As the days get shorter and Autumn draws in, we’re looking for lunches to keep us warm. Try this veggie take on a classic Shepherd’s pie. It costs less than £3 per serving – giving a more nutritious, tasty and cheap alternative to buying a panini between classes.
Time: 45 mins – 1 hr
Price: £13-14 (based on mySupermarket.com) When costing our recipes, we assume you don’t have any of the ingredients in stock. This means it’s likely to cost less than we quote, unless your cupboards really are bare. We also price according to whole bottles of oil/bags of pasta/jars of spices etc., so you’ll have left-overs to use in other recipes. Hoorah!
For the filling
- 2 peppers, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 fennel, finely chopped
- 1 large courgette, finely chopped
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 cup of red split lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 vegetable stock pots
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the topping
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp cream cheese (switch this for a vegan cream ‘cheese’ to make the dish dairy free)
For the filling:
- Heat a large saucepan on a medium heat. When it’s hot, add vegetable oil and red onion. Fry for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the peppers, carrot, fennel and courgette. Stir well and fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock pots (I usually use stock pots instead of stock cubes as I find they contain less salt), lentils and an additional 2 cups of water. Mix well to combine and then add in the mushrooms.
- Simmer for 15 minutes and then decant into an ovenproof casserole dish. Leave to cool down and thicken slightly whilst you make the topping.
For the topping:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Boil the sweet potatoes and parsnip for 20 minutes until soft.
- Drain and mash.
- Add the cream cheese and stir well, season to taste.
- Spoon the mash mixture over the filling and spread out evenly with a fork.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the mash begins to crisp.
This veggie-filled dish will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge if stored in airtight containers. Simply reheat before eating – perfect for week day lunches in between lectures!
Heidi is studying for a PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. Most people don’t believe her when she says she has a pet hedgehog named Roy.