One-Pot Oil-Free Vegan Lentil Quinoa "Meaty" Sauce

I was inspired to create this recipe by someone in our FREE "Going Vegan For Health" Facebook Group who posted a recipe just like this. Except that it required 2 large pots and a blender, many more ingredients, sauteing and cooking different ingredients at different times and it included oil. I love that it kicks up the nutrition of a basic tomato sauce by adding protein and fiber from the quinoa and the lentils with just the right amount of texture. While the person who posted the recipe said it was delicious, I'm a one-pot kind of vegan. I want to dispel the myth that cooking good vegan food requires standing there cooking all day. So, herewith, is the one-pot busy vegan's version (without any oil).

Buon appetito!

Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner

Ingredients*

1 small onion

4 cloves garlic, minced or shredded

2-4 tbsp. vegetable broth, for sauteeing

2 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juice

4 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

1/4 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed

1 1/4 cups veggie broth

optional: 1/8 tsp. red pepper

optional: 1 cup fresh spinach, sliced thinly, added just before serving

*This makes a large batch of sauce that freezes beautifully.

How to cook it all in one-pot*

Step 1: In a large dutch oven or deep sauce pot, saute the onions and garlic on low heat in the few tablespoons of veggie broth until translucent. Add more veg broth 1 tablespoon at a time if veggies are sticking to the pot.

Step 2: Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and vinegar (leaving the salt for the end) and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. If you would like a smoother sauce texture, use an