Sweet potato topped vegetarian cottage pie
This vegetarian twist on traditional cottage pie from Dale Pinnock is a winter favourite to tuck into and share on cold nights. The sweet potato topping is lower GI than regular potato, plus the bright orange flesh is rich in beta carotene, which is a potent antioxidant.
900g (just under 2lb) sweet potato (peeling is optional), cut into chunks
Olive oil, for cooking
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into small dice
1 x 400g (14oz) can green lentils, drained
1 x 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
2 Place the chopped sweet potato in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer until soft. Drain, mash well and set aside.
3 While the sweet potato is cooking, heat a little oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, carrots and a good pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion has softened.
4 Add the lentils, tomatoes, thyme, cinnamon and bouillon powder, and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced right down to create a thick sauce with the lentils.
5 Transfer to a deep baking dish, top with the mashed sweet potato and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.
Extracts taken from How to Cook Healthily by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille £20.00 RRP). Photography by Issy Croker