“I want to eat spaghetti bolognaise, and not feel bad about it for days and days and days”

perfect camping food

They’re Lily Allen’s words – but I know what she means.

I find if I eat spaghetti bolognaise, I enjoy it because it’s hearty, tasty, filling and very much a comfort-food. But it leaves me feeling like I’ve eaten a cow, and that if I make a habit of eating it, I will look like a cow.

This is how I resolved the dilemma. It’s hearty and tasty and filling and all of those good things. And it leaves you feeling nourished in the body-saying-thank-you way. No food coma.

Not-yo-Mama’s bolognaise (serves 4, or 3 very hungry people)


  • Olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced carrot
  • ~200g sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 400g tin lentils, drained and liquid reserved
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (drink the rest with dinner)
  • 1tsp beef-flavoured stock (or one cube, crumbled)
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2tsp dried sage
  • 1/2tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and pieces of stalk
  • 2 cups fresh English or baby spinach – chopped, or 2 cubes (~60g) defrosted frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup nutritional/savoury yeast flakes
  • Salt and cracked pepper


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan and saute onion, carrot and mushrooms until mushrooms are golden.
  2. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add lentils. If you’re in a hurry don’t add the canning liquid, but if you have a spare 15 minutes to let it simmer, add the liquid.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, wine, stock, tomato paste, and herbs.
  5. If you added the extra liquid, simmer stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened – about 10-15 minutes.
  6. If you didn’t add the extra liquid, the sauce will reduce very quickly. So add the broccoli and cover for a minute, then add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  7. Add nooch, season generously and serve.

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