When autumn and winter come along it’s lovely to have a bit of comfort food, and this lentil cottage pie is kinder to animals, and cheaper, than meat, as well as having loads of healthy fibre. Not forgetting it tastes beautiful.
Fool your meat-loving friends and family with this soon!
Serve with lots of fresh veg.
Heat your oven to 160 deg celsius.
In a large ovenproof dish fry the onion, leeks and garlic in olive oil, add the carrots and mushrooms and cook for 5 mins before adding the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 20 mins before transferring to the oven with a lid on for 30 mins (I actually put it in on a lower heat and cook for longer, up to 75 mins, as it develops the flavour and texture much better).
Meanwhile boil the potatoes and mash them with milk, butter, cream and sea salt.
Take the lentil mixture out and spoon it into the dish you’ll use for your final cottage pie, a shallow oven-proof one, about 15cm squared for two people. Top with the mashed potato and grated cheddar.
Put back in the oven for ten mins until the cheese is golden.
Lentils are rich in iron, folate and B vitamins. Folate is critical for brain and nervous system health and particularly so for developing embryos. B vits are key players in energy production and iron helps transport oxygen around the body.
They also provide protein and fibre and help to stabilise blood sugar. Lentils, like beans, are also a fantastic source of the little-discussed mineral, Molybdenum. Molybdenum plays an important role in nervous signalling and brain function, and in these days of high stress and of poor foods that degenerate the brain it’s vital to give the pathways a big helping hand.
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