As I pointed out last week, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about food when you’re tired and it’s cold. One of the reasons that menu planning works for me, is that it means I do a lot of prep work on the weekend, so when I get home from work, the effort in getting dinner ready and in my stomach is minimal. Cottage pie is exactly the kind of food I’m thinking about here. All I need to do is put in in the oven, cook some peas and dinner is ready. It’s a home made ready meal.
However, January is also the time when everyone’s thoughts turn to healthy eating so I wanted cottage pie but I wanted to feel better about eating cottage pie. I’ve been eating a lot of cauliflower recently and mashed cauliflower is great when you want the feeling and texture of mashed potatoes but not the calories that mashed potatoes involve. Cauliflower mash is also a place were I use frozen vegetables. Anyone else snobby about frozen vegetables? I used to be, I didn’t like what freezing did to the texture of the vegetables and for anything that you’re planning to eat as nature intended, with the honourable exception of green beans and peas, I still still prefer fresh. However, with anything that I’m planning to mash or soup or stew frozen vegetables are fine. They are normally cheaper (£1.30 for a head of cauliflower and the same price for 1kg of frozen cauliflower) and you don’t have the same issues with them going bad.
This is another recipe that isn’t a recipe. Take some meat sauce, spread it in the bottom of a pie dish (I used my dinky little one person dish!), boil some cauliflower in stock and puree it in a food processor, spread on top of meat sauce, add cheese. When you’re ready, bake in oven for 25 ish minutes and dinner is done.