Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie

Last week, a new lady at work started. Last Friday, she discovered I was a vegetarian when I grimaced at the beef stock in some soup I was about to eat for lunch. Shortly after, I received the age-old question asked by many when I reveal I am a vegetarian;

"So what do you eat? Just vegetables?".

Come on guys, it's 2011.

Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie, I've found, is one of those vegie dishes that even the meat eaters will get into. Make something hearty and warm, add mushrooms (or any protein that isn't tofu), and top it with cheese and most meat eaters will dig in.

Here is my version, sans quantities (sorry, I just can't do quantities for dishes I invent), and with a little touch of poor quality photography. True Nat style.

Fry off some diced onion, celery, zucchini & eggplant. At the end, add either fresh sliced mushrooms, or the champignons in the can (fresh is better, but whatever you have will be fine).

Add a can of diced tomatoes, a good wad of tomato paste, a can of rinsed brown lentils, a bay leaf, some thyme, and a tablespoon or so of hoi-sin sauce (trust me). Season. Add water until the mixture resembles a chunky soup and then simmer until a third reduced.

About now, be making mash potato.

Spoon mixture into large ramekins (remember to remove thyme sprigs & bay leaves). It will be more filling than it appears (with 'just vegetables'), so don't go too crazy with the servings.

Top with mashed potato and cheese. I like to use tasty or mozarella, with a sprinkle or parmesan, but most cheeses will work.

Put in the oven and bake at 160c. If it starts to dry out before the cheese is melted & browning, place it under a grill for a couple of minutes before serving.

Go outside to throw your scraps in your compost to discover you threw a fork in there yesterday.

Serve pies with a side salad and a big glass of red wine.
(and remember to tell your family or guests that the ramekin is too hot to touch!)

I love this recipe because I keep all of the ingredients in my house on a permanent basis.

Are you a vegetarian who adapts meat dishes?

Stay well,
Nat x


  1. I made vegan shepherds pie recently, used lentils and nutmeat as the base. And you'd never know this stuff wasn't really cheese:

    but yeah, what's with the meat eaters who feel they need to give you a hard time? What I eat affects no other person!

    aaand, I know your mum probably doesn't use a recipe but if you could give me some vague details (in a blog post or email) of the yummy vegie lasagne she made us, that'd be sweet :-)

  2. delicious!! I have an awesome recipe which is very similar called 'lentil shepherds pie' which I like to make in the colder weather. I'll have to make it soon! Sometimes I like replacing the potato for sweet potato too (or making half/half!)
    Hannah x

  3. I LOL'd so hard at "So what do you eat? Just vegetables?" :D
    I was vego for years (recently started introducing small quantities of meat again, mainly for health reasons) And I loved adapting meat recipes and making them vego - still do in fact! I make an awesome vegetarian version of a french ham and lentil soup, its perfection without any meat.
    On a side note, I'm so lucky my other half is happy to eat vegetarian meals! He was vego with me for years purely because I do most of the cooking hehe xx