We all have our favourite comfort food. Whether it’s eating your mother’s homemade pasta or a cheese toastie, comfort food makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve used the time during lockdown to come up with vegan alternatives to some favourite comfort classics. And this issue I’ve re-worked recipes for tuna mayo and a cottage pie. I hope you enjoy the flavours and, most of all, these dishes help to reduce your meat, fish and dairy intake. Let me know how you get on.

VEGAN COTTAGE PIE

WHAT YOU NEED

2 handfuls red lentils
1 pack Seitan (I use Sgaia Lorne sausage) chopped into cubes
1 handful puy lentils
2 handfuls chestnut mushrooms
2 leeks
4 carrots
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 tins plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp nutritional flakes

WHAT TO DO

1. Fry leeks until soft and add garlic. Chop the carrots and mushrooms and add to the leeks and cook for another five minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, season to taste and let cook slowly for an hour or so.
3. Put mixture into an oven-proof dish, top with potato (below) and cook at 160ºC for 40 mins or until golden brown on top. Serve with wilted leafy greens.


PLANT BASED TUNA MAYO

WHAT YOU NEED

Good bread, I like sourdough or olive bread
Tin of Biona jackfruit (available from Bostock or Earth Matters) or drained artichoke hearts in oil
Red pepper
Red onion
½ can cooked black beans
½ can cooked chickpeas
Finely grated carrot
Finely chopped celery
Chopped cornichons
A few capers
Lemon juice
Vegan mayo
Turmeric

WHAT TO DO

Slice the jackfruit or artichoke hearts. Looks like tuna already right? Put the chickpeas and black beans into the food processor and blitz for 20 seconds, or so, to make them more tuna-like in texture. Mix all the ingredients together and add mayo, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Serve with some vegetable chips and a good glass of organic beer!

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