vegan dinner

Easy Vegan Shepherd's Pie

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Shepherd’s pie is a classic British winter dish. This vegan version has all the best qualities - it’s warming, hearty, comfort food at it’s finest. Made with chunky tender vegetables and chickpeas in a thick, rich gravy, and topped with fluffy potatoes which turn golden and crispy on the top.

I’ve tried loads of vegan shepherd’s pie recipes in my time, and this version takes the best bits from each one to form the ultimate recipe. It’s packed with protein, is low-fat, and of course has a huge array of vitamins and minerals. But, most importantly, this vegan shepherd’s pie is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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Easy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1kg potatoes (floury varieties like Russet or King Edwards work best

  • 3 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms

  • 2 leeks, chopped

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 4 sticks celery, chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 Tbsp tomato puree

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 small butternut squash

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • A dozen sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

  • 250g cooked puy lentils

  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas

  • Vegan stock cube or 2 tsp vegan stock powder

  • 300g frozen peas

  • 300g frozen spinach

  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk

  • Handful fresh parsley

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Method:

Start by preparing your potatoes. Peel them and roughly chop into large chunks, then boil for 30-40 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, soak the porcini mushrooms in 200ml hot water for 10-15 minutes, then lift out the mushrooms, reserve the liquid, and chop the soaked mushrooms into small chunks.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan, then add the onions, leeks, carrots and celery, and saute for 5-10 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the porcini mushrooms, garlic, tomato puree, soy sauce, paprika, squash, oregano and thyme, then continue to saute for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now add the chickpeas (along with the liquid from the can), the lentils, the reserved water from the porcini mushrooms, and add a vegan stock cube or powder. Add the frozen peas and spinach, season with lots of black pepper (there’s enough salt already in the stock and soy sauce) and simmer for another 10 minutes. Take 200g of the boiled potatoes, mash roughly with a fork, and stir through the vegetables (this helps to thicken and enrich the sauce).

Now prepare the mash topping by mashing the remaining boiled potatoes with the olive oil, plant-based milk and fresh parsley until smooth. Divide the filling between your pie dish (or dishes). Dollop the mashed potato on top and spread out evenly over the pie using the back of a fork.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C (360F) and bake the pies for around 40 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the potatoes have turned golden and crispy on the top. Serve with a fresh salad or mixed green veg.

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Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 13.7g (Women: 27.4% / Men: 24.9%)

  • Iron: 4.4mg (Women: 29.7% / Men: 50.6%)

  • Calories: 378 (Women: 18.9% / Men: 15.1%)

  • Sugar: 9.9g (Women: 11.0% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Total Fats: 11.6g (Women: 16.6% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Saturated Fat: 1.2g (Women: 6.0% / Men: 4.0%)

  • Salt: 0.9g (Women: 15.0% / Men: 15.0%)

  • Fibre: 11.1g (Women: 37.0% / Men: 37.0%)

    See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

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Quick Vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas

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Quesadillas are the perfect party food - you don’t need plates as they’re easy to grab with your hands, plus you can make them in advance and just warm them up in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Any leftovers make an awesome speedy dinner, served up with a simple salad. Don’t forget to make the quick guacamole to dip them into, as it really does complement these quesadillas really well.

Veganising this classic Mexican dish turns it from a grease-laden snack into an incredibly healthy, nutrient-packed meal. Using the sweet potato and white bean mash as the filling instead of cheese, plus using whole wheat tortillas and serving with a fresh avocado dip, means they’re high in protein, packed with fibre and antioxidants, but with a fraction of the saturated fat. And they have ALL the flavour you want - the chipotle paste, maple syrup, paprika and nutritional yeast provide the perfect blend of smokiness, heat and sweetness.

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QUICK VEGAN SWEET POTATO QUESADILLAS RECIPE

Ingredients (makes 24 slices - serves 10 as a snack or 5 as a main):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 3 tsp chipotle paste

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • 2 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained

  • 8 whole wheat tortillas

  • 2 avocados

  • 1 lime

  • 1 handful fresh coriander

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Method:

Firstly peel and grate the sweet potatoes. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat, and add the grated sweet potato, maple syrup, paprika, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Stir frequently and cook for 7-8 minutes until the sweet potato has softened, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the beans. Use a potato masher to smash the mixture together. It’s fine to leave some bits of un-mashed sweet potato but the mixture should now be ‘spoonable’.

Now heat a frying pan and lay a tortilla flat in the pan. Spoon two heaped tablespoons of the mixture on to one half of it and spread out over half the tortilla, then fold the other half over and press down with a spatula. Dry fry on one side for about a minute or until it turns golden brown and beginning to char. Then flip over and repeat for the other side.

Keep the quesadillas warm in the oven while you cook the remaining tortillas in the same way. When ready to serve, cut each of the tortillas into three slices. Quickly mash the avocados using the back of a spoon with the lime juice and coriander, and serve with the warm quesadillas.

Nutrition (per 5 slices):

  • Protein: 18.8g (Women: 37.6% / Men: 34.2%)

  • Iron: 7.4mg (Women: 50.0% / Men: 85.1%)

  • Calories: 540 (Women: 27.0% / Men: 21.6%)

  • Sugar: 12.3g (Women: 13.7% / Men: 12.3%)

  • Total Fats: 12.4g (Women: 17.7% / Men: 13.1%)

  • Saturated Fats: 3.7g (Women: 18.5% / Men: 12.3%)

  • Salt: 1.2g (Women: 20.0% / Men: 20.0%)

  • Fibre: 15.0g (Women: 50.0% / Men: 50.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Vegan Pea and Mint Fritters

vegan pea and mint fritters fritter recipe

Every season has its perks - summer makes barbecues and picnics in the sun possible, autumn brings us the freshest seasonal fruit, and in spring the lengthening days and bursting flowers remind us that the sun does in fact still exist. But winter can be pretty magical too, and one of the best bits is enjoying good hearty pub grub (if you can find yourself a pub with an open fire and a resident dog, then you’re in luck)!

Luckily, most pubs nowadays serve vegan options with their Sunday roasts. These actually tend to be very healthy meals - plates loaded with colourful foods like vegetables, nut roasts, golden roast potatoes, and veggie gravy made with onions or mushrooms. All without any animal products so with just a fraction of the saturated fat than a roast dinner made with meat.

After eating copious amounts at a Sunday roast, it’s easy to think that the slightly-too-full feeling will last forever. But by the evening, that feeling usually starts to subside and you surprisingly find yourself ready to eat something again. While you still may not be able to manage a big dinner, something light, healthy and tasty is just what you need.

Vegan pea and mint fritters fritter recipe healthy quick and easy

These vegan pea and mint fritters are definitely the answer. They’re seriously delicious, with the perfect combination of fragrant sweet peas and subtle fresh mint. They go golden and crispy on the outside while staying soft and tender in the middle.

Plus they’re really quick and easy to make, and are really healthy, providing lots of protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, and K, B-vitamins, iron, and manganese, thanks to the green peas and whole grain flour. All while being pretty low in calories (check out the nutrition info at the bottom of the post).

They’re best eaten fresh and hot out of the pan, served with a simple salad and a yoghurt dip. But they’re also delicious cold used like a falafel in a pitta, or just on their own as a snack (they keep in the fridge for up to three days).

Vegan Pea and Mint Fritters Recipe

Ingredients (makes 8 fritters):

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 white onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 cup whole grain flour

  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

    For the yoghurt dip

  • 1/2 cup plain soy yoghurt

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

Start by cooking your frozen peas - just simmer in a pan of boiling water for around five minutes

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, finely dice your onion, and saute for 4-5 minutes. Mince your garlic and add to the pan and continue to saute for another 1-2 minutes, until the onion is softened.

Drain the peas and throw into a food processor. Also throw in the sauteed onion and garlic, flour, nutritional yeast, fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Pulse until it becomes a thick paste, as in the picture below. You’ll need to scrape the sides of the blender down a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined (you can add a couple of Tbsps of water to loosen the mixture if it’s too thick).

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Take a heaped Tbsp of the mixture and roll into a rough ball, then carefully press down into the frying pan using the back of a spoon to flatten into a fritter shape.

Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crispy, then flip over to cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Mix the yoghurt dip ingredients together in a ramekin and serve with a simple salad.

Vegan pea and mint fritters recipe healthy quick and easy
Vegan pea and mint fritters recipe vegetarian nutrition healthy quick and easy
Vegan healthy pea and mint fritters recipe healthy quick easy and vegetarian
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Nutrition (per two pea fritters):

  • Protein: 9.1g (Women: 18.2% / Men: 16.5%)

  • Iron: 2.6mg (Women: 17.6% / Men: 29.9%)

  • Calories: 235 (Women: 11.8% / Men: 9.4%)

  • Sugars: 5.0g (Women: 5.6% / Men: 4.2%)

  • Total Fats: 7.7g (Women: 10.6% / Men: 8.1%)

  • Saturated Fats: 1.1g (Women: 5.5% / Men: 3.7%)

  • Salt: 0.2g (Women: 3.3% / Men: 3.3%)

  • Fibre: 7.7g (Women: 25.7% / Men: 25.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

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