The Happy Pear: this cottage pie is like a belly hug

Healthy eating: Cottage pie with sweet potato mash and coriander drizzle tastes even better on day two

David and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear cafes, cookbooks, courses and food production company, are guest chefs in The Irish Times Health Month kitchen this week, sharing dishes from their newly published book, The Happy Health Plan.


This simple bake tastes even better on day two. Serve with a simple green salad. It tastes like a belly hug and makes a wonderful family dinner or a cold lunch the next day

Serves 6-8 (takes 60 minutes)

2 medium carrots or parsnips
100g green beans
3 x 400g tins cooked Puy lentils or other green or brown lentils
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce
750ml veg stock
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


750g sweet potatoes
250g potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
100ml non-dairy milk
A pinch of ground black pepper

Coriander cream:
}100g cashew nuts
65ml water
15g fresh coriander
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 180degrees Celsius/200 degrees.

2. Put the cashews nuts into a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

3. Chop the sweet potatoes and regular potatoes into uniform bite-size pieces so that they will cook evenly. Put them into a medium pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until soft, about 20-25 minutes.

4. Grate the carrots or parsnips. Trim the green beans and cut them in half. Drain and rinse the lentils. Pick the leaves off the thyme sprigs.

5. Put another medium pan on a high heat and add the grated carrot or parsnip. Add the thyme leaves, bay leaves and a pinch of salt, mix well and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained lentils and the tamari/soy sauce, then slowly add the veg stock. Add the black pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer, letting the stock slowly evaporate for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Meanwhile, make the coriander cream. Drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts. Put them into a blender with the rest of the coriander cream ingredients (reserving a few coriander leaves for garnish) and blend until nice and smooth.

7. If the lentil mixture is dry once it has thickened, add 2 tablespoons of water and ½ tablespoon a tamari/soy sauce and season. Add the green beans and stir them through the hot lentil mixture, letting them cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside.

8. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the pan and add 1 teaspoon of salt and the non-dairy milk. Mash it all together until lovely and smooth.

9. Remove the bay leaves from the lentil and veg mixture, then spoon into a 28cm x 20cm baking dish. Drizzle over half the coriander cream, and distribute the sweet potato mash evenly on top. Bake in the preheated for 25 minutes, until the top crisps.

10. Before serving, drizzle over the rest of the coriander cream and garnish with the reserved coriander leaves.

Recipe from The Happy Health Plan, by David and Stephen Flynn, published by Penguin Life.