Sunday, 31 August 2014

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Dear Readers, it may come as a surprise, but other than cooking, checking recipes, exploring restaurants, watching cookery videos and reading food-related articles, I've got other hobbies too.  I like sudokus, jigsaw puzzles, bananagrams, Rubik's cubes and things to do with psychology.  But now I've got a new interest - metal detecting. 
Let me take you to the night where I made this Shepherd's Pie.

My dear friend, Nina, invited me over to her house for dinner with her friend, her husband and her son.  Ok, not related, but look at how cute her son is?  That's Miles with his finger dipped in chia seeds.  He's going to be a strong healthy boy.  Forget crackers and peanut butter jelly sandwiches, this kid has chia seed puddings as his snacks.  Cute little Miles.

The dinner was wonderful - Nina made this baked spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce and a beetroot salad and I made this hearty and healthy shepherd's pie.  It's vegan actually, but you can add parmesan to it if you wish. You can also add other veggies inside, like maybe some sauteed courgettes, some sweet corn.  You can do a mixture of sweet potatoes and normal potatoes on top.  You can even switch up the lentils -- I made it the other night again with red split peas instead.

Now, metal detecting.  Nina's husband, Warren, does this for fun.  He goes around the beach with his metal detector and finds stuff.  It's like a massive scavenger hunt.  It sounds awesome.  I enjoy walks by myself, and so why not fun walks with a purpose?  Okay, I'm going to save up some money and invest in a metal detector.  Maybe I can start a kickstarter project with this.  Please fund my new interest.  Warren's found gold rings and diamond necklaces, but I'm not in it for that, I want to find all the odd things like old coins and metal spoons and whatnot.  Oh I'm so excited - please fund my new interest.  Warren's told me that a cheap decent metal detector would be around £150.
I apologize for the bad photos.  See I was cooking for them for the first time and I had to keep the rudeness to a minimum, I couldn't just have the food go cold, adjust the lighting and rearrange the things on the table while I took dozens of photos when it's not my own house and when it was my first time cooking for them.

serves 4
3 medium potatoes, peeled
A dash of milk (or non-dairy milk)
Parmesan (optional)
2 cans of lentils, drained
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup peas (frozen are fine)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika (plus more for topping)
soy sauce, to taste
olive oil

Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring it to the boil.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked all the way through.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

While the potatoes cook, put the onion, carrots and celery in a pan with hot oil and fry over medium heat until softened, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the lentils, peas, thyme, paprika and soy sauce and fry for a further 5 minutes. 

Drain the potatoes and while hot, put through a potato ricer (or you could mash it), and stir in a dash of milk, some olive oil (you could also use butter here), parmesan (if using), and season to taste.

In a large casserole, put the lentil at the bottom of the dish and spread the potato mixture on top.  Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired, and some paprika. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden on top.


  1. We love Lentil Shepherds Pie and I find it is a lovely substitute for the is hearty and so comforting.

    1. yessss! It's the perfect vegan comfort dish :)


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