Shepherd’s Pie – serves 4-5

A classic family recipe gone fully plant based without losing out on flavour or ‘feel good’ factor. It takes a bit of chopping so get older children involved.

What you need:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot – finely chopped

3 garlic cloves – finely chopped

2 large carrots – peeled and cut into small cubes

3 celery stalks – finely sliced

1 small fennel – chopped into small cubes

1 large courgette – chopped into small cubes

3 tbsp tomato puree

400g firm tofu

Generous handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

Salt to taste (I like to use a herb/salt mix like Herbamare)

Black pepper to taste

For the mash*:

600g sweet potato – peeled and cut into chunks

200g red split lentils

1 tbsp olive oil

Half a teaspoon of turmeric

Salt to taste

How you do it:

In a frying pan heat up the olive oil.

Fry the shallot until translucent and start chopping all the other veg.

Keep stirring and – on low heat – add whatever you’ve chopped, keeping the courgette for last.

Once all the veggies are frying away, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil.

Add sweet potato chunks and red lentils, simmer on low heat.

Keep stirring your veg making sure nothing burns.

Crumble the tofu on a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Grill the tofu crumbles (using the oven’s grill function) until slightly brown and crispy stirring it a few times to make sure it browns evenly.

Keep a close eye on it as it can burn easily, once done take it out and put aside for later.

After around 20 minutes your sweet potato/lentil mix should be cooked, insert a knive to check the sweet potato chunks are soft throughout.

Drain and mash with a masher or handheld blender, add olive oil, turmeric and salt to taste and put aside.

Give your veggie mix another stir and if everything has softened or reached the desired texture add tomato puree, oregano, salt, pepper and parsley.

Stir your tofu crumbles into the veg mix.

Spoon the veg and tofu mix into an oven proof dish and top with the mash.

Bake at gas 6 (190C) for about 25 minutes or until the mash starts to brown at the edges.

Serve with an optional side of leafy salad.

* It works equally well with normal potato mash, whatever the kids prefer.