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MEAT FREE MONDAY: Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with cheddar and lentils

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Because eating well doesn’t have to cost the Earth…

Jamie Oliver

Becoming a vegetarian or vegan is one of the best things you can do for the planet but what if (like quite a few of us at Global Cool Headquarters) you’re not ready to ditch meat completely? Never fear, you can still do your bit for the planet (and make yourself healthier and richer) by incorporating Meat Free Mondays into your life.

Meat Free Mondays will bring you the crème de la crème of vegetarian recipes to encourage you to ditch meat just one night a week. This week check out this meat-free Shepherds Pie from Jamie Oliver with a great combination of flavours – the ultimate in comfort food…

Jamie Oliver Recipes2 red onions
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
a small bunch of fresh rosemary
2 x 400 g tins of lentils
olive oil
1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
200 ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
1.5 kg Desiree potatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 g Cheddar cheese, grated
100 ml whole milk
a large knob of butter
1 fresh nutmeg, for gratinh

Peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots. Trim and roughly chop the celery. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Pick the rosemary leaves, discard the stalks. Finely chop half of leaves, put the rest to one side. Drain the lentils.

Heat a large pan on a medium heat. Add a good lug of olive oil and the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently with the lid on for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened.

Add the chopped rosemary leaves, tinned tomatoes and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, then add the drained lentils, reduce to a low heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until thick and delicious.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into halves and quarters depending on their size, and put them into a pan of salted, boiling water. Boil for about 10 minutes until tender. Stick a knife into them to check they’re soft all the way through.

Drain in a colander and return them to the pan. Grate the Cheddar cheese. Add the milk, butter, most of the cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan.

Finely grate in a few scrapings of nutmeg. Mash until smooth and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5. Transfer the lentil mixture to a large ovenproof baking dish. Spoon the mash evenly over the top, poke the remaining rosemary leaves into it to decorate and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, then cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve with broccoli or some lovely peas.

Find out more about why you should introduce Meat Free Mondays to your life now!

frankensteinHere comes the science bit…

GC articles show you one of four ways (the one in bold) to live greener…

/ Be a winner (not a binner) /
/ Turn up the style (not the heat) /
/ Love the trend (not the spend) /
Do it in public (not the car/plane) /

Main image: PA Images. Smaller image: Meat Free Mondays.

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