Kids Cook! Vegetarian Vegan Shepherd’s Pie!
Welcome to Kids Cook! Vegetarian Vegan Shepherd’s Pie!
This series of vegetarian vegan recipes were originally created for National Vegetarian week 2019.
Use these posts as a resource for your child’s adventure in plant based cooking.
All the recipes can be either vegan or vegetarian.
If everyone made this small change it can help save our planet! Check out this post for more information!
If your family is not at the stage of replacing meals with plant-based. It’s fine to make the change more slowly. Add in lots of extra vegetables and less meat to your meals.
A great experiment is to choose one of the recipes from my series of posts and have a comparison study.
Initially have your child cook a vegan or vegetarian recipe and then a meat version. Then compare by flavour, cost,ease of cooking etc. Work out the calories each dish has as well as the fat, sugar and fibre content. Create a table and add all your information and results! Use the food calculator from the British Nutrition Foundation to help work out nutritional content of recipes and ingredients.
Obviously don’t do this activity with meat if you are a strict vegetarian or vegan!
Instead experiment with various ingredients to replace the Quorn mince. Such as mushrooms,grated carrot,lentils, beans, soya mince,tofu, jackfruit anything that springs to mind!
Create a table comparing the ingredients. See if you can find out the healthiest version of a vegan/vegetarian shepherds pie!
Furthermore your child could sketch a packaging label for the dish that includes the nutritional information and list of ingredients.
Vegetarian Vegan Shepherd's Pie!
- Baking dish/es
- Saute pan/deep frying pan
- 600 grams White Potatoes Could use 400 gm White and 200 gm of Sweet Potato. For a scottish version 200g of turnip/swede with 400g of white potato is equally if not more tasty. Peeled and chopped. (Though for added fibre I tend to keep the peel attached to the potato as long as the peel looks fine. My family don't mind their mashed potato with little bits of peel, but mind and peel the swede or turnip)
- 2 tbsp Vitalite margarine or butter Vitalite is dairy free/Vegan
- 2 tbsp soya milk or dairy milk Use more or less milk depending on how your family likes their mashed potato texture
- pinch salt and pepper Depending on your own preferences
- 1 packet Quorn Mince either vegan or vegetarian Or 2 tins of drained green lentils as a replacement
- 3 medium-large carrots, chopped I prefer to parboil my chopped carrots for about 8-10 minutes or until carrots are near soft. Your guaranteed not to end up with hardish carrots in the finished dish. Reserve the liquid for the stock. Its tasty and you retain water based vitamins.
- 2 Sticks celery, chopped Parboil with the carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, fine chopped I tend to use 4 or 5 but this depends on your families preferences.
- 1 whole onion, fine chopped Can be red or white varieties.
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 stock cube either vegetarian or vegan
- Reserved carrot-celery water Dissolve the stock cube in this water
- Several Handfuls grated vegan or vegetarian cheese Vegetarian cheese is dairy cheese that does not contain rennet. Rennet originates from a calf's stomach. Rennet free dairy cheese will be labelled vegetarian.
- Heat non-stick saute pan or medium sized saucepan with vegetable oil till medium hot.Place potatoes in saucepan with water. Boil for 10-12 minutes or until soft. Time depends on how large you chopped potatoes. Drain and leave to steam dry in a colander.
- Saute the onions till lightly brown. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes. If pan too hot turn down a little to prevent garlic burning. Stir frequently.
- Add another teaspoon of oil if required to prevent sticking. If cutting down on oil a few tbsp of water could be added.
- Add Quorn or half the bag depending on how many servings you want. An average sized bag tends to feed 4 and the family sized pack could feed 6. Alternatively add the lentils.Saute for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add tomato puree and cook for a few minutes.
- Add cooked carrots and celery. Stir.
- Add chopped tomatoes. Mix.
- Add about 250-300 ml of carrot-celery stock and bring to boil.
- Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, if there doesn't seem to be much stock then add some more, you don't want it too liquidly though. But you don't want it too dry either. if you run out of stock you can use boiling water.
- Preheat oven to 180 fan /200 celsius/Gas mark 6/400 Fahrenheit
While mince is cooking, transfer potatoes to a bowl and add the margarine, milk and season to taste. Mash till smooth. Set aside till required.
- Prepare a medium-large pyrex or baking dish. Or individual single potion dishes. Check mince mix is seasoned to taste. Spoon into the baking dish/es. If you want to up the veg content add a handful of frozen peas/sweetcorn and mix. Alternatively a tin of baked beans is quite a delicious addition! And counts as a portion of vegetables!
- Scoop ladlefuls of mashed potatoes over the mince. Spread out evenly over mince. Use a fork to create a swirly, peaked pattern on top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes on the middle rack of oven. Until potatoes start to look brown or crispy. This will depend on your oven and how hot it runs.
- Carefully remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese on top. Place back in oven.When cheese melted, golden brown and looking crispy, about 10-15 minutes, remove from oven. Its ready to serve.
- Can be cooled and kept for about 3 days. Can be prepared in advance, cooled and frozen. Defrost and reheat for 45 minutes before serving. (Check the pie after 30 minutes and if its getting too dark then you can cover with a layer of tin foil.) At 180 Celsius/160 Fan/ Gas 4/ 350 Fahrenheit. Make sure the shepherds pie is piping hot when it comes out the oven.
Time for dessert! Why not try baking some delicious Vegan/Vegetarian Carrot and Courgette Cupcakes: https://earthcadetseducation.com/kids-bake-vegan-cupcakes/
Kids Cook! Vegetarian Vegan Shepherd’s Pie!
Lots of cooking and nutrition resources to access here for kids:
Some shepherds/cottage pie facts for kids:
Mashed potato facts for kids:
Potato facts for kids, where they come from etc:
Easy method to grow your own potatoes for kids:
Potato growing journals, wall charts and much more to print out, great for kids to keep track of their potato growing:
Video for growing potatoes with kids:
Science behind potato growing, video for kids:
Science for kids club:
The great grub club for 4-7 year olds:
Food and nature fun games, facts for kid with Henri the french worm!: