#Vegan Las Vegas: Vegan Bolognese with The Wynn & Gardein

I’ve lived in Southern California for the last nine-or-so years, so it should come as little surprise to hear that I go to Las Vegas quite often– usually once a year.

en route to our last trip to Vegas, we got to see a few desert tornadoes.

en route to our last trip to Vegas, we got to see a few desert tornadoes.

Vegas, if you’ve never been, is awesome. And I don’t mean because of the parties. Not my scene. But pools and comfy beds and massages? Yes to all that.

And, it’s undoubtedly one of the best foodie cities in the entire country.

It’s hard to convince people that you’re a foodie when you’re a vegan or vegetarian (which I have been since I turned 16). I love flavors and unique dishes, I just don’t eat animals (or, at this time, dairy. Eggs on occasion). You can find the occasional delicious dish when you’re out and about, but good luck dining at a four-star joint and eating anything but salad. Or pizza. And no one wants to be the person who, while their friends are eating filet, is munching on a pizza. It’s kind of embarrassing, you know? It takes all the glamour out of the meal!

But REJOICE, FELLOW NON-MEAT-EATERS. We have an ally in Steve Wynn– hotelier and fellow vegan. He went vegan in 2010 and decreed that the restaurants in his namesake Vegas hotels (the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore Resort) have vegan options on the menu.

At SW Steakhouse at the Wynn, the menu includes vegan meatballs over a bed of creamy polenta. Like, totally yummy. But alas, it’s already the height of summer here, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted polenta in my tummy. It can get a little heavy, you know?

SW Steakhouse at the Wynn Las Vegas

SW Steakhouse at the Wynn Las Vegas. Photo from wynnlasvegas.com

So, instead, I made: Vegan Bolognese on Steamed Spaghetti Squash

This recipe makes enough sauce for four, but the spaghetti squash only serves two. For more people, either multiply the squash component, or use traditional pasta!

Ingredients:

  • Vegan Bolognese Ingredients1 28oz can of pureed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 tablespoons EVOO (as needed)
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
  • Garlic, crushed (to taste; yes, I used ALL of those cloves in mine)
  • 1/2 package Gardein Beefless Ground (Gardein is my favorite meatless brand, and also the preferred brand at the Wynn)
    Not Shown:
  • 1-2c de-glazing liquid (I wanted to use a red wine like Sangiovese, but didn’t have any, so I used veggie stock)
  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot (I used an enameled Dutch oven, do not cook tomatoes in bare cast iron), heat your EVOO over medium heat. Add your garlic and onions, salt, and cook until translucent.
  2.  Add in your beefless ground. I used 1/2 the package. Stir well, but cook until the ground stars to stick to the bottom of your pot.
  3. De-glaze with your liquid, and stir well, getting all the flavory bits off the bottom of the stock pot.
  4. Add in your tomatoes and salt again; cook, covered, for 10 minutes to soften them up a bit.
  5. Add in the full can of pureed tomatoes, stir, and cook on low-medium for as long as you want, stirring occasionally. The best thing about cooking meatless is that you don’t have to make sure the “ground” is cooked through to avoid food poisoning. You’re golden whenever you’re hungry!

For the spaghetti squash:

  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups water
  • Crock pot
  • Tin foil
  1. My friends were surprised when I told them you can cook a squash– any squash!– in a crock pot. Simply perforate your squash with a fork (like, 40 times), and lay it on two snakes of tin foil in your crock pot, like so:Spaghetti Squash Crock Pot
  2. Add two cups of water, cover, and then cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Once soft to the touch, remove from the crock pot and cut open, without any risk of losing fingers.Steamed spaghetti squash
  4. This method does leave the squash a bit watery, so if you want, flip the squash over in a colander and let the water drain out a bit. If you don’t care (like me), scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then rake a fork through the flesh of the squash to release the “strands.” IMG_7162
  5. Top with your vegan Bolognese, and you’re ready to eat!SW Steakhouse inspired Gardein Vegan Bolognese

The coolest thing about this meal is that it’s heavy and satisfying without being unhealthy. The squash is only, like, 30 calories a cup. And the bolognese, since it isn’t ground beef doesn’t make you want to fall asleep on the couch. Awesome!

How do you veganize your meals?

**I was not compensated in any way for this post: just a big fan of luxe vegan meals, Las Vegas, and the Wynn resorts!

And if you’re in the mood for an LV getaway, make sure to check out Vegas.com’s entire Las Vegas Hotels page for great deals & details on the spectacular offerings of each LV property!

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