Meatless Mondays: Lentil shepherds pie
Brown, green and orange lentils are widely available in New Zealand but this week's recipe uses brown lentils.
Lentils are an often overlooked food in our diets and on restaurant menus but this is beginning to change.
Lentils can be served in many different ways, from simple family dishes (such as today's recipe) to gourmet.
Lentils contain a cholesterol-lowering fibre, excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B vitamins, and protein with virtually no fat.
1 3/4 cups brown lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp fresh seasonal herbs or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
4 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
Rinse the lentils and add to a saucepan with the water, onion, herbs, tomato paste and salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft (about 35 to 45 minutes).
Process lentils in a food processor (or mash, or leave as is) and spread in an oiled oven proof pie dish.
Cover with mashed potato and drizzle with olive oil.
Heat through in hot oven until the top is nicely browned or, alternatively, if the pie has just been made and is still hot, place briefly under a grill.