A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you'll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.
Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water (start in cold water and make sure that it is "salted like the sea") until they become really soft and practically fall apart when you poke them with a fork.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a saute pan set over medium heat and then throw in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the French lentils and kasha and stir well, then pour the water in, bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer until the kasha and lentils are tender and practically all the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
While this is happening, rinse the corn kernels under running water until completely thawed and then let them drain to rid them of excess water.
When the lentils are cooked to your liking, add the roasted sunflower seeds, ketchup (or tomato paste), soy sauce, dried oregano and sweet paprika and stir well.
Transfer this mixture to an oven safe baking dish and top with the corn kernels; set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and return them to the saucepan. Whisk the milk and sour cream together in a small measuring cup and pour about half of this mixture over the potatoes.
Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the potatoes break down and the puree starts to come together, then increase the speed to medium. Add the rest of the milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition, until the puree becomes nice and fluffy. Adjust seasoning as needed by adding salt and white pepper, to taste.
Drop the mashed potatoes by large spoonfuls over the corn and then spread delicately all the way to the edge. Sprinkle with a little bit of sweet paprika, if desired
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes slightly golden (you can drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the potatoes to help them brown better).
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with a little bit of chopped fresh parsley, if desired.