I seriously love sweet potatoes; as a soft mash alternative, fried until crispy on the hob or perfectly roasted until deliciously crunchy. I don’t think I’ve ever found a variation that I haven’t completely loved! That’s why on Plant Power Day, I knew I had to celebrate with a delicious bowl of my favourite sweet potato fries.
I think that for so many people food has a story, memory or meaning behind it. For me, shepherds pie always reminds me of warm winter evenings sitting around the dinner table whilst my mum served up delicious plates of traditional, homemade shepherd’s pie with a side of vegetables. I’d smother everything in a thick layer of warm gravy, until the bottom of my plate swam in a wave of brown liquid. Without a hesitation I would go back for seconds or even thirds just because it was my favourite meal of all-time. I wanted to recreate this magic memory, and this is what inspired this recipe.
I must admit, although I got the basic idea from a classic shepherd’s pie, this version couldn’t be more different. For starters, the classic meat and veg filling is replaced by a rich tomato, bean and mushroom concoction. And I’ve used sweet potato mash in place of the traditional mash topping. This is my grown-up meat free take on my favourite childhood meal.
Just like my mum’s trusty old recipe, this vegan friendly dish is VERY easy to make. The sweet potato mash is probably the easiest aspect of the whole dish. All you do is roast a sweet potato in the oven until a knife can be easily inserted. Then remove the orange flesh from the skin and mash gently with a fork. Easy as (shepherd’s) pie!
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or placed in the freezer for a later date. I love to serve this with a good helping of vegetables and drowned in gravy – I guess some things never change!
Every winter for as long as I can remember my mum has been making delicious homemade soups. Full of chunky, seasonal vegetables mixed with stock and pureed down to a thick paste. It was always my favourite meal, and one that I would look forward to all day. I would fill the biggest bowl that I could right up to the top (as well as eating a few spoonful’s straight from the pot along the way), gently warm up crusty roll, slather it in butter and use it to soak up the soup and get every single bit left.
My bowl was always left clean and my tummy full. It has always been such a comforting, rich and hearty meal and is perfect during autumn and winter when the colder weather hits and the nights start to draw in. So, every year around this time, I constantly badger my mum to make me her famous soup.
It may sound strange, but I’ve only recently started eating mushrooms. It was something that I avoided for such a long, and would pretty much refuse to eat. But now, I can’t get enough! I love how mushrooms are pretty much a blank canvas. They have the ability to absorb basically any flavour, and what you get at the end, is a different taste every time. You can fry them, stuff them, or even turn them into burger buns, (although I’ve never personally tried that).
Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite vegetables. They’re sweet, wholesome and taste completely delicious. I have them roasted pretty much every week, (it’s super quick and easy, you can find the recipe here) and always make sure that I have some sweet potato mash in the fridge, ready to liven up a salad. But I’ve been looking to do something different with them. I love them; but when you have a dollop of mash, or a few roasted fries every day, it can get a bit boring. That’s when I got the idea to make these sweet potato cakes.