Heart symbol / studio photography of heart made from different fruits and vegetables – on white background

I like it or lump it bikini season has gone and it’s time for jumpers and cozy socks.  Just the thought of chilly weather makes me want to reach for a bowl of something warm and comforting thankfully comfort food can be healthy.

I can think of no better meal than Shepherds Pie on a wintry night, but my recipe below  differs from the one traditionally made because In place of lamb, I use a healthy and hearty filling of lentils, root vegetables,celery, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs. What I love about this dish is that it is warming and comforting and takes minimal effort to make and though its substantial and satisfying it is healthy too.

Alkaline foods above the wooden background

Seren’s Vegan Shepherds Pie

  • 2kg floury potatoes, suitable for mashing, peeled and quartered
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 mins, then drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 50 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 large leeks , sliced
  • 2 small  red onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato purée
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 small acorn squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1tsp dried sage
  • 1tsp dried parsly
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 250g fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 250g fresh young spinach
  • 25ml white truffle oil

 

 

  1. Put the peeled potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish. Add leeks , onions, carrots and the stock cube and cook gently for 5 mins , stirring every so often. If it starts to stick, reduce the heat and stir rigourously.
  3. Once the vegetables are tender, but not mushy add the garlic, sundried,tomato purée, paprika, squash and herbs. Stir and turn the heat up a bit, cook for 3 mins, add the celery, then stir and add the walnuts and cook for few more minutes.
  4. Add in all the mushrooms and mushroom stock. Add the spinach and stir well. Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Turn off and set aside.
  5. Mash the potatoes and stir through a drizzle of olive oil and the truffle oil
  6. Divide the filling into a pie dish and top with the mashed potatotes. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake the pie for 40-45 mins, until the top is golden and the filling is heated.

 

This is a dish best enjoyed piping hot, but it also freezes well and makes a great freezer stand-by meal.  You can also use up any fresh or frozen veg you have in to make this recipe and I feel that making little adjustments is part of the fun in cooking and definitely what makes a recipe your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

·  small pack flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 c. celery
  • 1/2 c. shallots
  • 1/4 c. garlic
  • 8 c. vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 c. broccoli
  • 3 c. sliced spinach
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. orzo
  • basil pesto

Directions

  1. In an 8-quart saucepot, heat olive oil on medium. Add salt, celery, shallots, and garlic. Cook 8 minutes or until golden, stirring.
  2. Add broth and broccoli. Heat to simmering on high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add spinach, mushrooms and orzo. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until starches and veggies are softened.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in basil pesto to taste

 

 

 

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com