This week due to popular request, I am sharing my feel-good, hearty and delicious, vegan black bean shepherds pie recipe.
This meal is all about a well-balanced, nutritious, gluten-free, vegan feast of deliciousness. I’d just like to take a moment to share my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been sharing their excitement with me over this recipe. Delighted to share! Here it is – from my heart to yours.
Versatile black bean shepherds pie recipe – so you can dance with the ingredients a little
It’s quite easy to make. If you don’t happen to have all of the spices that I’ve listed, then it’s pretty versatile. I use my tried and tested, well balanced blend of warming spices (as listed in the recipe below) to include cardamom, ground coriander, cinnamon and paprika. However, it’s pretty forgiving if you swap them out a little. You could, for example, leave out the cardamom if you don’t have any and add more ground coriander. If you don’t have onion powder, it’ll still taste fine without it.
Just saying that so that you know that you have options. I always encourage my friends to dance with it a little and find their own unique expression. That said – IF you have all the ingredients and follow the recipe exactly, it will be de-e-e-elicious.
Black bean shepherds pie – a very rewarding meal to serve to groups
Everyone loves this, which makes it an excellent meal to serve to groups. I always feature a shepherds pie when catering on retreat. Never fails to delight… and dare I say, even, at times, inspires people to make lasting, culinary lifestyle changes.
Creamed coconut for a little ‘je ne said quois’
I’m bringing in my signature ingredient creamed coconut, for a little magic. #happydance
If you want to know what creamed coconut is then please do check out my short article here:
What is Creamed Coconut? Creamed Coconut versus Coconut Cream
It features in a lot of my recipes and is a pantry essential for any conscious kitchen. Having said that, if you haven’t got creamed coconut, then just add some coconut cream instead – that’ll work fine!
OK, let’s go make some Black Bean & Mushroom Shepherds Pie together…
The main part of the Shepherds Pie
- 1 Courgette (US: zucchini) medium sized
- 200g chestnut mushrooms (about 2 large handfuls)
- 400g cooked black beans (or approx. two tins drained)
- 75ml water (⅓ cup approx)
- 200ml passata (about ⅘ of a cup note: also called strained or seived tomatoes)
- 15 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon heaped sweet paprika (or smokey/spicy paprika depending on preference)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Big pinch black pepper
- Pinch chili pepper (optional)
- 50g - 100g Creamed coconut (¼ to ½ block depending on preference)
Optional middle layer
- Large handful of baby spinach (optional)
- 600g potatoes (just over 1 lb)
- 25g creamed coconut
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 75ml rice milk (⅓ cup approx)
- Sprinkle of dried herbs (optional)
- Chop the courgette (known as zucchini in North America) and mushrooms into tiny pieces.
- Add to a pan along with the water and passata and gently bring to the boil. If you don't have passata you could half a tin of crushed tomatoes instead.
- Once boiling turn to a gentle simmer. Keep the lid on, so that the moisture is retained.
- Stir regularly over the cooking period.
- Crush the seeds from the cardamom pods and remove/discard the outer pods. Check out my quick video here for Tips On Using Cardamom Pods HERE.
- Add the black beans and spices to the pan.
- There are different types of paprika i.e. spicy, sweet or smoked. Use your favourite. I have made this with all three types and it tastes fab every time.
- Allow to gently simmer for about 15 minutes. Finely chop the creamed coconut block and pop it in and mix thoroughly to melt it in, right at the end.
In the meantime cook the potatoes.
- Chop the potatoes into small cubes (for example 3/4 of an inch cubed). Leave the skins on.
- Put them in a pan with water and bring to the boil. They should cook within 15 minutes. They are ready when you can easily piece with a fork.
- Finely chop or grate the coconut (unless it has melted already).
- Drain the water off the potatoes.
- Add the creamed coconut - mix it in right away to allow it to melt.
- Add the salt, pepper and rice milk.
- Mash thoroughly with a potato masher (I've used a fork when I haven't had a potato masher available. That takes longer, but still works).
Bring it all together
- Put the main 'black bean and mushroom mixture' into a small casserole dish or oven proof dish.
- Optional: add a thick layer of baby spinach leaves. This adds a nice dose of healthy greens to the dish and also serves to stop the liquid from the black bean mix soaking up into the potatoes. I sometimes add this, sometimes leave it out.
- Add the mashed potato to the top. Smooth it down evenly with a fork.
- If you have some to hand add a light sprinkle of mixed dried herbs to the top.
- Pop it in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 7 (220C / 425F) for approximately 40 minutes.
- Enjoy immediately with veggies or salad.
- Keeps for a few days in the fridge and reheats nicely. Also works fine cold if you can't wait to re-heat it, or want to take some with you to work for lunch.
Don’t forget to let me know how you get on with this in the comments below. Please also feel free to ask any questions.