Vegan Cottage Pies with Mixed Veg Mash
Although winter is just over in Australia, I know it's only just the beginnings of the cold season in other corners of the globe. This dish for me is an absolute winter favourite. It's comforting, it's warming and it's a dish that brings the whole family together on freezing cold nights - and a smile to many cold miserable faces.
This is my take on the classic Cottage Pie which is normally made with meat and white potato mash. Though my memories of the classic cottage pie are of it being delicious, I knew there was a way to make it vegan and much healthier (and more delicious). This version is packed with vitamins and protein, and meat nor the old white potato are nowhere to be seen! Perfect dinner for after a hard day at work or even post workout!
Serve this up with a homemade tomato sauce or just on it's own, this dish is one to make your insides warm and happy.
For the main filling
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp rice bran oil
2 sticks celery
1 tin tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp hot sauce/tabasco (i use Hunted & Gathered Hot Sauce as it is vegan, organic and delicious)
1 tsp balsamic (you can add a little extra of this!)
400g brown lentils (soaked overnight)/1 tin of lentils/400g bag of faux mince
salt & pepper to taste
For the mash
1/4 head cauliflower
1 sweet potato
1 small leek
1 clove garlic
small handful of sage
1 tbsp rice bran oil
splash soy milk/coconut cream
1 tsp maple syrup
salt & pepper
Firt thing we want to do is get our pie filling on the go. Cut up your onion and garlic and sauté in the rice bran oil. Add your finely chopped carrot, celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook mixture until vegetables are tender. Add in your tin of tomatoes, bay leaf, brown lentils or faux mince and your herbs. Leaf to simmer for 10 minutes until lentils are tender or faux mince is warmed through.
Add in your hot sauce and balsamic vinegar and stir through. Check your seasoning again and add more salt & pepper if required.
Next we can get onto the mash! Steam your sweet potato (skin on and all), parsnip and cauliflower. In a small fry pan, sautee your washed and chopped leek and a couple of sage leaves cut up sage leaves. Season with salt & pepper and allow to cook on a low heat until translucent in colour. Once leeks are translucent, add the leek and sage mixture into a blender with your cauliflower and parsnips. Put in a splash of milk and pulse until just mashed.
In a separate bowl add your sweet potato and mash by hand, add in your blender mixture and combine. Season with salt & pepper and an extra dash of milk if too dry. Add in a tsp of maple syrup and set aside.
Place your lentil/faux mince mixture into 5-6 small ramekins or one big pie dish. Top with your mash mixture and put a sprig of thyme in the top of each.
Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes on 180 degrees.