low in fat. I got the inspiration for this recipe from a recipe on Mastering Diabetes, but have played with it for a while to get it tasting just right. I’ve tweaked it with different veggies, flavors and spices. If there’s something you think it needs, give it a try!

I also think it’s important to note that if you don’t have one of the items (i.e. a spice used, fresh tomatoes, etc.) it’s no big deal, just skip it! All of the recipes I create are easily adjusted and leave room for you to play with them yourself. I’m someone who always manages to forget an ingredient at the grocery store so don’t panic if you’ve done the same.

On another note, I always use a tiny bit of white table sugar in tomato sauces. This helps to cut the acidity of tomatoes. But, if this is not something you want to use, you can uses coconut palm sugar for an alternative or skip it all together. it’s still taste great! I also have noticed when cooking tomatoes they often need a bit more salt than other foods so feel free to add a little extra. I love using Celtic sea salt for the high mineral content.

INGREDIENTS:

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 cup of white mushrooms, sliced

1-5 oz. package of spinach

1 cup of Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped

1 cup of red lentils

1 cup of marinara sauce (any brand/jar will do)

3 c. water

1 T. sugar

1/2 t. red pepper flakes

1 T. Italian seasonings (dried spice blend)

1 t. Celtic sea salt (more if needed)

2 Packages of zucchini noodles or 6 zucchini, spiralized

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot add a splash of olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until translucent over low to medium heat. Add in the bell peppers and broccoli, saute for 5 more minutes. Ddd mushrooms, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir and allow it to saute for another three minutes.

Meanwhile, measure one cup of red lentils and place them in a strainer. Run water over the lentils until the water runs clear. The lentils have a film on them and if not rinsed off, they often don’t cook correctly (kind of like quinoa!). Add lentils to the pot along with sugar, marinara sauce and water. Bring all ingredients to a boil and then to a gentle simmer. Place the pot’s lid on leaving a small crack for air to escape. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30-40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes or so.

When almost done cooking (about 10 minutes left), add the basil and spinach to the pot. Cook for another 5-10 minutes and then turn off the heat and remove the lid to cool the sauce.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and add the zucchini noodles. Cook for 3-4 minutes then strain. Plate the zucchini noodles and cover with a hefty helping of the tomato sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!