Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve been eating so much delicious Creole food out here in Réunion island that I wanted to share some food from England with my new friends. Coming together and enjoying a good meal is one of the oldest ways for humans to connect. It’s also a great way to explore other cultures through the preperation of food together and breaking bread, (figuratively speaking that is, it’s rice cakes for us gluten free folk!)

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So what could I make from England? I racked my brains for something from home. Then I remembered winter evenings gathered round the fire with a good serving of Sheperd’s Pie. For those of you who have never heard of it, it’s usually made with meat, but veggies can make it with kidney beans, soy mince or lentils to replace the meat. It’s a vegetable and tomatoe base with the mince/beans/lentils topped with mashed potatoes and baked in the oven.

Here is the recipe. (Again, I don’t give exact quantities because you can adapt for how many you’re cooking for and enjoy having a go and seeing what works in your own kitchen)

You Will Need:

-Onions

-Garlic

-Chopped tomatoes

-Pre-cooked soy mince or kidney beans or lentils

-Garden peas

-Courgette

-Carrots

-Aubergine

-Peppers

-Potatoes

-Sunflower seeds

To make:

Boil the potatoes and mash them up, with butter, salt, pepper and milk if you eat dairy and with dairy-free spread or olive oil if you don’t eat dairy.

Finely chop all the veg. Fry the onions up in olive oil, when soft add the rest of the chopped veg and stir for about 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes (I usually use a tin as well as some fresh tomatoes too) and soy mince/beans/lentils. Add crushed garlic and some herbs (oregano and basil go well) and leave to simmer for about 20 mins.

Next in a baking dish, pour in the veg tomato mix. Add the mashed potato on top and smooth down with a fork by sort of stroking the mashed potato lengthways with the fork. If you eat dairy add grated cheese, if not add the sunflower seeds sprinkled on top.

Pop in the oven on 200 degrees celsisus for about half an hour to 45 minutes.

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