By Meleni Aldridge

This cottage pie is packed with plant-based proteins such as potatoes and lentils. It's the perfect high-protein but meat-free way to do classic British comfort food.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Extra virgin olive or coconut oil for the baking tray/dish
  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 250g redskin potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
  • 180g lentils, rinsed thoroughly
  • 3 large broccoli, chopped into small 1cm pieces
  • 180g cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped (optional)
  • 120g frozen green peas
  • 300ml passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp thyme dried or fresh (optional)
  • 2 tsp sage dried or fresh (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Oil a 20cm x 20cm baking tray or dish with olive or coconut oil.
  3. Fill 2 large saucepans halfway with water and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the potatoes to the first saucepan. Cover the pan and reduce the heat, boiling the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.
  5. Add the lentils to the second saucepan and turn down to simmer for 20 mins. Add the broccoli to the lentils and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and return them to saucepan. Add the cottage cheese, butter and beaten egg and mash until smooth.
  7. In a large frying pan, heat the oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the salt, thyme and sage and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lentil mixture, peas, nutritional yeast, passata and tomato purée. Season with pepper.
  9. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish, spreading it evenly over bottom. Smooth the mashed potato mixture over top and smooth with the back of the spoon.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 180°C, until the edges of the crust begin to turn light brown and the sauce starts to bubble up around the edges.