Veggie shepherd’s pie

You know when you eat a really rich meal that packed with butter, milk and cheese, you kind of get a sicky feeling? And if you go to a barbecue, or after a meaty roast dinner with chicken, pigs in blankets and pork meat stuffing, you kind of feel the same? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get that “overindulged” feeling with eating plenty of vegetables. You can eat and eat and eat and just feel nourished and content and full.

This dish is packed full of vegetables, 5 in fact, plus lentils for protein and wholesome white potatoes for carbs. It’s got a light layer of cheddar on top too, which adds to the comfort factor, but isn’t overwhelming. It’s a simple recipe on purpose, it’s a mid week easy meal. I’ve seen lentil pies before that seem to have a few more ingredients then you actually need. My version focuses on the vegetables so I hope you’ll find it delicious.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

1 carrot, peeled and chopped into rounds

1 courgette, cut into half moons

1 leek, chopped and washed

a few leaves of spring greens, or any large cabbage leaves you have

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 small white potatoes (any good mashing potato), peeled and cubed

oil

salt and pepper

1tsp dried mixed herbs

1 vegetarian stock cube

semi skimmed milk (or milk alternative)

Method

Heat a large pan to a medium heat. Saute all of the veggies (apart from the potatoes) in it until soft. This will take awhile. It’s ok, you can let it sit and just stir occasionally. Preheat your oven to 170C fan in readiness.

Meanwhile, steam your potatoes for twenty minutes until nice and soft.

Make up 300ml of hot stock using a stock cube (the Kallo brand are good) and boiling water.

Drain and rinse a tin of green lentils and add to the softened vegetables. Sprinkle over the dried mixed herbs, season (go easy with the salt because the stock will be salty) and pour over the stock. Leave to simmer whilst you mash the potatoes.

Put the veg lentil mix in a casserole pot, top with the mashed potatoes and then add a layer of mature cheddar cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve with steamed broccoli, or another favourite green vegetable.

I’m really enjoying quick, plant based meals during the week. They’re quick to knock up on a weekday and tasty too. Even my boyfriend is enjoying them more, it’s a win all round. What’s your favourite vegetarian comfort food? I would love to hear your ideas.

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