Sunday, 8 March 2015

Friday night comfort food

I've been more than a little under the weather in the past couple of weeks. And it has had an effect on my appetite. It's hard to eat, let alone summon the enthusiasm to cook, when you can neither smell or taste anything.

Well I'm feeling a lot better now, but after a hard week at work, it was time for some well deserved comfort food. I have been experimenting with various lentil cottage pie recipes recently to come up with one that my husband really likes and makes him feel like he is not missing meat. We've had similar experiments with other recipes, where I have started to swap quorn for pulses. There was a tin of green lentils lurking in the cupboard and the vegetables needed using up before they became fit for nothing else but soup. So here it is

1tbsp of olive oil
175 grams of carrots, topped and tailed and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml of red wine
2 teaspoons of vegetable boullion (I use Marigold)
1 can of green lentils (mine was 400g), drained

900grams of sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
25grams of unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

50grams of strong cheddar

Start by heating the oil in a pan, then add the onions and cook until golden. Add the carrots, celery, thyme and oregano, cover with a lid and cook gently until softened. Add the wine, tomatoes and vegetable boullion and cook on a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

Then add the lentils and cook for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Season to taste.

Whilst the lentil mixture is cooking, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Boil for 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain well and mash with the butter and seasoning.

Place the lentil mixture in an ovenproof dish and top with the sweet potato mash and cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or 40 minutes from chilled if you have made in advance. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving, this will allow the pie to firm up and make it easier to portion out.

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