Vegan Cottage Pie

I’m not sure if its just me, but cottage pie has always been a source of comfort food. The mixture of mince and veges, with creamy mashed potatoes topped with the all important melted cheese just screams cosy winter nights snuggled up by the heater. After a blustery, rainy day filled with thunderstorms, hail and other completely non-spring appropriate weather I had a craving for comfort food. So I took on the challenge and re-created a comfort classic. My vegan version of cottage pie features five different vegetables and I often add more for sides. It contains nothing nasty or harmful to our bodies and I think still tastes delicious.

I received some recipe inspiration from Jamie Oliver and Bite NZ, and you can find their respective recipes here and here. There is plenty of variation in the types of vegetables and legumes which you can add for a health kick. I’ve used frozen vegetables like peas and corn before with equally great results. So use up what ever is left floating around the fridge and enjoy!

Ingredients:
750g-1kg of Root Vegetables, diced (I used Pumpkin and Sweet Potato)
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 Large Carrots, diced
2 Green capsicums, diced
3 Large Silverbeet (Chard) Leaves, sliced
400g Crushed Tomatoes
2 x 400g Tins of Brown Lentils, drained (Chickpeas also work fine)
Salt, Pepper and your favourite herbs for seasoning

Method:
First, place your diced vegetables into a pot and boil until soft. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Second, while your vegetables are boiling, heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat, add the onion and sauté until soft.
Third, once the onion is clear add the remaining vegetables and sauté until they start to soften. Then add the lentils and tomatoes.
Fourth, allow the ingredients to simmer for around 5 minutes, you may need to reduce to a low heat. Once they look ‘combined’ take off the heat and pour the mixutre into the bottom of a casserole, or oven-proof dish.
Fifth, drain your mashed root vegetables and mash until creamy, then spread the mash over the top of the lentil mixture, ensuring it is evenly spread.
Sixth, place the dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees. Once the top looks slightly crunchy and golden, your cottage pie is done!

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