shepherd’s pie

18th March 2010

At the moment, my friend Anna and I are meal swapping so we can have one day a week off from cooking.  We just started this week and on Monday, she dropped off her famous, delicious pesto lasagna and all I needed to do was make a green salad to feed and fill our bellies.  Today, I made her a shepherd’s pie.  We are trying this new-found scheme on a weekly basis and so far, only being week one, it is yet another brilliant and successful idea from my dear friend!  I guess it also works so well because we both come from the same energetic place of like-mindedness.  We both cook mindfully, with calmness, goodness and loving intentions, knowing it will feed the ones we love.  We prepare, using organic where possible, and using fresh, wholesome ingredients.

You can use a lot of vegetables in this pie, but I made this one very simple, playing it safe.  Particularly, when children are going to be eating it, and not knowing what Anna’s children preferences were.   Sometimes, I add cauliflower, mushrooms and green peas.

vegetarian shepherds’ pie

Lately, I have been making this with ½ cup red lentils and ½ cup mix of adzuki, white beans, green split pea or any other beans you have on hand.  It is important to soak overnight with a drop of lemon juice for easier digestion.

serves 4 – 6

for the filling:

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight

1 small punnet tomato paste

3 cups of water

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

2 big tomato, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

salt to taste

freshly ground pepper

fresh rosemary

for the topping:

5 / 750g medium potatoes

1/ 250g medium sweet potato

4 Tblsp butter/ghee

milk, until consistency, is achieved

½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tblsp whole-wheat breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

preparation :

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Firstly, in a heavy bottomed pan, add the lentils, tomato paste, finely chopped celery, carrots, tomato, bay leaf, curry powder, cumin powder and cayenne pepper and 3 cups of water.  Allow to simmer until the lentils have absorbed most of the water or have become soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon into a 26cm x 26cm baking tray.

Cut the potatoes and sweet potato in halves and steam until soft.  As soon as the potatoes are cooked, place them in a bowl.  Add the butter and milk, and mash to a smooth and creamy consistency.  Then season with salt and pepper and spread the potato mash over the lentils.  You can run a fork over the top to give a nice texture.

Finally, sprinkle over the cheeses and lastly the breadcrumbs.  Sometimes I place a long, narrow strip of sliced tomatoes on top and a sprinkling of rosemary for a decorative addition.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted and the top is nicely browned.

Serve with a crunchy, green, garden salad.

Goodness shared from Stacey

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