Thursday, 7 November 2013

vegetarian shepherd's pie

You guys, I am so busy right now. I have seriously never been this busy in my life. I have 2 presentations to give tomorrow, a research essay to write, a first draft of my dissertation to hand in, a PGCE application to think about, an assessment centre to prepare for next week for the job that I really really want and, ugh. I really do love being busy, but this is just ridiculous! I'm a little grumpy stress ball, I can't remember the last time I worked out, I haven't eaten any meal that takes longer than 5 minutes to prepare & it's been so long since I phoned home that I'm pretty sure my Mum has forgotten the sound of my voice. Sorry Mum. I promise I'll call soon.

So I'm sorry things have been a little quiet around here, & I apologise if this post seems a little rushed. I barely even have time to shower these days, let alone take pictures of meals! (Lucky, lucky housemates.) But I've taken a little break from dissertation madness today to share this recipe with you, because frankly, I just couldn't not.

Tired of sad sandwiches from the library cafe, on Monday night I decided to take a little break and make something wholesome, filling & nutritious that I could keep in the fridge or freezer in order to grab a healthy and delicious lunch on the go over the next couple of days. I know a lot of the recipes I've posted on here lately and have been preeeeetty indulgent, and that's because I've been feeling pretty indulgent, but at the moment my overworked body is just craving vegetables - and I've never been one not to give in to cravings. So, if like me you've been hankering after something a little more wholesome lately but don't want to compromise on that wonderful comfort food taste, this is perfect. Green lentils, carrots & chopped tomatoes go into the filling, and are flavoured with red wine, thyme & veggie stock, then it's all covered in a deliciously creamy sweet potato mash covered with a sprinkling of cheese & fresh thyme. Every bite is deliciously rich and moreish, with that lovely taste of shepherd's pie but in a totally vegetarian way. In fact, you could easily keep this vegan by using a vegan butter to mash your potatoes with & simply omitting the cheese on top. Whilst this recipe does take a little bit of time to prepare it's nothing too technical or labour intensive, making it the perfect mid-week supper. Food so good that it doesn't even taste good for you. Now that's my kind of health food.

To make 4 servings, you will need:

  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes.
  • 2 large carrots.
  • 1 onion.
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
  • 1 can of green lentils.
  • 200ml red wine.
  • 2 cubes of vegetable stock.
  • Fresh thyme.
  • A handful of grated cheddar.
  • A tablespoon of butter.
  • A tablespoon of olive oil.

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

2. Peel & chop your sweet potatoes into chunks. Cover with boiling water in a saucepan and boil for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

3. Drain the sweet potatoes, place them back in the saucepan off the heat and add a tablespoon of butter. Mash it all together until creamy, then set aside.

4. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add in your peeled & chopped onion, and fry for about 3-4 minutes.

5. Chop the carrots into bitesize chunks - no need to peel - and add them into the pan along with about two tablespoons of fresh chopped thyme.

6. Pour in 200ml red wine and one can of chopped tomatoes, then crumble in your vegetable stock cubes. Give it all a stir, then simmer for about 10 minutes.

7. After 10 minutes, add in your can of green lentils - without bothering to drain them.

8. Stir this all together, then put a lid on the pan & let simmer for another 10 minutes until the lentils are pulpy.

9. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, then spoon out the sweet potato mash and spread it out on top. Sprinkle over the cheese & a handful of fresh chopped thyme, then place in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I kept mine super simple & served it with fresh rocket and cherry tomatoes, but of course feel free to serve it with whatever you fancy - or just on its own. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for a couple of months. Not the prettiest food in the world, but I reckon you'd be hard pressed to find a person who wouldn't enjoy lovely & rich recipe - meat eaters & veggies alike.


  1. I've never made a shepherd's pie but now it's all I want to do! Looks amazing!

  2. My husband loves shepherd's pie and I'd recently seen a lightened up recently I thought of trying. Never thought of making a vegetarian one! I would love that! Yours looks delicious.

  3. Wishing you luck with everything! But I'm so glad you got to take a break and make this shepherd's pie! Looks so delicious and comforting. Oh my... yummy!

  4. SO SO SO good! This looks incredible!

  5. This looks like the perfect, comforting and satisfying dinner to banish stress and worry (I hope it had that effect on you, sounds like you needed it!) I've not even had lunch yet and I'm craving this for dinner...

  6. I adore lentils and love that you used them in this shepherd's pie! So glorious with the cheesy potato topping :)

  7. My goodness this would certainly make you feel less stressed. Delicious.

  8. Good luck with everything, Holly! You'll do great!
    This Shepherds Pie looks delicious. I've never made one, but I'm eager to try your version :D

  9. Sunday dinner is sorted. Cheers for posting the recipe and feel free to drop by me too anytime.

  10. Wow!! This looks so tasty!! What a great idea :)

  11. This dish looks so comforting healthy and amazing. I can't believe you actually had time to make with everything you have going on at this time. Great Job!

  12. It looks comforting and delicious :) Good luck with the interview etc. :)

  13. OMGGG this looks DIVINE:) your blog is now my addiction haha.

    Check out my blog of my fav. recipies:)

    Have a lovely day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - The Swedish home decor blog

    1. The recipe is for a Swedish cheese pie:


  14. Love this vegetarian version of shepherd's pie! My daughter is a vegetarian and I think she'd love it!