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Wholesome slow cooker bolognese on top of noodles in a white bowl.
September 15, 2023

Wholesome Slow Cooker Bolognese

Wholesome Slow Cooker Bolognese

There’s nothing quite like a hearty, homemade Slow Cooker Bolognese, especially when it’s bursting with nutritional goodness. Let’s dive into this delicious recipe, which not only tantalizes the taste buds but is also packed with health benefits.

Star Ingredients (And Their Benefits)

Tomatoes

Featured in our marinara sauce and tomato paste, these red jewels are packed with lycopene, a potent antioxidant. Lycopene fights free radicals that can damage skin cells, leading to premature aging. It also promotes gut health by acting as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.

Grass-fed Beef

This quality meat is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. Reducing inflammation can help combat acne and other skin issues. Moreover, grass-fed beef is rich in zinc, a mineral essential for skin development, inflammation control, and the production of hormones. So, if it’s within your budget, always opt for grass-fed beef to get the most bang for your nutritional buck.

Shiitake Mushrooms

These fungi are more than a tasty addition. Shiitakes are known to boost liver function, aiding in detoxification. A healthy liver is essential for hormonal balance and clear skin.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a fantastic Vitamin E source for skin health, healing, and anti-aging. Additionally, it supports liver detox processes and promotes good gut health.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This tangy addition aids digestion, promotes a balanced gut microbiome, and helps detoxify the liver. 

Wholesome slow cooker bolognese on top of noodles in a white bowl.

What to Serve It With

Gluten-free Pasta: Perfect for those looking for a traditional touch without the gluten. Gluten can sometimes be a culprit in skin issues for some individuals, so opting for gluten-free is a great choice. I love noodles made from organic brown rice, quinoa, cassava or chickpeas/lentils.

Zucchini Noodles: A low-carb, hydrating, and skin-friendly option. Zucchinis are packed with water and Vitamin C, aiding in moisturizing the skin and promoting collagen production. Use a spiralizer to turn zucchini into the perfect “zoodles” for this Slow Cooker Bolognese. See the instructions on how to cook them here.

Cauliflower Mash: This comforting accompaniment is a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes and benefits liver health. Cauliflower contains compounds that support liver detox processes. I love steaming the cauliflower and adding it to the blender with a splash of full-fat coconut milk, lemon, garlic, sea salt and a little vegan butter (I use Nuts for Cheese or Miyoko’s).

The Recipe Breakdown

Prepping the Veggies

Finely chop your onion, carrot, and celery. These form the aromatic base known as ‘mirepoix’ in cooking. These veggies and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms bring a depth of flavour and added nutritional boost to the dish. Shiitakes are known for their immune-boosting properties and high vitamin D content.

Sauté Time

In a pan, heat up that avocado oil, a healthier fat choice, and sauté your veggies until they are slightly golden and aromatic. This process helps in releasing the flavours and making them even more delicious. Once done, transfer them to your slow cooker.

Meaty Goodness

Using the same pan, add in your grass-fed beef. Brown it evenly, ensuring every bit is cooked through. Deglazing the pan with apple cider vinegar is a magical step. This process lifts all those yummy caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, intensifying the flavour of the Slow Cooker Bolognese. Once your beef is ready, toss it into the slow cooker as well.

Slow Cooking Magic

Add in that vibrant marinara sauce, rich tomato paste, aromatic minced garlic, and your assortment of seasonings. The slow cooking process allows the ingredients to meld together beautifully, resulting in a Bolognese sauce that’s rich, flavorful, and deeply satisfying.

Serving Suggestions

This versatile Slow Cooker Bolognese can be served over your favourite gluten-free pasta, zucchini noodles for a low-carb option, or even a creamy cauliflower mash for a comforting touch.

 

Wholesome slow cooker bolognese on top of noodles in a white bowl.

Wholesome Slow Cooker Bolognese

Servings: 6 servings
Author: Katie Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks finely chopped
  • 1 container shiitakes 113 g/4 oz, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 jar marinara sauce 860 ml/29.08 oz
  • 1 can tomato paste 156 ml/ 5.27 oz
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

To Serve:

  • Your choice of gluten-free pasta zucchini noodles, or cauliflower mash
  • Nutritional yeast for a cheesy parm-free option

Instructions

  • Prep Your Ingredients: Ensure all vegetables are finely chopped and shiitake mushrooms are thinly sliced.
  • Veggies First: In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and shiitakes. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and slightly golden, about 5-7 minutes. Once done, transfer them to your slow cooker.
  • Brown the Beef: In the same skillet, add the grass-fed ground beef. Cook, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it's browned and no pink remains.
  • Deglaze: Pour the apple cider vinegar into the skillet with the beef. Use your spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This will add an extra depth of flavour to your Bolognese.
  • Into the Slow Cooker: Transfer the beef and deglazed juices to the slow cooker with the veggies.
  • Add the Flavours: To the slow cooker, add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, minced garlic, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, sea salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir to combine all the ingredients well.
  • Slow Cook: Cover the slow cooker and set it to low. Let it cook for 5 hours, allowing all the flavours to meld beautifully.
  • Serve it Up: Once the Bolognese is ready, discard the bay leaves. Serve it hot over your preferred accompaniment - be it gluten-free pasta, zucchini noodles, or a comforting cauliflower mash.

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Before & Afters

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"