Lentil and Vegetable Cottage Pie with Root Vegetable Mash

by Jemma on February 7, 2012

in Recipes

April actually marks a year since I subconsciously stopped eating meat without actually confirming this fact to myself.  It wasn’t until my trip to Florence in July when my dietry needs were really tested and I had to announce to a waiter that I don’t eat meat and ocassionally eat fish.

Right now I can’t see myself eating meat in the forseeable future.  However, I hate the restrictions of labels and will never admit that I may not eat meat in a few years time.  I don’t know.  I cannot see into the future and this point in time meat really isn’t floating my boat, but things change.  I’m currently enjoying feasting on lots of fresh produce, grains and pulses…perfect!

Nevertheless, there are many different meat based foods which I miss and have found alternatives for such as cottage pie, perfect for our current freezing climate in the UK.  A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my Lentil and Vegetable Cottage Pie with Root Vegetable Mash and since then many of you have asked for the recipe, so here it goes…

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Ingredients (vegetarian, makes 2 large or 4 small servings)

  • 1 medium sized onion diced

  • 1 clove of garlic minced

  • 2 carrots finely diced

  • 1 leak diced

  • 1/2 cup of chestnut mushrooms sliced

  • 3 cups of pre-soaked green lentils

  • vegetable stock

  • 2 tbsps of tomato paste

  • 400g of organic tinned tomatoes

  • 2 tsps of dried mixed herbs

  • salt and black pepper

  • 1 large sweede

  • 5 pasnips

  • soy milk
  • low fat spread or a non dairy alternative

  • canola oil

In a large pan boil the pre-soaked lentils in the vegetable stock.  Add ebough stock to cover the lentils as you can always add more later if needed.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.

In a casserole dish on a low heat warm through a little bit of canola oil (or your oil of choice) and add the onions, cooking until transluscent (5-6 mins).  Add the leek, carrots and mushroom and stir from time to time.  Once the vegetables are almost tender add the garlic, being mindful that it doesn’t burn.

Add the tomato paste and cook out for a few minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes.  Stir in the dried mixed herbs and green lentils and season to taste.  Place the lid on the casserole dish and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 15-20 minutes on a low heat until it has reduced, stir from time to time.

To make the root vegetable mash boil your swede and parsnips until cooked through.  Drain and place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.  I put them in my food processor to get a more smooth and creamier texture. Add in the soy milk and low fat spread until a light fluffy texture is produced. Season to taste.

Next pour the cottage pie filling into a baking dish and flatten down with the back of a spoon.  Add the root vegetable mash on top until the filling is completely covered.

Bake the pie for about 25 minutes at gas mark 6 or until the mash has turned golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

This was so comforting on a cold winter night  and makes perfect leftovers as it also stores wrapped in the fridge and freezes well too.

Have you switched to a meat free diet? If so what is the one favourite meat based dish that you have adapted to suit your new diet preferences?

What is your favourite winter comfort food?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bronagh February 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Yum, this looks like such a delicious winter warmer of a recipe, thanks for sharing :) I’m not strictly vegetarian either but I maybe only eat meat once a month (if that) and much prefer my veggies, grains and pulses at the moment. I love cooking up curries with beans and lentils, or mexican-inspired wraps and enchiladas with bean/squash filling. I reckon just about any meal can be adapted to be meat free and still delicious!

Marijke February 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I love the idea of using root vegetables for the mash in this dish! Even more ways to pack in your veggies!

I’m not a vegetarian but I would say I predominantly eat a vegetarian diet. I will eat meat maybe once a week, and cook it for my husband a few times a week. If I eat out in restaurants I nearly always choose the veggie option… it just sounds more appealing!

sarah(onedayiwillseethesun) February 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I eat mainly veggie based foods apart from fish especially salmon for its healthy fats. I don’t really miss any meat based dishes apaprt from maybe how versitile chicken can be in terms of marinating and high protein account. What is sometimes frustrating is how when eating in resturants its often very cheese based!

Maria February 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

That looks yummy, although I would swap parsnips out for sweet potato- parsnips are just one thing I just cannot eat.
I never liked meat so I don’t try to make meat replacement things- I never liked quorn when I have tried it (thought it would be easier for me and Andy to have that and eat the same thing), so I just have lots of pulses etc for protein (eg meat) replacement. I find lentils are the easiest to replace the meat- eg I had a fab moussakka recipe so I just replaced the meat with lentils- works just fine.

Sarah(everydaysapicnic) February 7, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I love this recipe – I make something similar sometimes.
I’ve had a similar experience where I’ve eaten less and less meat over the past 18 months or so. However, I haven’t given up meat completely and still enjoy it once a week or so. I really love otehr sources of protein like beans and pulses, eggs etc, and would choose those over meat 90% of the time.

transgustatory February 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Thanks for posting this recipe! I put a good deal of attention on eating seasonally-available foods, and this is perfect for this time of year!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM

It’s great for the cold winter weather.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Thanks! Beans and pulses make great substitutes for meat.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

I think sweet potato would work a treat.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I’ve noticed the cheese thing in restaurants too.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

I love my veggies so like to pack them in every which way I can.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 7, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Bean an squash filled enchiladas sounds divine! :D

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