Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Di's meatless shepherd's pie recipe

Last week I put the call out on Facebook, asking what are your favourite dinner recipes to cook and eat.

My interest was piqued when Di mentioned a meatless shepherd's pie, so I asked her to send the recipe through to me to test.

Totally off topic, but here's a true story about Di that I remembered last night while cooking this recipe. I once had a dream that she and I were good friends hanging out at my house, and this was before I had even met her.

How? Well, I used to listen to Life FM's breakfast show on my morning drive to work, and Di was the co-host for it. I guess she got into my sub-conscious without me even realising it, because one night I had a dream that we were good buddies hanging out.

You can imagine how surreal it was when my friend, Dale, brought his new girlfriend, Di, to church one day. I was sorely tempted to rush up to her and say, "Oh my gosh, Di, this is the weirdest thing but I had a dream you and I were BFFs and look, here you are and its like, destiny, or whatever," just to see the look on her face.

I never did tell Di about my dream. I guess she gets to learn about it with the rest of you now on Craving Fresh. "Hi, Di." *Sheepish wave*.

And... moving right along.

I cooked Di's meatless shepherd's pie for dinner last night, using potatoes, zucchinis and carrots from my garden, plus black beans I had soaked, cooked and frozen last week.

It made such a hearty meal, despite its lack of meat, and it had me going back for seconds.

As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to cook more with beans after reading The Everything Beans Book and Good and Easy Eats. This is partly to save money and partly for the health benefits. Check out some of the amazing health benefits of black beans here.


  • 4-5 medium potatoes 
  • 25g butter (or more if you're a butter lover like Emily)
  • 1c cheese
  • 1/4c milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Breadcrumbs (optional)
  • Italian herbs (optional)

  • 1c beans, eg. kidney beans, baked beans, black beans or pinto beans
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2T butter
  • 1 diced red or green bell pepper / capsicum. (I didn't have one, so used a diced carrot and two small grated zucchinis instead.)
  • 3T wholemeal flour
  • 1t dried basil
  • 1t dried oregano
  • 1t paprika
  • 2T chopped parsley
  • 1t dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2c beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2T tomato paste

1. Cook and mash potatoes to your liking. (Or you can follow the steps in my photos below.)
Scrub potatoes, or peel if they're not organic. 
Boil chopped potatoes in lightly salted water until tender.
Drain water out and place pan back on a low heat to steam off excess water.
Mash in butter.
Mash in milk, salt and pepper.
Mash in grated cheese.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, sauté chopped onions in a large saucepan or frying pan until tender and medium brown. 

3. Stir in bell pepper (and other veges) then flour. 

4. Stir until flour has browned slightly, then add basil, oregano, paprika, parsley and soy sauce.

5. Stir in stock and tomato paste, and bring to a boil stirring constantly. 

6. Add drained beans. Variation: If you don't like the texture of whole beans, you might first like to mash or process them into a smooth paste.

7. Spread mixture out on the bottom of an oven-proof dish and cover with cheesy mashed potato. (I find it easiest to dollop the mashed potato around the top one spoonful at a time, as the liquid base makes it difficult to spread large amounts around.)

 8. Sprinkle a little extra cheese, breadcrumbs and Italian herbs on top.

9. Heat at 180°C / 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden.

Di tells me this is nice served with green veges. I enjoyed mine with a summer salad and sweet corn.

What's your favourite meatless dinner recipe? Tell me in the comments below and I might just feature it here on Craving Fresh.

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