Looking for easy, throw-together family-friendly dinner ideas? I’m going to be experimenting and creating more recipes like this over the coming months. Not only will they be great time saving recipes, where they can be cooked in a saucepan or slow cooker, but I’ll put together recipes that may only take an hour to come together or by the time you get home from work, you’ll be eating!
Going forward I hope to give you alternatives to different ingredients or spices as I realise not everyone has the same herbs,spice or even vegetables I have in my fridge or pantry.I hope to encourage you all to try different dishes for your weeknight meals.
Creating meals is something I haven’t had a lot of time to do over the past couple of months but now I’m looking forward to helping you all prepare amazing meals that the whole family will love. They’ll be healthy and delicious, some with a lot of ingredients and some with very few. Don’t be deterred by all the ingredients in this recipe. It may seem like a lot but they’re mainly vegetables and they all get thrown into the pot together – my sort of recipe!
Do you love Shepherds pie? Mince with a lovely gravy sauce topped with mashed potato and cheese, melted until golden and crispy. Mmmmmmm . . . getting hungry just thinking about it! Well, this is a take on Shepherds pie with a vegetable twist.
This Cottage pie is fantastic! It’s tasty without being full of spice – which the kids will love – and there are so many vegetables that work really well together for a flavour sensation.
I just love cooking in one dish and certainly my intention was to cook like this today but I ran out of the mash ingredients so I had to resort back to using two saucepans and a casserole dish. This recipe is perfect for the one pot wonder so please feel free to use one dish that can go from stove to oven as it saves time in washing up – more time with the family or watching your favourite cooking shows 😉
TIP 1: If using a dish that goes from stove to oven, double the quantity of potatoes and sweet potatoes. You’ll have the perfect amount of mash to cover.
TIP 2: I made my own roasted vegetable soup and froze for later use. You can substitute this homemade soup for any can of country style cream of chicken and vegetable soup or anything like a minestrone – something with lots of vegetables works perfectly! Chicken stock works perfectly too.
TIP 3: Instead of beetroot stalks, please feel free to use spinach, kale or rocket leaves. Anything green and leafy will be fine.
TIP 4: Enjoy this cottage pie with the whole family or enjoy leftover lunches for the next day or two. This freezes really well in an airtight container for two-three weeks. Allow to defrost overnight before placing in the microwave to re-heat.
PREP: 15minutes COOKING: 50minutes SERVES: 4-6 people
1 tablespoon olive oil
I medium onion, diced
500grams beef mince
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 button mushrooms, sliced
1 zuccini, grated
1 small eggplant (aubergine), cut into 2-3cm cubes
10 beetroot stalks and leaves, finely chopped
1 cup roast vegetable soup or chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
¼ – ½ cup of milk
Tasty cheese, grated, to taste
Mozerella cheese, grated, to taste
Pantilica pasta topping, to taste.
Add the olive oil to the pan and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes, then brown the mince. Add all the vegetables, combining well with the mince. Once well combined add in the soup, soy and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and let cook for half an hour. Take off heat and keep aside until needed. Add the parsley just before topping with the mash.
While the mince and vegetables are cooking, place the potatoes in a saucepan with salty water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes then add the sweet potatoes. Cook until tender – test with a knife and if it comes out clean, the potatoes are cooked. Drain and add the butter. Mash with a potato masher until smooth – no lumps. Add the cheeses and milk stirring to combine well. Set aside until needed.
Turn the oven on to 200°C.
If using the one pan – Top the mince mixture with the potatoes. Smooth and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the mash turns golden.
If using a casserole dish – Allow the mince and vegetable mix and the mash to cool for about 10 minutes. This helps keep them separate when putting together in the casserole dish. Place the mince and vegetables in the bottom of the casserole dish, pressing down gently. Then top with the mash, ensuring it sits on top of the mince/vegetables. Keep spooning until all mash is used and place the casserole dish in the oven. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the mash turns golden.
Serve immediately with green beans or peas or just as it is – perfect!
If you love being inspired by my food, there’s plenty of parties I link to from more food inspiration. Come and join us! Fabulous Foodie Fridays (#13) at Bake Play Smile and Create Bake Make are getting bigger and bigger every week. The Weekend Social linkup (#32) at Kitchen Dreaming and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch are heaps of fun too. Look forward to seeing you there – let them know I sent you over!