29 November 2010

No Meat Zone Recipes: Delicious Vegan Cottage Pie


Cottage Pie

This is a really hearty meal filled with lots of vegetable variety. I’m not sure why I made comfort food on a warm and beautiful day…but it just happened that way and it turned out to be tasty and surprisingly light. The dish comprises a few layers, there is the bean and tomato filling, the beetroot layer, the mashed potato layer and the vegan parmesan sprinkled on the top. If you wanted to make it a bit more rich, you could substitute beans with soya mince.


For the filling:

  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 onion
  • a clove of garlic
  • some dried oregano and basil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of veggie stock
  • half a cup of white wine
  • 3 medium carrots chopped
  • half a cup of fresh peas
  • a third of a cup of water
  • some olive oil

For the topping:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 3 beetroots
  • olive oil
For the vegan parmesan:
  • two large hanfuls of raw cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of veggie stock
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

For the filling:

Chop the onion finely, add to a pan with a generous amount of olive oil and fry on a low heat until soft. Chop the garlic finely, add it to the pan and allow it to saute for a couple of minutes. Chop the carrots finely, and add together with the peas, to the pan. Leave this mixture to saute for a few more minutes. Now add the beans, the tomato, the herbs, the water, the stock and the wine. Combine well and simmer on the stove for 30 -25 minutes.

For the topping:

Peel the potatoes, chop into chunks and boil in some water for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and mash the potatoes adding olive oil as you go until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.

Top and tail the beetroots and cut them in half, then add them to a pot of boiling water and allow them to cook for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and let them stand for a couple of minutes so they cool down. Peel the skin off of the beetroot and then grate. (You may want to wear gloves for this, beetroot leaves a pink stain on your hands!)

For the parmesan:

Combine the ingredients in your blender, I use the Blendtec, and pulse until it is chopped into little chunks which look a bit like parmesan, you may need to keep scooping the mixture off the side of the blender and placing it over the blades. (This parmesan recipe is awesome, if I do say so myself, and I prefer it to any store bought variety. Sometimes I substitute the veggie stock with some dried herbs which also works really well. I normally make some of this to sprinkle over pasta. You can make up a large amount and keep it in the fridge for a few days if you like.)

Now to assemble the dish, you place the filling in the bottom of a large oven dish, scoop over the grated beetoot, then the mashed potatoes which you can smooth down with a fork and then sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Place the dish in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with some chutney.

You can alter the quantities of the different elements of this dish, for example, less beetroot and more potato.

Happy eating.

Andrea Nicola | @ands_pav_nic
Andrea has been a vegan for around a year and a half after having been a vegetarian from the age of 10 years old. Andrea's main motivation for this choice of lifestyle is because she loves animals but she also recognizes the health benefits and the planet saving potential of this diet. You can also find Andrea at Vegan-a-licious.

Photo credit: Andrea Nicola