A light veggie version of an all time favourite Shepards Pie

Now we all know that Shepards Pie makes us think of a cold wintery evening where we all sit around delicious, hot, casserole with a glass of something warm. This incredibly light version of our favorite winter meal can also be enjoyed in the thick of summer. It is a dish that is perfect for a family dinner and can also be packed away for a hearty filling lunch. So read on for this incredibly easy and tasty meal.



Ingredients

  • 1 Onion and a few cloves of Garlic

  • Olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cup Uncooked brown or green lentils

  • 4 cups of Vegetable stock

  • 2 tsp thyme

  • 1 Bay leaves

  • 2 cups of Mixed vegetables: Cauliflower, carrots, green beans, peas and corn (pick and choose the ones you like)

  • 5 medium or 4 large Potatoes (you could also use a combination of normal and sweet potatoes)

  • 1 cup Milk

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Basil

  • Chilli powder

Method

  • Cut the potatoes in half and place in a pot of boiling water over medium-high heat for about 20-30 minutes, till the potatoes are extremely soft

  • Once cooked, drain the water, let the potatoes cool and proceed to peel the skin off. Use a masher to mash the potato in a bowl and slowly start pouring in milk as you mix the potatoes. The aim is to achieve a creamy texture for the mash. If necessary, you could add melted butter, however, it works perfectly well without the addition of butter

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover the bowl and set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to 218 degrees C and lightly grease an oven-safe dish

  • In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Saute the finely chopped onions and garlic until they lightly brown or caramelize

  • Add salt, pepper, thyme, lentils and let the flavors absorb into the lentils as your saute them for about 2 minutes.

  • Add the stock, bay leaf, and let the lentils cook for about 30-40 mins. As the lentils are nearly ready, add in all the veggies and let them all cook for another 15 minutes.

  • Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. Pour the filling into the oven-safe baking dish.

  • Layout the mashed potato on top of the filling and smoothen with a spoon. Use a fork to bring in a little texture to the mashed potato top and decorate with chili powder and some fresh thyme

  • Drizzle some olive oil and basil on top of the mash to see it sizzle

  • Your dish goes into the oven at 190 degrees C for about 30 minutes. Cool it for another 10 and it is ready to be served.

Served with a side of greens, this dish creates a perfectly balanced meal combining your protein, carbohydrates, fats, and greens. The substitution of mince with lentils makes it perfect for the summertime when our tummies are craving something light.

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