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Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan, Low Protein (PKU), Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Total Protein Count: 13-18 g Protein
9 Serves = 1.6-2 g Protein per serve

Tell someone you are making Shepherd’s Pie and inevitably they will respond with, “I make a wicked Shepherd’s Pie. Do you want my recipe?” It is one of those great family dishes that  are passed down through the generations with pride. Luckily for those with PKU or just those who prefer not to add meat, this is a great vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie packed with flavour.

It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet and full of heaps of beautiful vegetables. The apricot jam gives it a sweet fruity taste that takes the edge off the heat of the chili peppers. This dish is a staple at our house and perfect for a chilly evening when it comes straight out of the oven. This shepherd’s pie is easily divided into portions and the left overs can be frozen for lunches and dinners.

charlotteats shephereds pie sliced
For The Mashed Potato Crust:

3-4 large gold or white potatoes, peeled, cut up (boiled – 500 g = 10 g protein)
vegetable stock or lactose-free cream, as needed (1 g protein – see notes below for low protein diets)
1 Tbs margarine or sunflower spread, to taste
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
chopped fresh chives, to taste

For The Filling:

1-2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp mild curry spice
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a smallish head), cut to bite size
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 zucchini, sliced and cut into quarter moons
150 g raw butternut pumpkin, peeled, sliced, cut into quarters (2 g protein)
1 heaping cup / 1/4 head shredded cabbage
1 410 g / 14 oz tin organic diced or crushed tomatoes (look for 1-2 g protein if possible)
2 Tbsp chopped green chillis or jalapenos, *optional
1 cup vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbsp low sugar apricot jam, to taste- to balance the heat
1 Tbsp rubbed sage
hot red chili pepper flakes, to taste (or use hot pepper sauce)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

charlotte eats shepherds pie


Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.

Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water; bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about twenty minutes; then strain.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large deep skillet and add the curry, and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes or so. Add the tinned tomatoes, the chopped green chillies or jalapenos, vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce. The vegetables should be tender-crisp, not too done, and the sauce to be thickened and not too thin. When this has been achieved, taste test the sauce for seasoning adjustments. Set aside.

Mash the cooked potatoes and cream or spread. Season with sea salt and pepper and chives. Don’t add too much liquid or over-mix the potatoes.

Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish . Top with mounds of mashed potato. Leave a few peaks of mashed potato for a lovely golden look. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

charlotteats shephereds pie cooked


– For low protein diets, look for zero or low protein options for Margarine and cream. In this recipe I have used lactose free cream which equaled 2.8 g Protein per 100 ml. You only need a splash to make the crust quite fluffy and thick; that would equal to approx. 1 g Protein. Use your judgement here. Vegetable stock is equally good and has no protein. Try to use your own vegetable broth when possible.

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