Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Vegan Cottage Pie topped with carrot an onion mash.  Topped eith Irish colours, green, white, orange make this dish a perfect St. Patrick's Day treat.

This dish was inspired by Donal Skehan. Subscribe to his YouTubes

Here's a vegan version of a classic dish. 

Start with lentils and fresh vege. Wash and let the lentils soak overnight. You can cook the immediately, but soaking allows them to cook quickly and uses less energy.  

When you're ready to cook, start out by dicing: carrots, celery and onion; quarter baby portobello mushrooms.  

In a hot pan, add a glug of olive oil and sauté until they develop a golden brown colour.  Remove them from the pan and add in the carrots, celery and onions; sauté until softened.  

The sauté process coats the bottom of the pan with brown gold called "fond."  Unstick it by adding vege stock to deglaze - this releases all the complex flavour.  Continue by adding the soaked lentils and enough water to cover them by an inch.  I also add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste for lots of that umami taste.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Continue to simmer until the lentils are fully cooked. Season it with a bit of salt and tamari.

While the filling is simmering, peel and chop a few starch potatoes. Add them to salted water and boil until completely cooked. While the potatoes are boiling, chip about a handful of carrots and finely slice an equal portion of green onions.

When the potatoes are done, add the carrots to the boiling water. This lets them soften, but keeps them from getting mushy. Remove from the heat, strain and coarsely mash. Add in the green onions, some (almond) milk and a healthy portion of butter (vegan butter spread) and mash out all the lumps - add more milk if needed. It should be spreadable, but not soupy. 

Transfer the lentils to an oven safe baking dish and spread them level. Fill a large piping bag with the mash and affix a LARGE star tip. Pipe the potatoes evenly over the surface of the lentils. Place into a cold oven set the oven to bake at 350˚F.  The preheat cycle provides high intensity heat and browns the tips of the potatoes.  It makes 'em so tasty.  Continue to bake for about 20 minutes.  Since all the ingredients are thoroughly cooked, it's only necessary to allow the flavours to mix and the potatoes to dehydrate a bit. 

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before plating.  Garnish with fresh sliced green onions.  I like to serve with blanched fresh asparagus for fresh flavour and that bright burst of green. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!