This vegan cottage pie is packed full of veggies. Green lentils replace the traditional mince, providing texture and protein. This one has a number of steps so grab yourself a kitchen helper to speed things up or put the radio on and enjoy immersing yourself in kitchen activity.
If you are making everything from scratch then this does have a number of steps. You are needing to prep gravy, mash, lentils and veggie filling. There are a few shortcuts you can take here if you are wanting to reduce the prep time. Firstly you can buy packets or tins of pre-cooked lentils. Secondly, you could buy a pre-made or instant gravy. I would say it’s worth making your own gravy as you can get so much more flavour in there but you will definitely save time skipping this step. Finally, you could incorporate frozen veg to save on some of the vegetable prep time. Cauliflower florets and cubed celeriac can be found in the freezer aisle of most large supermarkets in the UK. You can also sometimes get a mix of pre-prepped carrot, onion and celery (sometimes labelled soffritto).
I will share my gravy recipe another time but it is based on THIS ONE, so if you don’t have a favourite gravy recipe give it a go (replacing the butter with a vegan alternative if you are vegan). This will serve 6 - 8 depending on the size of your appetite!
Cover lentils with 4 x volume of water and cook on hob for 20 – 25 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse.
Meanwhile prepare gravy as per instructions.
Once gravy is simmering (or if you have a helper get them on this straight away) prep veggies for filling and mash.
For the mash boil the potatoes and the celeriac for approx. 20 minutes until tender (this will depend on how big the pieces of vegetable are). Add the cauliflower for the last 6 – 7 minutes. Once the veg is soft drain and mash with about 1 tbsp oil and the mustard. If the mash is a little dry then you could add a tablespoon of your preferred milk.
Whilst the vegetables for the mash are boiling you can make a start on the veggies. For the veg mix gently fry the onion and garlic in a little oil for 2 – 3 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the rest of the veg (I use frozen peas and sweetcorn and tend not to add these until the end). Continue to cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until veg are cooked through but retain some bite. Add the peas and sweetcorn and take off the heat.
Heat oven to 200C.
In a separate frying pan gently fry the sliced leek in a little oil. Once the leek is soft, take off the heat and stir into the mash with the cabbage.
Mix the gravy with the veggie mix and the lentils. Season to taste and place in a large ovenproof dish. Top with mash and cook for further 15 – 20 mins until the top of the pie is browned.
I’ve shared my favourite veg mix but you can adapt this. I generally use what I have to hand and what is in season.
If you’re a meat eater that is looking to include more vegetables in your diet you can either make this as described for a meat free dish or you can mix half minced beef and half lentil mix.
I'm Kim Adams, founder of SAVI Nutrition. A Registered Nutritional Therapist who is passionate about healthy, tasty food. Here I share with you my thoughts on food and health alongside a few of my favourite recipes.