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!
- Preparing everything
- Steaming the cauliflower
- Sweating the vegetables
- Making and cooking the pie
- 1/2 cup dried lentils (I used green)
1 brown onion, whole
1 brown onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
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
- a long sharp knife
- 2 chopping boards
- 1 saucepan
- 1 fry pan
- 1 medium baking dish
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 potato masher
- 1 colander
- Start by getting the lentils cooked as this will take a while.
- Add the whole onion and bay leaf to the sauce pan along with the 1/2 cup of lentils and 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a gentle boil and cook for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally to stop them sticking.
- 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).
Steaming the cauliflower
- Get the cauliflower underway in your steamer after giving the lentils 15 minutes head start.
- Steam it until it is very soft and allow to cool somewhat.
- Transfer it to the mixing bowl along with the 1/3 cup ricotta.
- Use a potato masher to turn the mix into a puree (think mashed potatoes consistency).
- Try not to eat the entire contents of the bowl just yet. 🙂
Sweating the vegetables
- Add a small slug of olive oil to the fry pan and bring to medium heat.
- Throw in the garlic, chopped onion, carrot, mushrooms and allow them to soften.
- Stir in the tomatoes then rinse the can with some water and add that too.
- Stir in the drained cooked lentils.
- Add pepper to taste.
Making and cooking the pie
- Turn your fan forced oven on to 180C,
- Lightly spray the baking dish with some spray oil.
- Transfer the vegetables into it and then top with the ricotta and cauliflower mash.
- Now evenly cover the mash with grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with steamed greens and some more carrots.
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