Now that the evening are getting cooler why not try this vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – low fat, healthy and with plenty of fibre.
For the mash:
2 medium-sized potatoes, suitable for mashing, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons skimmed milk
30g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese, grated
For the lentil base:
Light cooking spray, olive or rapeseed oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 stick celery, trimmed and finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
½ small swede, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 x 390g can green lentils, in water, drained
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Splash of Tabasco sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon each of dried oregano, rosemary and thyme
½ –1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
400ml reduced-salt vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Preheat the oven to 200oC/Fan 180oC. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat until the water starts to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (around 15 minutes) – check you can pierce the centre with a sharp knife. Carefully drain off the water and add the milk and most of the cheese. Mash until a smooth consistency. While the potatoes cook, coat another large saucepan in cooking spray and warm over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, swede and mushrooms, and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables start to soften. Add a splash of stock if needed to prevent burning. Add the lentils, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, herbs and cinnamon, and mix thoroughly. Carefully pour in the stock, stir in the tomato puree and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Transfer the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash evenly over the top, making sure all of the lentils are covered. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the lentil mixture is bubbling. Serve with a portion of steamed green vegetables.