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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Ideal for a cold, winter night when you're craving a home-cooked meal, this vegetarian shepherd's pie from The Essential Edible Pharmacy will leave you feeling satisfied, but not like you've overindulged. This meat-free alternative to the tradition shepherd's pie is the perfect excuse to invite the whole family round for a cosy dinner!


extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 turnips, washed and grated
2 carrots, washed and grated
10 button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup shelled peas
2 celery sticks, sliced into little 'c' shapes
2 teaspoons ground cumin powder
1–2 tablespoons garlic powder
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup liquid vegetable stock
1 x 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed, for topping
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place a large saucepan over medium to high heat and add a little olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, turnips, carrot, mushrooms, peas and celery and stir for a few minutes until cooked through. Add cumin and garlic powder and stir through. Then add the tomatoes, vinegar, stock and lentils. Stir and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding sea salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture into a large casserole dish and level the top with the back of a spoon. Top with the mashed sweet potato. Level the sweet potato with a fork, creating some attractive looking grooves that will crisp up in the oven. Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top, then sprinkle on the sesame seeds that will add a little more crunch to the top of your shepherd's pie. Pop into the oven for 10 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Serve hot on a cold night for extra effect!

Serves 4-6.

More delicious recipes can be found in The Essential Edible Pharmacy.

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