The crisp cold and frosty season is well and truly upon us. The air is cold and the sky is blue, which can provide light relief from the January blues… The stillness of winter reminds us how important rest is though. Pacing ourselves, and taking time to be still, whether that’s sitting with a warm drink, or switching fast paced exercise for a more restorative yoga practice. Stillness in winter can be a way to reconnect to our sense of vitality (or lack of) and preserve our energies, it can also be a place where we begin to feel stagnant, where coughs and cold creep in and it becomes hard to move at all. Balance is key (Not just tree pose -but it helps!)… One thing this time of year requires, however you’re feeling, is warming hearty food…Good nourishment and extra calories.
This is a vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe that’s hearty and rich, warming and comforting! Just what’s required in the middle of winter…
Ingredients for the Filling:
1 Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Sticks Celery
1 knob butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
200g Button Mushrooms
1/2 Butternut Squash
1/2 Cup Red Lentils
1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200mls Red Wine
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Herby Zaatar (or dried mixed herbs)
Salt & Pepper
Ingredients for the Topping:
4 large potatoes
50g Cheddar Cheese
1 tbsp butter to mash
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
- Peel and cube the butternut squash, add to a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven or around 20 minutes or until the squash is soft through
- Melt a knob of butter and a tbsp olive oil to a pan on the hob.
- Finely chop the onion and celery, cube the carrots and crush and chop the garlic and add to the pan, add a pinch of salt and the maple syrup and soften for around 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils, red wine and tinned tomatoes and bring the ingredients to a simmer. Add the sprig of thyme and simmer on a gentle heat as the liquid reduces.
- Add the zaatar mix (or dried mixed herbs if you don’t have this).
- Finely slice the mushrooms and add to the liquid.
- As the lentils cook through the liquid will reduce so just add a little water now and again to keep the mixture loose.
- When the butternut squash is cooked through, add it to the pan, stir and simmer.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt.
- Peel and cube the potatoes and boil for around 10 minutes until soft.
- Drain the water and add the butter to mash.
- Place the butternut squash mixture in an oven proof dish and top with the mashed potato using a fork to press down.
- Top with grated cheddar cheese and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is beginning to crisp.