First I chopped up all my vegetables. For the base of any sauce I also chopped up carrots, celery and onions also known as Mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah) which is basically for flavor and aromatics. I also chopped up zucchini into bit size pieces because I really like zucchini and thought it would be good for texture.
Don't forget the garlic and mushrooms!! Garlic and onions together are usually the basic addition to cooking any type of ground meat, meatball, burger, etc. so I thought it would be good here as well. And mushrooms in spaghetti is just delish period! =)
After all my veggies were chopped I sauteed them in a big pot with olive oil stirring occasionally so that all the vegetables cook evenly and so that the garlic doesn't burn.
Meanwhile I was boiling some water to cook my pasta. For this I chose a brown rice pasta. Brown rice is a whole grain which makes it better than using pasta made with bleached, white flour. Many food labels list the ingredients from the highest quantity to the lowest. Also, the less number of ingredients the better because it means that it has less preservatives and more natural product. The label for this pasta was "Organic Brown Rice and Water."
After your veggies are all equally cooked through you can start adding your sauce. I sometimes make sauce from scratch but since I had a jar on hand I used a ready-made marinara sauce from Trader Joe's.
The awesome thing about Trader Joe's is that most of their products are labeled with "vegan, gluten-free, quick meal, etc." so this jar was labeled with a V for "vegan"
I added the sauce plus a can of tomato sauce and a little bit of water so it wasn't too thick. I also added some dry Italian herbs and a little salt and pepper.
And don't forget the "ground beef" (if you want it, you don't have to add it but I thought it would be heartier and that perhaps my family would find it more appetizing lol!)
The original package looks like this:
Once everything is in the pot stir it until it is mixed through and simmer for 5-10 minutes to get all the flavors to "mesh" =)
Then once your pasta is cooked and drained, top it with the sauce and ENJOY!
The one great thing about making a meal like spaghetti is that if you're the only one eating it (which usually I am because nobody else is vegan) then you can save the sauce and you have dinner for the rest of the week! Just cook a single serving of pasta to order! =)
All my ingredients for this recipe were from Trader Joe's but I'm sure you can find alternatives at any grocery store.