With the spring equinox having just passed so we are officially on our way to lighter evenings and (in theory) warmer days. It’s been so nice lately coming home from work in the daylight but I can’t wait for light evenings; I can’t put my finger on quite why it is but an evening feels so much longer and more things seem possible when it’s light.
I’m especially looking forward to being able to spend time outdoors in the evening and trying my hand at gardening. What are you looking forward to about lighter evenings and warmer weather?
It may not seem like the most spring-like dish, but this vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is topped with a light sweet potato mash for a much sunnier version than its usual potato-heavy form. It’s also packed full of nutritious brown lentils that are an ideal source of protein for a vegetarian or vegan diet and great to give you an energy boost, stabilise blood sugar, and improve your digestive health.
My original intention was to re-photograph this Lentil Shepherd’s Pie recipe (not so pretty looking, hey?) and replace the images in the old post; however once I got started I decided to make a few tweaks and in the end thought it was worthy of its own post. I also opted to make this version oil-free, without frying the onions or any other ingredients first, making it lighter still.
Makes approx. 6 servings
For the filling:
250g brown lentils, soaked in boiling water for 2 hours then rinsed
1 white onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, finely sliced
400g/1 tin chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp Henderson’s relish (or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce)
Black pepper, to taste
For the mash:
1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1tbsp dairy-free margarine
Pepper, to taste
1. Add all of the filling ingredients together into a pan or slow cooker. In the slow cooker, cook on high for 6-8 hours until the lentils have fully softened. On the hob, cook for around 1.5 hours.
2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sweet potato and lower the heat slightly. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are soft and break apart easily.
3. Add the dairy-free spread to the sweet potatoes and mash until creamy.
4. Spoon the lentil mix out into a wide oven-proof dish. Scoop out the mash on top and spread evenly over the top.
5. (Optional) Using a fork, create grooves over the top of the pie and place under a hot grill for a few minutes to crisp the surface. Serve!