Green Lentil and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is undoubtedly a British classic. While there’s lots of peeling and chopping involved, it’s one of those meals where the preparation certainly pays off. For those with a bit of spare time, my Green Lentil and Sweet Potato Cottage Pie is a definite crowd pleaser.

I much prefer to use lentils instead of mock meat, although this recipe works just as well with soya mince.

As a rough guide, this recipe makes 1 large pie or 4 individual pies.

  • 600ml water
  • 400g green lentils
  • 100ml unsweetened soya milk
  • 50g dairy-free margarine
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 tbsp. vegan gravy powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. fresh of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Drain and rinse the lentils thoroughly in a colander. Peel and finely chop the sweet potatoes, garlic, celery, carrots and onion. Add the sweet potatoes to a large saucepan filled with water.
Warm the water, using a medium heat, then cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook for 20-25 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Start by adding the sunflower oil to a large saucepan. Warm the sunflower oil, using a medium heat, then add the remaining vegetables.
Cook for 5 minutes, to allow the vegetables to soften a little, then add all of the herbs. Stir to combine then cook for 5 minutes.
Add the green lentils, water, vegan gravy granules and bay leaves. Stir to combine then cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the filling has thickened. Remove the bay leaves then season to taste.
Transfer the filling to 1 large pie dish or 4 individual pie dishes, allowing space for the topping. Set the dish/dishes to one side then pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, around 220 degrees.
Drain the sweet potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Mash the sweet potatoes fully, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the maple syrup, dairy-free margarine and soya milk then stir to combine.
Cover the filling evenly with the topping then score with a fork. Put the dish/dishes in to the oven then cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is crispy and golden.

Serve and enjoy!

Sweetcorn Fritters

If you’re looking for another versatile option for entertaining, why not try my tasty Sweetcorn Fritters? They can be served alone, as part of a salad or even inside a pitta bread. You can add any dressing or dipping sauce you like but they are particularly good with pesto mayonnaise!

As a rough guide, this recipe makes 8 large fritters or 16 small fitters.

  • 400g cannellini beans
  • 200g sweetcorn
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 tbsp. wholemeal flour
  • 4 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried oregano
  • Sea salt and white pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans thoroughly in a colander. Add the drained and rinsed beans to a food processor along with the sweetcorn and the garlic. There’s no need to chop the garlic, just peel it.
Process for 30 seconds then add the wholemeal flour, nutritional yeast, basil and oregano.
Process for 30 seconds whilst pouring in the water and lemon juice.
Season to taste then process for a further 30 seconds. You should have a smooth but firm mixture which can be shaped in to fritters
. If the mixture is too wet, add more wholemeal flour. If the mixture is too dry, add more water.
Warm the sunflower oil in a large frying pan, using a medium heat, then add the fritters. Fry each side for 10 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Soup

Whenever I make my Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Soup it always reminds me of my first trip to Iceland. While walking through the beautiful town of Hafnarfjörður, me and my husband came across a small but cosy cafe serving homemade soup and sourdough bread. After hours of walking through strong winds and deep snow this could not have been more welcome. Mushroom and tarragon was the only flavour on the menu but you could make yourself at home and help yourself to as much as you wanted.

If you can’t find liquid aminos, you can also use tamari or a vegan worcester sauce.

As a rough guide, this recipe serves 4.

  • 600ml water
  • 400g white mushrooms
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 200ml soya single cream
  • 50g dairy-free margarine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 tbsp. liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp. fresh or dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. vegan bouillon powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Peel and finely chop the mushrooms, garlic, celery and onion. Melt the dairy-free margarine in a large saucepan, using a medium heat, then add the prepared vegetables.
Cook for 5 minutes, to allow the vegetables to soften a little, then add the tarragon and the vegan bouillon powder. Coat the vegetables in the tarragon and the vegan bouillon powder then cook for 5 minutes.
Add the water, soya single cream and liquid aminos then stir to combine. Cover the saucepan with a lid then cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are ready.
Transfer 4-5 ladles of the soup to a food processor. Process until a smooth puree is formed. Add the puree to the saucepan – this will thicken the soup. Stir to combine then season to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Tomato and Chilli Sauce

Pasta is staple in the Carter household but my husband and I are divided on which sauce is best. While I like an indulgent cream sauce, my husband much prefers a rich tomato sauce. When a compromise cannot be reached, I simply combine the two!

If you’re looking to use up some leftovers, my Creamy Tomato and Chilli Sauce can be easily adapted.

As a rough guide, this recipe serves 2.

  • 500g passata
  • 250g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 200g baby chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100ml water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp. coconut milk yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Peel and finely chop the mushrooms, garlic, red pepper, celery, onion and chilli. Warm the coconut oil in a large saucepan, using a medium heat, then add the prepared vegetables.
Cook for 5 minutes, to allow the vegetables to soften a little, then add the smoked paprika and the oregano. Coat the vegetables in the smoked paprika and the oregano then cook for 5 minutes.
Add the passata, water and coconut milk yoghurt then stir to combine. Cook for a further 10 minutes while you prepare the spaghetti.
Start by adding the spaghetti to a large saucepan filled with water. Warm the water, using a medium heat, then cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occassionally to stop the spaghetti from sticking together.
Drain the spaghetti in a colander then add it to the sauce along with the frozen peas. Stir to combine then season to taste.
Allow the frozen peas to thaw, this should only take a couple of minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Slow Cooked Red Lentil and Aubergine Curry

While taking the time to make a curry can be very therapeutic, sometimes I would rather be sat down with a glass of wine than stood by the stove! This is when I turn to my trusty slow cooker and make my Slow Cooked Red Lentil and Aubergine Curry – possibly the simplest but most satisfying recipe I know. You can use it as a topping for jacket potatoes, a filling for flatbreads or alongside brown rice or quinoa as a simple week day dish.

If you’re feeling brave, add an extra red chilli.

As a rough guide, this recipe serves 4.

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 200g red lentils
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 4 tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. tumeric
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Drain and rinse the red lentils thoroughly in a colander. Peel and finely chop the garlic, celery, carrots, aubergine, onion, chilli and ginger. Add the prepared vegetables to a slow cooker along with the coconut milk, water, red lentils, curry leaves and ground spices. Stir to combine then cover the slow cooker with a lid.
Cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours, stirring every couple of hours if possible. Remove the curry leaves then season to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Tomato and Avocado Toast

Some dishes are so simple they don’t require a recipe but it seems as though everyone has a different way of preparing avocado on toast. There are lots of variations so I wanted to share my version.

As a rough guide, this recipe serves 2.

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried dill
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Cut 4 slices of bread then toast them to your liking. This can be done using a toaster or a grill. Set the toasted bread to one side to allow it to cool. While the toasted bread is cooling you can prepare the topping.
Carefully halve the avocadoes and remove the stones. Remove the flesh from the avocadoes and transfer it to a large bowl. Mash the flesh of the avocadoes fully, ensuring there are no lumps. Add the dill and the lemon juice then stir to combine.
Spread the mashed avocado evenly across the toasted bread. Finely slice the tomatoes then place on top of the mashed avocado. Season to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

We all need a recipe we can turn to when we’re feeling under the weather. Inspired by a traditional West African dish called Maafe, my Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup is packed with all the goodness you need when you’re not at your best.

If you’re feeling brave, add an extra red chilli.

As a rough guide, this recipe serves 4.

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ground corriander
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. tumeric
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. vegan bouillon powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by preparing the ingredients. Peel and finely chop the sweet potatoes, garlic, celery, carrot, onion, red chilli and ginger. Warm the coconut oil in large saucepan, using a medium heat, then add the prepared vegetables.
Cook for 5 minutes, to allow the vegetables to soften a little, then add all of the ground spices and the vegan bouillon powder. Coat the vegetables in the ground spices and the vegan bouillon powder then cook for 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, water and maple syrup then stir to combine. Cover the saucepan with a lid then cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is ready.
Transfer all of the soup to a food processor and process until a smooth puree is formed. Add the puree to the saucepan along with the smooth peanut butter. Stir to combine then season to taste.

Serve and enjoy!