Cooking with Laura

It’s a pretty well known fact that this girl loves to bake up a storm and create sweet treats for everyone to enjoy, but when it comes to the savoury side of the kitchen, I quite frankly can’t be arsed. I guess it’s a long standing obstacle of my on-going battle with food demons, but the idea of cooking and portioning a hot meal (it’s the portioning that realllly gets me) means I all too often resort to my good friends the freezer and the microwave.

Now my new hours at work have started, and in light of recent events I’ve made a promise to myself to start cooking more, once a week from scratch to start with and then building up. Last night was my first adventure in proper cooking and I made a Lentil and Vegetable cottage pie; I’m not a vegetarian anymore but I don’t like much meat and generally only eat it if someone else has cooked for me.

I found the recipe on this site and made a few adaptations to suit my tastes

900g mashed potato
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 chopped medium onion
150g brown (or puy) lentils (I used green tinned)
1 crushed garlic clove
100g grated vegetarian cheddar cheese (I used a reduced fat version hence it not being all bubbly and brown)
2 diced carrots (we had no carrots to this was left out)
1tbsp tomato puree (I doubled this)
1 diced medium green pepper
60g sliced mushrooms (I doubled this)
1 tsp dried basil

1. Cook the lentils in plenty of water until just soft, drain, and save the cooking liquid.
2. While the lentils are cooking sauté the onion, garlic, basil and cayenne in the oil until soft but not brown.
3. Add the carrot, pepper and mushrooms. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the carrot has softened.
4. Add the cooked lentils, tomato puree and seasoning. If the mixture is very thick add a little of the reserved cooking liquid from the lentils.
5. Cook for a further five minutes, transfer to an oven-proof dish, cover with mashed potato and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes in a moderate oven, until the top is golden brown.
This was really, really good and makes four generous portions. Even my dedicated carnivore father loved it, which is the ultimate seal of approval! Next time I’d probably make half the quantity of the Cottage Pie and then freeze two portions of the lentil base as I think it’s got a lot of potential as a pasta or jacket potato topping. I might switch up the veggies in it too…courgette, butternut squash, aubergine…

Anyone got any recipes to share/motivate me? What is your signature dish?


14 comments for “Cooking with Laura

  1. That looks awesome! I’m not a huuuge fan of cooking dinner, I have a few ‘signature’ dishes but mostly Trout does the cooking. I love making a good roast, though!

  2. This looks yum! We’ll have to try it in the Doll’s House. One of our favs is pasta and veggies with a little cream cheese stirred through. Nom! x

  3. that looks delicious x

  4. This looks delicious.
    I totally understand what you mean about savory cooking, I cannot be bothered most of the time, I would much rather bake.

  5. Mmmmmm! That looks lovely, I always enjoy your food pics- you make such yummy looking stuff!

    Nat x

  6. Oh yum, this looks easier than I expected!
    I don’t know if I have a signature dish, but I guess it’s probably vegan macaroni pie – I worked out how to do it! – or pesto pizza with asparagus. I love making a good moussaka, too.

  7. That looks and sounds delish!! Yum.
    I’m not a veggie anymore but often prefer veggie food and love lentils. Definitely going to try this.

  8. Looks delicious, I love eating veggie food even though I am not vegetarian. My favourite meal to make at the moment is lunch. Roast squash with rocket and goats cheese drizzled with a balsamic glaze I got from Tesco. Super easy!

  9. Your lentil and vegetable cottage pie looks delicious! reading over the ingredients, it must taste even better than it looks. I can imagine myself wolfing down the entire pan and yearning for more! I’m so lazy that I generally buy pre-made vegan or vegetarian frozen dinners and microwave them. That home cooked meal looks awesome. P.S.: I’ve been a vegetarian for 43 years!

    One of the dishes I make often (because it’s so easy) is 1 box Ronzini Ditalini or Ditali noodles (like macaroni) boiled for 10-12 minutes with a little salt whilst stirring in 2 cans of Cannelini (white kidney beans), draining, adding a jar of Marinara sauce, some Italian seasoning and a touch of cayenne red pepper. Pasta Fagiole, the lazy way! I also like vegetarian chili, felafel, potatoes O’brien, and a host of Indian dishes that are too much work so I buy them pre-made.

  10. I hate cooking savoury. I’m like you, total sweetie addict.

    I found some great fruit snacks at the weekend, I’ll post you a packet.


  11. That looks delish! I’d love to give it a try x

  12. That looks and sounds delicious. I might have to make it this weekend! I think it is just whats needed with all this cold rainy weather – great comfort food. Perhaps with a bit of Garlic bread alongside (my weakness).

    Love recipe posts 🙂


  13. One word……Yummy

    X x

  14. Home cooking is always the best kind xxx