I met Lisa last year and immediately I was blown away by her passion for cooking. Lisa takes great pride and satisfaction in cooking incredible award winning dishes while also showing us how to make them too in her facebook group and on her page (search for Cooking With The Vegan Owl or see the links below). She has been competing (and winning) in the Great British Pie Awards for a number of years and after some gentle persuasion got the competition to add a new category for vegan pies. Last year was the first year that this category ran with Lisa as one of the category judges. You may remember the headlines that followed as the winner of the vegan pie category also won the overall British Pie Award. Lisa is changing the face of vegan cooking, reminding everyone that vegan pies can taste great in a traditional way but with a plant based twist!
It is such a pleasure to introduce the latest Greener Beauty recipe from Lisa, I hope everyone enjoys making this lovely dish, make sure you tag us in any pictures!
The Vegan Owl
I love a simple meal. Simple but tasty, filling and comforting. This Shepherdless Pie ticks all those boxes.
If I need to save some time I sometimes use frozen vegetables. I take a cup and my pan to the freezer and measure from there. A cup of each veg makes more than enough for four big servings.
This is a flexible recipe that really can’t go wrong, so relax and enjoy cooking this all time family favourite with a plant based twist.
I use butter beans for the mash topping. You can use potatoes but butter bean mash is really tasty and adds extra protein which keeps you fuller for longer. Using a combination of potato and butter bean mash gives you the ability to cater to everyone’s tastes. Just top it with half of each type of mash.
For the Filling
1 large chopped onion
75 g green lentils
1/2 a leek. Sliced and rinsed
75 g diced carrot
1 stalk of celery, sliced
Bisto powder (original, brown box)
1/2 teaspoon Marmite
Vegan vegetable stock cube (to replace a stockcube, you can flavour the dish with celery salt, garlic powder, onion salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon of English mustard
For the Topping
2 cans of butter beans
2 very large potatoes peeled
Vegan spread such as Vitalite or Pure
60 ml Plant milk (soya or oat is recommended)
For the filling
Add the lentils and the chopped, prepared vegetables to a large pan
Pour over enough cold water to cover by an inch or two
Crumble in a vegetable stock cube (or add the separate flavourings listed in the ingredients)
Now add the Marmite and the Henderson’s relish and bring the pan to the boil
Stir it well and taste the gravy with a spoon ensuring it has cooled enough to taste
You may want to adjust the flavour by adding more salt and pepper, this will be down to your preferred taste
Stir the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer until lentils and larger vegetables are soft enough to cut easily
In a cup, mix a desert spoon of original Bisto powder with approximately 70 ml of cold water. Stir well with a fork to ensure a smooth paste
Add to the pan and stir well. The gravy will begin to thicken
When you are happy with the thickness of the gravy transfer the filling into an ovenproof dish and set to one side
For the topping
Butter bean mash
Gently heat the canned butter beans. Do not boil. Drain the water and mash with a fork. Add a good knob of the vegan butter, the plant milk and beat well until smooth
For a creamier mash, use a stick blender
Peel the potatoes. Cut into small pieces and boil in salted water. The smaller you dice the potato, the less time it takes to cook but be careful not cube too small as it will disintegrate when boiling. Adding some sliced onion to the water gives a nice flavour
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the potato is soft enough to cut
Drain the potato and add the vegan butter and plant milk
Again, for a creamier mash, use a stick blender
Topping with Mash (just one type or a combination of both)
If you have really whipped your mash, you may like to pipe your topping on using a piping bag. This does help make the mash go further. Carefully spoon the mash into the bag and pipe in line onto the dish containing the filling. Then take a fork and drag it across the surface, filling in any gaps. Grind some more black pepper on the top and pop the dish under a hot grill to brown the top