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Meatless Shepherd's Pie

ingredients

serves 4
3 oz (75 g) green lentils
3 oz (75 g) red lentils
1 large onion, skinned and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
550 g (1 1/4 lb) potatoes, scrubbed
40 g (1 1/2 oz) polyunsaturated margarine
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt semi-skimmed milk, plus 4 tbsp (60 ml)
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) grated nutmeg
4 oz (100 g) parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes
4 oz (100 g) cauliflower florets
4 oz (100 g) leeks, thickly sliced
2 oz (50 g) canned or frozen sweetcorn kernels
2 level tbsp plain wholemeal flour
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

method

1. Pick over the lentils, removing any stones, and wash thoroughly.

2. Put into a saucepan with the onion, bay leaf, cumin and pepper.

3. Cover with 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes, until soft.

5. Drain and peel, then mash with 15g (1/2 oz) margarine, 30 ml (2 tbsp) milk, the nutmeg and seasoning. Set aside.

6. Cook the parsnips in boiling water for 8 minutes; add the cauliflower and leeks for the last 4 minutes. Drain well.

7. Drain off all but 30 ml (2 tbsp) cooking liquid from the lentils, and discard the bay leaf.

8. Mash the lentils and add the cauliflower, parsnips, leeks and sweetcorn kernels.

9. Melt 15 g (1/2 oz) margarine in a small saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

10. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in remaining milk.

11. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

12. Remove from the heat, season with pepper and stir in the parsley.

13. Add the sauce to the lentil mixture, stir well, then put into a 1.1 litre (2 pint) ovenproof pie dish.

14. Pile the mashed potato on top of the lentil mixture, mark the top with a fork and dot with the remaining 15 g (1/2 oz) margarine.

15. Cook at 190°C (375°f) mark 5 for 30 - 40 minutes.

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