The Ultimate Vegan Comfort Food: Meat-Free Shepherd's Pie
I think everyone enjoys a good home-made shepherds pie. It’s a real comfort food but it isn’t that healthy… so, I decided to experiment in the kitchen and came up with a shepherd’s pie recipe that was suitable for vegans and a much healthier alternative to the traditional one we all love.
We love it because it's SO good for you and can be made in advance to be cooked later. It still has the same ‘comfort food’ effect, but a comfort food you don’t need to feel guilty about eating. It’s high in fibre, suitable for vegans, packed full of nutrients, extremely filling, great for your digestive system and gluten-free.
The Lentil Sauce:
- 2 x Cans of lentils (drained and washed)
- 690g x Passata
- 2 x Red onions (finely chopped)
- 2 x Carrots (chopped into small chunks)
- 2 x Celery stalks (chopped into small chunks)
- 5 x garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1/2 x Tbsp fresh thyme (finely sliced)
- 1/2 x Tbsp fresh rosemary (finely sliced. Save a few stalks for garnishing at the end)
- 2 x Tbsp bouillon powder
- 2 x Bay leaves
- 1/2 Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 x Cup of water
- 1 x Tbsp olive oil (for frying)
- Generous pinch of black pepper and Himalayan salt
- 1 x Tsp Cayenne pepper (optional depending on whether or not you like spice)
The Sweet Potato Mash:
- 3 x Large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into medium chunks)
- 2 x Tbsp almond milk (optional, but I find it helps with the creamy texture)
- Himalayan salt
- Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole dish and add the carrot, onion and celery. Fry until soft
- Add the herbs and garlic then cook for a further 1 minute before adding the lentils, passata, bay leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes then turn off the heat and leave to one side to cool.
- While the lentils are simmering start getting the sweet potatoes ready.
- Add them to a pan of boiling water and boil until soft
- Once the potatoes are ready drain them then pour them back into the waterless pan and add a generous amount of salt and almond milk and mash until smooth.
- Remove the bay leaves form the lentils then pour the mix into an oven-proof serving dish
- Delicately spoon on the sweet potato and evenly spread it over the lentil mix using a fork
- Garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary and leave to one side until you are ready to cook it.
- Once you are ready to cook it, pre heat the oven to 180 fan and cook for about 30-45 minutes until it’s hot through and the top is slightly golden.
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