Today I am feeling patriotic and healthy, which calls for a very British dish – with a vegetarian twist! It’s for all those veggies in the house who’d love a slice of shepherd’s pie, sans beef. We sure love our spuds in this country, however his variation is also perfect for for anyone trying to avoid starchy vegetables (like potatoes).
The biggest test of all was getting my father to taste this – as men can be very dubious of a ‘healthy recreation’ of such a British favourite. Since he made the call for seconds, I can safely say that it passed the test with flying colours. A warming, filling meal, perfect for these cold winter nights.
Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie (with a veggie twist)
Preparation: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 mins/ Oven preheat 375 F
Equipment: Steamer, Food processor, Saucepan, Pyrex Rectangular Dish with Plastic Lid. (approx. 2.6L 25cm x 20cm x 7.5cm).
- 1 cauliflower head
- Garlic salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin Coconut oil or Coconut butter
- 1 egg
- 250g mushrooms (combination of shiitake and chestnut)
- 2 carrots
- 1 large leek
- 1 spring onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tomato
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp lemon thyme
- 2 sage leaves
- 2 basil leaves
- 300-350ml boiling water
- 1 tbsp organic natural maple syrup (optional)
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Start by preheating the oven to 375 F / 190 C
- In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until they appear minced. You don’t want them to be too fine.
- Add 1 small tsp of coconut oil to a pan.
- Chop the leek, spring onion and carrots and add to the pan on a low-med heat. (Tip: if the leek/spring onion start sticking to the pan before golden just add a tiny bit of water. It will allow the leek to cook for longer.)
- Once the leek starts to golden add the chopped garlic clove until aromatic.
- Add the minced mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and tomato puree and stir.
- Add the boiling water and cover the pan. Simmer on a low heat for around 20 mins. Or until you see the water evaporate.
- Season with salt/pepper and maple syrup (optional).
- While the veggies are simmering steam the cauliflower for 10-12mins until soft.
- Cut the florets and add to the food processor. Puree till smooth/resembles mash.
- Add the egg, coconut oil or butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and process.
- Add the filling into a pyrex oven dish and spread the cauli-mash on top.
- Use a fork to create a lined ‘shepherd’s pie’ pattern and drizzle some olive oil on top to help it brown.
- Place in the oven for 30 mins (Tip: if you want a really golden brown top, grill at 375 F for 10 mins.)