You won’t believe how good Michelle Bridges’ super healthy vegetarian take on the classic shepherd’s pie is.  I am avid meat eater but I think this is just as good as the beef mince and potato version I had growing up.

It is infinitely adaptable and just goes to prove that vegetarians and vegans don’t have to compromise on taste. This is a must try dish for everyone!

Steps
  1. Preparing everything
  2. Steaming the cauliflower
  3. Sweating the vegetables
  4. Making and cooking the pie
  5. Serving
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils (I used green)
  • 1 brown onion, whole
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  •  500g cauliflower, broken into florets
  •  1/3 cup ricotta
  •  Olive oil spray
  •  I large carrot, diced
  •  150g button mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  •  400g can diced tomatoes
  •  Ground black peppercorns to taste
  •  1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan, shaved
Equipment
  • a long sharp knife
  • 2 chopping boards
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 fry pan
  • 1 medium baking dish
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 potato masher
  • 1 colander
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Preparing everything
  1. Start by getting the lentils cooked as this will take a while.
  2. Add the whole onion and bay leaf to the sauce pan along with the 1/2 cup of lentils and 2 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally to stop them sticking.
  4. While that is happening:
    • Cut the 500g cauliflower into small florets of about equal size.
    • Chop the remaining onion.
    • Finely dice the garlic clove.
    • Chop the 150g of mushrooms to your preferred size.
    • Chop the carrot.
    • Grate the 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano (you can use dairy free cheese instead).

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Steaming the cauliflower
  1. Get the cauliflower underway in your steamer after giving the lentils 15 minutes head start.
  2. Steam it until it is very soft and allow to cool somewhat.
  3. Transfer it to the mixing bowl along with the 1/3 cup ricotta.
  4. Use a potato masher to turn the mix into a puree (think mashed potatoes consistency).
  5. Try not to eat the entire contents of the bowl just yet. 🙂

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Sweating the vegetables
  1. Add a small slug of olive oil to the fry pan and bring to medium heat.
  2. Throw in the garlic, chopped onion, carrot, mushrooms and allow them to soften.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes then rinse the can with some water and add that too.
  4. Stir in the drained cooked lentils.
  5. Add pepper to taste.

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Making and cooking the pie
  1. Turn your fan forced oven on to 180C,
  2. Lightly spray the baking dish with some spray oil.
  3. Transfer the vegetables into it and then top with the ricotta and cauliflower mash.
  4. Now evenly cover the mash with grated cheese.
  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Serving

Serve with steamed greens and some more carrots.

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Enjoy,

PK


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