It’s cold and it’s raining outside, by the time you come home from work it’s been dark for two hours already. Yup, it’s winter. And that means that you need warming, comfort food and this vegan take on the classic British dish really hits the mark. It’s simple, quick to make and, most importantly, tastes great.
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
3 large carrots
2 tins green lentils
4 tbsp your favourite vegan gravy powder
2 tbsp boullion powder (this is our favourite)
1 tsp ground coriander
300g mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tbsp tamari
5 large potatoes
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A splash of soya or almond milk
1 tsp margarine or splash extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Dice the onion, crush the garlic and soften both in a large pan. Dice the carrots into small cubes, about 1/2 cm wide and add to the onions when they have turned translucent and keep on a low heat. Crumble the tofu into the pan making sure it is well crumbled and then add the drained lentils and chopped mushrooms. You can use dried red lentils instead of tinned green lentils, you’ll just have to add a bit more water later on. While the pan is on a low heat and very gently frying, you can peel and chop your potatoes and put them on to boil.
Put the gravy granules, ground coriander and bouillon powder in a jug and add 1 litre of boiling water. Stir until it starts to thicken and add to the lentil mixture on the stove. Increase to a medium heat and stir, then allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened sufficiently to support the mashed potato.
When the sauce has reduced and the lentils are cooked, pour the mince into an oven proof dish (approx 30cm by 15cm) to wait for the mash. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and add the mustard, a splash of milk and a dollop of plant-based margarine or olive oil, salt and pepper. Mash them well until they are nice and fluffy. A little bit of vegan cheese works quite well here too.
Dollop spoonfuls of the mashed potato over the top of the mince and smooth it over with a fork.
Cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, the top of the mashed potato will start to turn golden brown.
Serve out generous portions with steamed green beans, broccoli or peas on the side.
[Picture credit: Kimberly Espinel, The Little Plantation]