Super Veggie Cottage Pie
This is a delicious twist on a classic oven-baked comfort dish. It’s packed full of nutritional goodness from numerous tasty veggies, beans, quinoa and lentils, and contains no meat at all. I’ve served this to many a meat eater who didn’t miss, or even notice, the lack of meat at all! It may appearto be a lengthy list of ingredients but they are all wonderfully good for you, and the method is nice and simple, so don’t be put off.
Time taken 1½ hours / Serves 6
2 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed (canola) oil
1 large leek, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
100g/3½ oz chestnut mushrooms, diced
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian if necessary)
1 x 400g/14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
500ml/17 fl oz/2 cups vegetable stock
200ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup red wine (or extra stock of preferred)
150g/5½ oz dried green lentils
150g/5½ oz quinoa
1 x 400g/14 oz tin haricot or cannellini beans, drained
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
1.4kg/2 lb 4 oz mixed root vegetables (potatoes, parsnip and sweet potatoes – the quantity of each is up to you)
40g/1½ oz butter, plus extra for baking
3 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the leeks, carrot, celery, rosemary and bay leaf for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, chopped tomatoes, stock and wine. Bring to a simmer and stir in the lentils, quinoa and beans. Stir well and return to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut the root vegetables into chunks, removing the tough core from the parsnip and cutting the potatoes slightly smaller than the other vegetables (they usually take a little longer to cook than the others). Place in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 10–15 minutes until tender. Drain and mash with the butter and milk and season with salt and pepper.
Place the pie filling in an ovenproof dish or individual dishes, top with the mash and dot some extra butter on top. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and bubbling at the edges. If you are cooking from chilled, add a further 10 minutes to the cooking time.
Vegan/dairy-free: simply use a dairy-free butter and milk for the topping and make sure the Worcestershire sauce is vegan friendly.
Flavour swap: ring the changes and add a warmth of Moroccan spice to either the Super Veggie Cottage Pie or the classic lamb version. Omit the Worcestershire sauce and rosemary and replace with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 75g/2¾ oz raisins to the filling.
For more delicious and family-friendly recipes, buy the cookbook here.