Happy Veganuary everyone!! In the spirit of all things Vegan, my friends and I decided to do an entirely Vegan Feast this January. If you know my friends you’ll know that this was no mean feat! Dedicated carnivores all of them (I was vegetarian for 16 years and I was the freak of the group!) The men in particular were very skeptical. Dan was pretty sure that anything without meat wouldn’t fill him up! He even asked if I thought he should bring extra snacks! We ordered Vegan wine, made Vegan desserts and as a main course, this delicious Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie.Having been Vegetarian for 16 years I’m very accustomed to Meat-Free Meals. However, cooking without butter, cheese, cream etc is pretty alien to me so I decided on this Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie as my first foray into Vegan cooking. I knew I could get great flavour from the ingredients and a hearty filling meal thanks to the lentils.
Side note: If you’re on strict SCD you will need to buy dried lentils and soak them overnight before using. I used packaged pre-soaked lentils in this dish so I skipped this step.
Start by peeling and finely dicing the carrot, onions and garlic. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions, carrot and garlic on a medium heat until softened.Add the lentils, vegetable stock, passata and bay leaves and simmer for around 20 minutes until the liquid has been cooked off and the mixture thickens. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile Make the Cauliflower Mash for the topping by chopping up the head of cauliflower into small florets and steaming for 8-10 minutes until they are very soft. Blend the steamed cauliflower along with plenty of salt and pepper in a food processor until the mash is completely smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and now it’s time to make the Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie. I made individual ones but you could always make one large one for Family Style Dining. Start by layering the lentil mixture into the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Top with the Cauliflower Mash and smooth down. (You want about 2/3 Lentils to 1/3 Cauliflower Mash).
At this stage I raked a fork along the top to create some texture in the Cauliflower Mash. This means that when you grill it, the ridges get crispy but this is just down to personal taste and presentation. You can just leave it as it is (or get extra fancy and use a piping bag and nozzle to create a beautiful design on the top!) Cook the Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie in the oven for around 10-15 mins for the individual ones or 20-25 if you made a large family style one. Then turn on the grill and grill for a further 5 minutes to brown the top.
What do you know – everyone loved the Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie. Even the boys! There’s something about Shepherd’s Pie that is just so comforting! Hearty and filling, it’s comfort food at its best. Shepherd’s Pie and peas definitely takes me back to my childhood. It was a dish I remember eating after school. I served it with some green vegetables on the side and some Roasted Butternut Squash. And the verdict… it’s so tasty that you won’t even miss the meat! Now that’s high praise indeed from my lot!
It makes a great freezer meal too! Just freeze once you’ve added the Cauliflower Mash but before you cook it. You could always make double the recipe and have some for the freezer and some for dinner that night!
Allergy & Dietary Information for Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie
This Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie recipe is Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Refined-Sugar Free. It’s also suitable for SCD, Vegetarian Diets & Vegan.
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