Lentil Shepherd's Pie {oil free}

Thursday, November 09, 2017

While a lot of people think vegans eat salad all the time, this vegan won't be digging in to many fresh salads this autumn and winter. Living in a colder climate means that I've had to develop plenty of warming vegan meals that I can enjoy on cold nights but, as always, enjoying comfort food doesn't need to be at the expense of health and this whole foods based shepherd's pie is a, surprisingly healthy, hearty meal to enjoy in the colder weather. Whether you'll be enjoying the dish with your family or meal prepping to make sure you always have healthy comfort food on hand, this shepherd's pie is an ideal dinner for anyone looking to balance health and comfort in their diet.

For this shepherd's pie you will need:
- 200g red lentils
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 150g mushrooms
- 100g frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons reduced sugar tomato ketchup
- 500g potatoes
- a splash of almond milk
- salt and pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Whilst the oven heats, add your lentils to a pan, cover with water and boil for around 10 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed.

While the lentils cook, dice your onions, crush your garlic clove and slice your mushrooms, then place in a frying pan with a splash of water and sauté until the onion has browned.

Peel and chop your potatoes and boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until the potatoes are completely soft. As everything cooks, prepare your vegetable stock by combining your stock cubes with 250ml hot water.

Add your lentils to your sautéing vegetables along with the stock and tomato ketchup and allow to simmer on a medium heat until the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce.

As the lentils simmer, drain your potatoes then place back into a pan along with a splash of almond milk, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.

Once reduced, stir your peas into the lentil mixture then place the mixture into an oven proof dish. Top the lentils with the mashed potato and score the mashed potato with a fork to create a fluffy top that will brown in the oven. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Once the pie is golden and crispy, serve alongside vegetables and some vegetable gravy and dig in to a warming, cosy meal. 

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