Marinara: Hungry, Frugal, & Vegan

Lentils are one of my favorite protein sources!  They are a cheap and effective solutions for vegans that want whole foods.  Does it give me gas? No because I take digestive enzymes!


As you can tell from my ingredients, I’m on a budget.  I live in LA so I sacrificed comfort for living in a vibrant city. Now I’m trying to be moderately attractive for LA which is like hot everywhere else so this goal requires a strict diet that goes immediately out the window on the weekends.


I wish I had fresh garlic on hand but life happens and I forgot to buy some.  I SHOULD use red wine for a red sauce. I fucking know but I don’t drink red wine so I will not buy red wine for a sauce and I REFUSE to purchase cooking wine.  I want to drink it.


I’m using frozen spinach because I have it and if you give me shit about using canned sauce you can go ahead and Venmo $300 if you want me to upgrade my grocery list.  You’re fucking welcome.


I am lazy so I soaked my lentils overnight so that the cooking time is 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes. The lentils are already soft by the time it goes into the boiled water.  I added my frozen spinach and tablespoon of Knorr’s Seasoning sauce. Once all the spinach is heated up then I added the a half cup of Chardonnay, I suggest a dry wine if you have it.


Then I added 1.5 teaspoons of brown sugar to balance out the acid in the tomato sauce.  An Italian woman said if you use sugar in red sauce and salt when boiling pasta, then you husband will be very happy.  I don’t have a husband but that’s not her problem


Then I added the rest: two tablespoons of dried basil (use less if it’s fresh), teaspoon of Chef Paul Salt Free Seasoning, and two tablespoon of powdered garlic. I slowly stir in the tomato sauce.  Then I stir it all in for about 10 more minutes. Then let it cool.


Then I spiral my zoodles and serve it up.


I do not claim to be Italian or a chef.  I make food and then I eat it.  Comment below what childhood food you want to vegan-ize. 


  • ½ a cup of lentils
  • 16 oz of tomato sauce (I used canned)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar
  • two tablespoons of dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Chef Paul Salt Free Seasoning,
  • ½ a cup frozen spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of Knorr’s Seasoning sauce
  • ½ cup of wine (Merlot is better but I used Chardonnay)
  • 2 zucchini
  • Serves 4



It might look like vomit but it’s delicious vomit and yes I’ll work on a my food styling eventually.

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