My husband is vegetarian, I am vegan. I like to eat early, he likes to eat late. He likes potatoes, I don’t eat them (except for a rare and indulgent packet of potato crisps). He likes pies and pastry and chips. I prefer quinoa, stirfries and soups. He often does bike rides during the day or in the evening which also creates a dissonance in our eating habits, as does my propensity for staying up late and getting up even later! So how on earth do we manage to co-ordinate our meals? Well, a lot of the time, we each do our own thing, but just occasionally we manage to be at the dinner table together and once in a blue moon we end up with something on our plates that almost resembles the other’s. This was one of those nights, no bike rides and the clocks had just gone back, so we both felt we wanted to eat earlier than the clock dictated. I don’t know about you, but my body takes ages to adjust when the clocks change.
HB loves Shepherd’s Pie and makes it often, but it’s been years since I had anything resembling it. Tonight, however, I felt inspired and made my own vegan version with mashed almond butter sweet potato on top.
I can’t give entirely accurate measurements as I didn’t think I was going to be blogging it. You’ll know how much to make for the ‘innards’ (as my dad would call the vegetables underneath).
Basically, this is it went:
Soak a good amount (sorry, that’s the best I can do!) of green lentils while preparing the vegetables – soaking aids digestion. Lentils are a good source of iron, B6 and magnesium as well as fibre.
Chop an onion, garlic, a large carrot, half a stick of celery, celery leaves, a small beetroot, 2 chestnut mushrooms, and sweat them in coconut oil, with the lid on, later adding some frozen peas.
Meanwhile, peel and chop 2 sweet potatoes and place them in the steamer, ready to switch on about 15 minutes after the vegetables have started simmering.
Next, mix half a mushroom stock cube with about 400mls hot water, 1 tsp of yeast extract and some dried thyme.
Add the lentils and stock to the vegetables. Replace the lid.
While they cook, put a dish to warm for mashing the sweet potato and a flat dish for the completed Shepherd’s Pie.
When all are cooked, add a little thickening to the vegetables, mash the sweet potatoes in a warm dish, then mix in a heaping teaspoon of almond butter, some pink Himalayan salt and black pepper and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes.
Spread the vegetable filling (with not too much gravy) in the bottom of the dish, cover with the sweet potato mash, using a fork to even it out and give it a textured appearance.
Place under the grill until it starts to crisp a little and turn golden.
I served mine with some steamed broccoli and a little of the left-over gravy.
This made enough for 3 servings for me, with extra green vegetables. It’s very filling. There was also some vegetable filling left in the pan which I’ll probably have with pasta tomorrow.
My husband made his with Quorn mince, left out the beetroot, celery and celery leaves and used mixed herbs, he topped it with mashed potato made with rice milk and a buttery spread. To be fair, he didn’t know his was going to be photographed, so please excuse his presentation :-))
Copyright: Chris McGowan