Well. It’s been ages. My life seems to have taken a bit of a U-turn lately, away from blogging. And I’ve really missed it, and all my blogging friends too. I take my hat off (respect 🙂 ) to everyone who keeps their blog ticking over, because I can see how easy it is to let it slip.
Even so. I’m still vegan….and I still think it’s the most important thing I do. Christmas is coming, and I shudder to think of all the animals that will be killed to ‘celebrate’ the event…. so I’ve been thinking up a few cruelty-free christmas dishes which will be coming soon…….
……and in the meantime, here’s my take on a winter-warming classic. Cottage/shepherd’s pie. Deliciously veganised.
My guess is everyone has some sort of recipe for this homely comforting dish: it’s versatile, adaptable to whatever you have in the veggie basket, and so easy to make vegan, gluten-free and very nutritious. Here I use lots of carrots, spiced with all those flavourings that carrots love: ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin. And, of course, a little bit of chilli. The carrots are grated and combined with sliced sautéed mushrooms, amongst other things, which all in all, gives this pie some lovely textures.
Incidentally, for the mashed potato topping, I have included my latest favourite ingredient: oat crème frâiche. I love it.
It’s now available in many UK supermarkets, and it gives the potato in this recipe a lovely, creamy, tang…. but you can always add non-dairy cream or milk instead.
Hope you enjoy.
VEGAN COTTAGE PIE
- 1.5 kg. floury potatoes
- 100ml. vegan crème frâiche (or non-dairy cream/milk)
- 2 tbs. vegan spread
- salt and pepper to taste
- approx. 450gms. carrots
- 1 large onion ( 200 gms?)
- 200gms. chestnut mushrooms
- 200gms. sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)
- 300 gms. pre-cooked beans such as kidney or pinto beans
- 400gms. tomato passata
- 4cm stick of fresh ginger
- 3-4 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 0.5 tsp. chilli powder
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 4-5 tbs. olive oil
- 1-2 tomatoes.
- Peel and wash the potatoes.
- Cut into reasonably sized chunks.
- In a saucepan of cold water, lightly salted, bring the potatoes to the boil on a high heat, and then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender.
- Drain well and then mash. Add creme frâiche (or non-dairy cream), combine, and season to taste.
- Set aside.
Meanwhile prepare the topping:
- Peel, wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
- Peel and finely slice the onion.
- Slice the mushrooms approx. 3-5ml. thick.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger.
- Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilli powder and salt together.
- Finely slice tomatoes for decoration.
- In a wide pan, on a high heat add 2 tbs. olive oil and sauté the sliced mushrooms for 5 mins. on each side. Add a little extra oil if needed.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a deep pan, on a medium high heat, add 2 tbs. olive oil.
- Sautè onions for 5 mins.
- Add crushed garlic and grated ginger, stir in and sauté for 1 min.
- Add spice/salt blend, stir in and sauté for 30 secs.
- Add grated carrot, stir to combine and sauté for 2 mins.
- Reduce heat a little, and add pre-cooked beans and sweetcorn and warm through for 2-3 mins.
- Add tomato passata and warm through for 3 mins. Stir regularly.
- Finally add the sautéed mushrooms. Stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.
- Transfer the carrot mix to a lightly-oiled baking dish. My dish is 32cm. x 25cm. x 5cm. You need quite a big dish.
- Spread the mix evenly in the dish.
- Spoon the mashed potato gently over the dish and spread evenly to cover the carrot mix.
- Lightly fork the potato so it goes nice and crispy in the oven.
- Decorate with sliced tomato, and drizzle with a dash of olive oil, and a few twists of ground black pepper.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven Gas Mk. 6 / 200C for 40-45 mins. until golden on top.
Serve immediately with steamed greens or something.