Veggie / Turkey mediterranean cottage pie

How to make winter comfort food, without red meat, white potatoes, pasta etc etc blah? Answer – quorn or turkey mince, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. (Interestingly, to me, quorn has as many calories per 100g as 5% fat beef mince… 104 calories.)

I’ve done this once with quorn and it was really good, but then I read that quorn wasn’t that great as a processed food, so I always do it with turkey mince now. It serves 4 with a side of veg.

If you’re doing the turkey version, ideally slow cook the mince for at least a couple of hours before assembling the pie. If you’re doing quorn it’s really fast as the quorn sucks up the tomato sauce and no slow cooking is needed.

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What to use – serves 4

  • 500g turkey or quorn mince
  • 4 medium mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 x 400g can of organic chopped tomatoes plus 1/3 can of water
  • 50ml white wine
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli sauce (optional)
  • mixed herbs
  • 2 large / 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

How to use it

Sweet potato mash. My friend Louise gave me a good tip recently. Instead of peeling and boiling the potatoes, just bake them, cut in half and scoop out the cooked potato. No messing about and actually the flavour becomes more intense. Win-win. So peelchopboildrain OR bake the potatoes, then mash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

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To make the sauce, cook the onion and garlic on a low heat in olive oil until translucent. Half way through, if you’re using them, quarter the mushrooms and add.

I used tinned tomatoes and blended them first (with the 1/3 can of water) to get a smoother consistency . Add the blended tomatoes to the onion and garlic mix. Add a couple of teaspoons of dried herbs and a good pinch of sea salt then bring to a bubble. If you like a sweeter tomato sauce you can add a teaspoon of honey, and if you like it spicy you could add some chilli.

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For a turkey version: fry off the turkey in a separate pan. Add 50ml of white wine and bubble for a couple of minutes then add the meat and wine juice to the tomato sauce. Bring to a bubble then cover/seal and put into a 150C oven for 2 hours, checking now and again to make sure the sauce hasn’t evaporated. Top up with a bit of water if it’s getting too dry.

For the quorn version: let the tomato sauce bubble for 10 minutes or so. Then add the quorn mince, and stir well – you’ll find that the quorn sucks up the tomato sauce straight away so turn the heat off at this point.

Assemble the pie – quorn/turkey mix on the bottom, mash on the top. Bake in a 180C oven for 25 minutes or until browned on top.

Mmm rating: mm mm mm

Calories per serving: approx 350

What to watch: Cake – a film I knew I was going to love within the first 5 seconds.

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