200g cooked sliced carrots (or any cooked veg leftover you can layer at the bottom of the pie as the bit to find at the “centre of the earth”)
1 onion, diced
100g carrots, diced
100g peas (frozen is fine)
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 400g tin cooked lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato puree
For the potato topping:
1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp oil
100g carrots, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (or use a different veg if you prefer)
100g sweetcorn (frozen is fine - or use a different veg like more peas if you prefer)
50g cheddar cheese or plant-based alternative, grated
Handful fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Veg Portions / Serving:
Here’s our recommended cottage pie recipe, or you can simply adapt your own recipe – just keep the veg chunky and serve with a reminder to the children to Eat Them to Defeat Them and say “Dig for Victory!”
Preheat your oven to gas 4/350°F/180°C.
Lay the cooked sliced carrots (or other veg) on the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish.
Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the mince, onion, and diced carrots, then cook for 10 mins until meat is browned and veg is slightly softened. Add the tomato puree, cook for a minute, then add peas, tomatoes, and lentils, and cook until everything is piping hot, about 5 mins. Taste, and add a little salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the mixture on top of the layered carrots in the oven proof dish.
While the meat mixture is cooking, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of water until soft (about 10-15 mins depending on how large the chunks are). Mash the potatoes (add a little milk and/or butter if they are dry or hard to mash), then layer over the meat mixture in the oven proof dish.
In a small bowl mix together the oil, carrot and sweetcorn. Mix the vegetables with the grated cheddar or plant-based alternative and evenly sprinkle on top of the mashed potatoes.
Place into the preheated oven to cook for 20-30 mins or until golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped parsley if using, and serve.
Kids in the Kitchen:
Have the kids help you measure and weigh ingredients, mash the potatoes, layering ingredients in the dish and stirring things together (show them how to safely stir over the heat and keep a close eye on them). For more tips on cooking with kids check out Kids in the Kitchen on Simply Veg.
Communications Manager: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, looking after Veg Power's website and social media platforms.