Summer is not typically a time for comfort food of the warm, filling, stick-to-your ribs type... the soups and stews, pies and gravy...
But you know what, sometimes a little comfort food is exactly what you fancy. So what to do in this hot summer weather? Lighten it up of course!
I guess this dish is little bit of a contradiction. Shepherd's pie without meat or potato- the two key ingredients right? Wrong!!
Here I have gone for a tomatoey lentil mix to substitute the meaty filling and a lightened up mashed cauliflower topping. This dish tasted so good, even better than I had anticipated as the mashed topping was really amazing. Shame my photos don't really do it justice (I find these types of dishes hardest to photograph… any tips very welcome!)
This dish is pretty quick to put together though there are a few different stages, more than my usual 'throw' together meals. However this is also a great dish for cooking up a large batch, for example I cooked up a huge batch of lentils to freeze in portion sizes for later use, I also made a triple batch of the shepherd's pie base mix as this will be fantastic with new potatoes, served cold with salads, with spaghetti… Pretty versatile. I love leftovers!
For a little inspiration here are a few of my other lentil 'mince' based dishes:
P.s I hadn't originally planned to post this today, but it had a lot of love on Instagram...so I pushed it forward.
Fancy a sweet treat tomorrow? You got it!
Recipe: Summer Shepherd's Pie
Serves 2 (could easily be double)
- 1 small white onion- finely chopped
- 1 carrot- finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely sliced red cabbage
- 1 carton of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic- crushed
- 1 scant tsp dried italian herbs
- 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
- 1-2 tsp fine flour mixed with 1 tbs water (for thickening- i used gram flour)
- 1 1/2 cup grated cauliflower
- 1 tbs nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbs almond butter (i used this blanched almond butter)
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop onion, carrot and cabbage finely by hand or pulse in food processor (I did that).
Saute the veggies for approx. 5 mins with the garlic, dried herbs and a splash of oil.
Once softening, add the frozen peas, chopped tomatoes and lentils, allow to simmer for another 5 mins. Add a little flour to thicken a little if needed.
Meanwhile grate (or process) the cauliflower until fine. Boil or steam until tender (approx. 5 minutes). Drain well and add the remaining topping ingredients and blend until thick and smooth.
To assemble, spoon the base mix into a 15-20cm deep pie dish and top with the cauliflower mix using a fork to roughen the surface.
Bake at 200ºC for approx. 30 minutes or until the top begins to go golden.