On with the veggie fest! This cheesy mushroom lentil cottage pie is an old vegetarian favourite. Easy to make, healthy and tasty.
We aren’t vegetarians, but we do eat a lot of veggie food, both for our budget and our health. More recently, environmentalists have been extolling the virtues of a more plant based diet for the good of the planet, so we are increasing the number of vegetarian and vegan meals in our plan each week.
Lentils are full of protein and fibre, contain essential minerals and are one of your five a day. They also are virtually fat free and cheap to buy.
If you want a lower fat version of this recipe, use a spray such as Frylight instead of the butter and oil, and replace the cheddar with a half fat variety. Leave the butter out of the mashed potato too. A beaten egg added to the mash will give you the richness without the fat (and is an old Slimming World trick)
1 tbsp veg oil and 1 heaped tsp butter
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
250g red lentils
2 tbsp tomato puree
1.5 pints of veg stock (I used 2 stock cubes but you could make your own)
1 sachet bouquet garni
1tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 kg potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed with a little butter and milk
100g grated cheddar
Heat the oil and butter together gently and cook the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms until soft. Add the lentils, stock and tomato puree with the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on for around 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. Keep an eye on this mixture and add a little more stock if necessary.
When the lentils are soft, remove the bouquet garni sachet and season with salt, pepper and the Worcestershire sauce to taste. Put in a suitable oven proof container and top with the mash, then the cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 4, 180 degrees until browned on top.
This cheesy mushroom lentil cottage pie is delicious with some onion gravy and a green vegetable such as broccoli.
You can find more of my favourite frugal recipes here.