Healthy Comfort Food : vegan shepherds pie
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mash the potatoes and stir through a drizzle of olive oil and the truffle oil
- 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.
- 20ml olive oil
· small pack flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 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
- In an 8-quart saucepot, heat olive oil on medium. Add salt, celery, shallots, and garlic. Cook 8 minutes or until golden, stirring.
- Add broth and broccoli. Heat to simmering on high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add spinach, mushrooms and orzo. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until starches and veggies are softened.
- Remove from heat. Stir in basil pesto to taste