Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean your food has to be boring or plain. There’s a whole world of foods out there that you can enjoy including this delicious vegetarian shepherd pie, which will serve two people without any accompaniment and four people if served with vegetables.


½ cup brown lentils

¼ cup pot barley

Scant 2 cups of water or stock

1 tsp. yeast extract

1 large carrot, diced

½ onion, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 tsp. vegetarian gravy powder or thickener e.g. cornstarch

Salt and pepper

3 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed


Simmer the lentils and barley in 1¼ cups of the stock and yeast extract for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the carrot, onion, garlic and walnuts in the remaining stock for 15 minutes or until tender.

Mix the gravy powder or thickener with a little water and add to the carrot mixture, stir over low heat until thickened.

Combine the lentils and barley with the carrot mixture, season and place in an ovenproof dish.

Cover with the mashed potatoes and cook at 1800C /3500F for about 30 minutes until browned on top.

Garnish with tomatoes and serve with vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts or cabbage.

Kitchen tip:

Yeast extract is the common name for various forms of processed yeast products made by extracting the cell contents (removing the cell walls); they are used as food additives or flavourings or as nutrients for bacterial culture media.

Kitchen safety:

  Try and keep your kitchen area clean and well organised as you cook, so you can find what you need when you need it.

Always try to label perishables so you know when to use up food and follow proper food handling rules. Food safety doesn’t just apply to people who eat meat or eggs; lots of food safety problems can arise if you don’t wash produce well or store food properly.

Published June 2015