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 know that around this time of year most people vow to eat healthier. To cut the sugar, avoid the pizza and skip the extra snack between meals. But sometimes after trying your hardest to make the ‘right’ choices, you’re still left with a little craving.
Whether your weakness is crisps, chocolate or something else all together; I know it can be really hard to resist and head straight for your favourite comfort food. But, you should never cut out snacks completely! What you really need is to find something else that satisfies your craving and keeps you going until your next meal.
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!