Zombie Mom’s Winter Warmer: Hidden Veggie Cottage Pie


Poppet used to love vegetables. Broccoli, baby marrows, asparagus – she’d gobble them down like there was no tomorrow. Then she went to school and became a bit more fussy. Pixie has never really liked vegetables unless they were pureed. She won’t even eat peas or diced carrots or mielie kernels. Sigh. So you see my dilemma.


I have discovered The Trick, which millions of mothers have practiced since time immemorial, is to serve a meal that looks veggie-free but is actually loaded with hidden goodness. And sharing is caring . . . Fellow zombies, here is one of Poppet and Pixie’s favourite supper dishes: Hidden Veggie Cottage Pie.





300-400g lean minced beef

3-4 medium baby marrows, washed and grated

1-2 medium-large carrots, washed and grated

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 clove garlic, crushed

1-2 T butter

150g grated cheese

olive oil

dried mixed herbs

Worcestershire sauce

Tomato sauce

salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Steam the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until cooked.
  3. While the cauliflower is cooking, fry the garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Then add the carrots and baby marrows and fry until soft.
  4. Add the mince, breaking it up with your hands as you do.
  5. Drizzle with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir. Add a little bit of water if necessary.
  6. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (or until done).
  7. Mash the cauliflower with the butter. (I use my hand blender. Best kitchen appliance purchase ever, I tell you.) Add a teaspoon of dried herbs and the grated cheese.
  8. Pour the mince mixture into an oven-proof bowl. Spoon the cauliflower mash on top.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the mash is golden brown.
  10. Smile when your children tell you it’s delicious. 🙂






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