shepherd’s pie

18th March 2010

At the moment, my friend Anna and I are meal swapping so we can have 1 day a week off from cooking and to be inspired by each other.  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 from the garden. 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.

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.

Preparation time – 1 hour

Serves 4 – 6

shepherds pie filling

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight

2 – 3 Tbsp tomato paste

3 cups 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

mashed potato

5 medium/750g potatoes

1 medium/250g sweet potato

4 Tbsp ghee

½ cup milk, until consistency, is achieved

topping

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp whole-wheat breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2.  Prepare the filling, in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the lentils, tomato paste, celery, carrots, tomato, bay leaf, curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper and 3 cups water, simmer until the lentils have absorbed most of the water or have become soft – 30 minutes. 

3.   Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon into a 26cm x 26cm baking tray.

4.  Prepare the mashed potato, boil the potatoes and sweet potato in a large pot with salted water until soft, drain, then remove the skin and place them in a bowl.

5.  Add the ghee and milk, and mash to a smooth and creamy consistency.

6.  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.

7.  Finish with the toppings, sprinkle over the cheeses and lastly the breadcrumbs.  Decorate with a long, narrow strip of sliced tomatoes on top and a sprinkling of rosemary for a decorative addition.

8.  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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