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Embracing plant-based cuisine for Veganuary 2022? This scrumptious vegan cottage pie with leek and cauliflower topping might be meat-free, but it’s bursting with flavour and wholesome ingredients

by Charlotte van Praagh, 6th January 2022

Embracing plant-based cuisine for Veganuary 2022? This scrumptious vegan cottage pie with leek and cauliflower topping might be meat-free, but it’s bursting with flavour and wholesome ingredients

If you’re embarking on Veganuary this month and are looking for inspiration, this vegan twist on a classic cottage pie is just as comforting as its meaty counterpart, but is packed full of healthy, nutritious ingredients, including a whopping seven different vegetables!

The perfect winter warmer, this dish is super easy and quick to make so you can whip it up mid week and any leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of nights.

With tons of taste and flavour, thanks to the garlic, herbs and tamari (a Japanese wheat free alternative to soy), you won’t feel like you’re missing out on meat. And, once you’ve cooked the dish once or twice, you might find you want to experiment with different veg or add pulses or beans. 

What’s more, when February arrives you can easily substitute the vegan butter, oat milk and vegan cheese with dairy options to produce a yummy vegetarian version of the same dish. Or, you might find you love it so much as it is you’ll add it to your regular culinary repertoire. Happy eating!

Meat-free cottage pie with leek and cauliflower topping (serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil

2 carrots, finely diced 

1 red onion, finely diced

1 red pepper, finely chopped

350g mushrooms, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp tomato purée + 100ml water 

1 tsp tamari (substitute for soy sauce) or Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme 

Leek and cauliflower cheese topping:

1 small head cauliflower, divided into small florets

1 leek, diced

2 tbsp vegan butter

200ml oat milk

100g vegan grated cheese

1 heaped tbsp cornflour 

Salt and pepper to season

To garnish:

A sprinkling of fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves only

Method:

1. Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed frying pan and fry the diced carrots, red onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, get a pot of water on to boil and simmer the cauliflower and leeks for 5 minutes.

3. Once your carrots, mushrooms, pepper, onion and garlic have been frying for around 5 mins, add the tomato puree, water, dried herbs and Tamara (or Worcestershire sauce) and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Drain the cauliflower and leek, leaving them in the colander. 

5. To that pan, add the vegan butter, oat milk, vegan cheese and cornflour and mix well over a low heat to create your ‘cheese’ sauce. Then add the cauliflower and leek and mix well to combine.

6. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan. To an ovenproof dish, add the fried vegetables and spread out. Then cover with the cauliflower and leek cheese topping and bake in the oven for around 30 mins, until golden and bubbling on top.

7. Garnish with a sprinkling of flatleaf parsley, serve with steamed greens and enjoy!

Recipe and image courtesy of British Leeks. www.britishleeks.co.uk

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