This week it was announced by the World Health Organisation that red meat is just as bad for you as cigarettes, alcohol, asbestos and arsenic. That’s quite a shopping list. Sausages, mince, bacon and processed meats such as salami and pastrami are all now considered extremely carcinogenic and it is recommended we only eat one portion of red meat a week. This has sent many people into meltdown, wondering what on earth they’re going to eat for dinner if they have to cut down on red meat. The answer is simple, vegetarian alternatives. Many people will be disgusted with the suggestion that we should make the switch to meat-free alternatives but it is the best way to eat all the meals you know and love without compromising your health. When I became a vegetarian, the thing I missed the most was stodgy comfort food, the type of food that warms you up. But then I found this recipe using Quorn mince to replicate the cottage pie I had been having for years. The Quorn website has many recipes containing alternatives to red meat such as chilli, toad in the hole and spaghetti bolognaise but here is my favourite recipe using a meat free alternative. This recipe is low in fat and calories but is high in protein, and it only takes twenty minutes.
- 350g Quorn mince
- 1 tbsp olive oil (Quorn just needs to be added to the sauce, so the recipe requires about 50% less oil than you would usually use)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 100g frozen peas or mixed veg
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 1 dessert spoon vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp salt reduced soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste in 1 tbsp cold water
- 700g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 225g parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4
- Boil the potatoes and parsnip until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and the carrot and fry gently until softened.
- Add the Quorn mince, frozen veg, vegetable stock, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, soy sauce and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the cornflour made into a paste with the tablespoon of cold water and continue to simmer gently, stirring all the time, until thickened. Place in an ovenproof dish.
- Mash the potatoes and parsnip with the milk until smooth, season to taste with the salt and pepper. Place the topping over the Quorn mince filling and fluff up with a fork.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the topping is crisp.
- Serve with a selection of fresh vegetables
Feature picture by Angelbattle bros