Monday, 7 May 2012

Michelle Bridges' Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Well, as I promised on the 16th of March, I have tried out one of Michelle Bridges' recipes. I've been feeling a bit out of control with my eating, and so I figured that if I put a bit more structure into feeding myself (i.e. preparing meals for the week ahead) I would be off to a good start.

I must admit I was a little bit concerned that it would taste like @rse, as a lot of "diet" recipes are wont to do. This reminded me a lot of this Weight Watchers recipe for a lentil-vegie curry, only without the sweet potato and therefore without being quite as satisfying. It had one foot in the "watery/flavourless" camp and the other in the "the cheese makes it tolerable enough to eat it four nights running". I imagine it could be made quite spectacular by adding herbs and spices, but I dutifully obeyed The Terrifyingly Fit Ms Bridges and didn't eat whilst I was cooking. Which means that I didn't taste whist I was cooking. Which meant that I had no idea what it tasted like until last night when I reheated portion number one! Ah well, live and learn.

Also, it filled me up temporarily, but it went down quickly, as diet foods tend to do. Luckily I had enough space in my day for another piece of fruit and a little tub of frozen yoghurt, so that stopped me from dying from hunger during my waking hours.

I made it sound bad, didn't I.

It's not that bad, I swear! Seriously, I will make it again, with either curry powder and salt (the tinned tomatoes I used were unsalted), or a mixture of herbs. My perception of it is also no doubt quite skewed because I have been eating badly for quite a while, and this is a sudden change from the delicious diet-damaging pub meal of my choice - 300g steak, cooked medium-rare, served with pepper sauce, chips and salad *drools* Not that I have it more than once a week, but gosh I love it...

Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Steamed Broccoli, from Michelle Bridges' Crunch Time Cookbook
Serves 4; Prep 20mins; Cook 1hr 10mins; 290cal per serve

1/2c dried brown onions
1 whole + 1 chopped onion
1 bay leaf
500g cauliflower, broken into florets
1/3c low-cal ricotta
Olive oil spray
I large carrot, diced
150g mushrooms, halved depending on size
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g can diced tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3c grated parmesan
400g steamed broccoli to serve

Place lentils, whole oinion and bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover with 2c water and bring to the boil. Gently boil for 40mins (you may need to stir/slightly top up water a couple of times to stop it from catching) until lentils are tender. Drain and discard onion and bay leaf.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower until very soft. Transfer to a bowl and mash with ricotta to make a coarse puree.

Lightly spray frying pan with olive oil. Cook chopped onion, carrot, mushroom and garlic for 8mins, stirring until softened and lightly browned. Stir through tomatoes, drained lentils and 1/4c water. Season then spoon into 32x20cm ovenproof dish (which I also gave a quick spray of oil). Top with cauliflower mash and parmesan.

Bake 30mins until cheese is golden. Serve with steamed broccoli.


No, really... enjoy!

(and if you don't enjoy it all that much, at least the virtuous feeling should keep you going for a bit)


  1. Is it just me, or does that lady seem like she would be no fun as a party guest? :-)

    I'm not sure about mashed cauliflower, but I'll take your word for it that this was good!

    1. After trying out her vegetarian lasagne recipe, I have reached the conclusion that this was actually pretty boring by comparison. I think allowed the cloud of smug to delude me :) But yes, it seems to me that she would be quite boring as a party guest. The sort to eat the celery sticks but not dip them in the hommus. But I suppose you don't get a six pack by eating Tim-Tams!


Give me the loves! Erm, I mean, comment here...