I love a good tomato sauce.
As a vegan, I love to make one-pot kind of meals, whether it’s a stew, casserole, sauce, or chili — that combines protein and vegetables and as much color as possible. This sauce is an easy way to do that. The best part about this recipe is that you can follow it from start to finish, or you can do it halfway. I’ve taken jarred sauce and added vegetables and TVP to it, or vegan beef crumbles that I had leftover in my freezer. This is a good way to use up any vegetables that you might have left over. I personally think almost anything tastes good in tomato sauce, except for eggs (ew).
Sometimes I will top this sauce with shredded mozzarella and make it into a fake baked-ziti. It is simply delicious, and filling.
2 cups of dried Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) or Texturized Soy Protein (TSP) ( I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 vegetarian beef bouillon cube (I use Edward and Sons)
2 cans of crushed tomatoes (I use San Marzano)
2 cans tomato paste
6 gloves garlic, chopped (I adore garlic, if you’re a 2-clove kind of person, I understand)
1 sweet onion, either Vidalia or Spanish, chopped
3 small green zucchini, cut into small cubes
2 peppers, whatever color you prefer (I usually do one red because of the sweetness, one orange in the fall)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 packs of mushrooms, sliced
About 1/4 – 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
5 fresh Basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
2 tbs dry parsley
1 tbs red pepper flakes
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1) Prepare the TVP by adding two cups of hot water to the dried TVP flakes. In one of the cups of hot water, dissolve bouillon cube. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
2) Over low heat, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot. Add chopped garlic and cook until garlic is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes.
3) Add the onions and stir together with garlic until onions begin to get translucent.
4) Add the rest of the vegetables except for the mushrooms. Stir and increase the height to medium. Cover pot and allow the vegetables to soften for about 10-15 minutes.
5) Add the TVP/TSP and stir together with the vegetables.
6) Add the two cans of crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste. If sauce is too thick, add a small amount of hot water to the empty tomato paste can and add it to the sauce.
7) Stir in mushrooms and basil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
Like most sauces, this is generally better the next day, but I love to make a pot of this in the early afternoon and let it sit on the stove until dinner. Pair this with some Trader Joe’s meatballs and a nice green salad and you’ve got a delicious and healthy vegan dinner!