Thursday 20 September 2012

One day a week vegan

My vegan day in reverse order ended with supper of lentil and vegetable pie.  A kind of vegan shepherds pie with comforting mashed potato topping. This went down really well with everyone. 


Lentil and vegetable Pie

To make a family pie you will need:
  • One large leek 
  • A small butternut squash
  • A couple of carrots
  • A handfull of mushrooms
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • A big handful of hearty beans in the pod from the garden...sadly not mine... 
  • A cup of green lentils (I love these lentils as they have a great earthy flavour and cook really quickly)
  • Olive oil 
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground turmeric
  • Sea salt and black or white pepper
  • A little crushed chilli...not too much just to add a little flavour but not too much heat. A crushed garlic clove for the same purpose.
  • Three or four large potatoes in a variety that will mash well.


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces. Place in a pan of cold water seasoned with a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked. This should take about fifteen minutes depending on the variety and how small the pieces.
  2. Remove any thick outside leaves from the leek, cut in half lengthwise and then into small pieces. Wash well removing any soil and place in a heavy saucepan and saute with a little olive oil. After five minutes or so add the crushed garlic and cook. 
  3. Peel and chop up the pumpkin removing the seeds and add to the leeks.
  4. Peel and chop the carrots and add along with chopped green beans, mushrooms and tomatoes and add to the pan along with all the spices and seasoning.
  5. Wash the lentils and add too along with a little water or vegetable stock. I always keep the cooking or steaming water from spinach or broccoli to use. You may like to add a little tomato paste if you've made any or passata but there should be enough flavour from all the lovely vegetables and spices.
  6. Cover and allow to cook until all the vegetables are tender and the lentils cooked. Most of the water should be absorbed with just enough left to ensure the pie isn't dry.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180c
  8. Drain the mashed potatoes. Mash with a little olive oil. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. You could add some mustard or roasted pulped garlic at this point to spice up the mash a little. 
  9. Check the seasoning in the vegetable/lentil mixture, adjust if necessary and then spoon into an oven proof dish.
  10. Top this with the mashed potatoes
  11. Pop into the oven for about fifteen minutes or so until the mashed potatoes have little brown crunchy bits on top.

This is a lovely comforting family supper that would work with lots of different combinations of vegetables. The pumpkin and lentils along with the mash topping make it very substantial. Nice served with any green vegetable. I used fine runner beans.

I made this for myself along with regular shepherds pie for the family. Everyone wanted to try both and proclaimed this one better than the meat version and wondered why I hadn't just made this one! So that's a big thumbs up...I will do next time...


Fresh strawberries with banana ice cream 

To make Banana ice-cream you will need:

  • One banana per two servings

  1. Remove the banana skins and cut into chunks then place in the freezer a couple of hours before the ice-cream is required.
  2. Remove from the freezer and place in the bowl of a blender. Pulse the bananas until they are a creamy consistency and serve with fresh fruit.
This ice-cream is amazingly simple to make has a great flavour and texture and is just made from banana nothing else. I can hardly believe it!


One of my favourite non salad lunches is an open sandwich of hummus with either roasted peppers or beetroot. I almost always have a couple of screw top jars of cooked beetroot simply pickled with balsamic vinegar in the fridge. I just pour the cold vinegar over the cooked and sliced beetroot. It keeps for ages and makes a great addition to salads or sandwiches. 

To make hummus you will need:
  • 200g dried chick peas allowed to steep overnight in cold water
  • Tahini
  • Fresh lemon or lime
  • Olive oil 
  • A couple of cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil 
  • Paprika
  • Sea salt 
  1. Drain the chick peas and put into a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until soft enough to mash or blend into a paste. This can take a long time up to three or four hours.  I usually cook up big batches and freeze them to use later.
  2. Remove the pan from the hear and leave to cool.
  3. Drain the cooking water off keeping a little in case need to thin the hummus.
  4. Mash or blitz the chick peas adding a little olive oil, tahin, crushed garlic and any other flavours like ground cumin or coriander and seasoning to taste. If the mixture is too thick add some of the cooking water until you have the right consistency.
  5. Put into a serving dish and trickle a little olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika.
To roast the peppers simply wash them and cut in half lengwise. Place in an oven proof dish. Trickle some olive oil over and sprinkle with sea salt and roast at 180c for about thirty minutes, checking to ensure they don't burn.


Granola with dried fruits and maple syrup

Quick breakfast is home-made granola from the jar, this time with dried fruits left to steep overnight in a little hot water or fruit juice. Served with a big squeeze of orange juice and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

  • Three cups of rolled oats
  • One cup of nuts
  • Half a cup of seeds
  • One third of a cup of  honey
  • One quarter of a cup of olive oil
  • Half a spoonful of vanilla paste
  • A couple of teaspoonfuls of cinnamon


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
  2. Lay onto an oven tray
  3. Bake at 150c for half an hour or so until toasty
  4. Leave to cool and then store in a jar
Another successful one day a week vegan day...

Whoops nearly forgot to link over to real food forager for fat tuesday


  1. Since we have been home from a mini vacation our dinners have been vegan. Time to get back to good food. I love lentils!!

  2. These are some delicious sounding recipes, and I am looking forward to making a few of these. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh, I adore lentil shepherds pie. It's one of my staples in the winter. Only now I've seen yours, I'm rather thinking why wait until winter?