When I made this dish I ran around the kitchen trying to find an appropriate dish to serve it in for my final photograph.

Asking my friend who’s house I’m currently staying in to use a pretty little dish I found in her cupboard; she hesitated.

Taking the hesitation into account I immediately placed it back into the carefully chosen place  and looked for another pretty dish.

Her realization that it was just for the image made her say ‘yes you can use it.’ To my delight.

Once a few clicks had been made in some lovely lighting she shared the fact that the dish was genuine wedgewood.

My friend jokingly said she has a set and would take offers in the amount of one hundred thousand or more from anyone on here.

Wedgewood is fancy.

Super fancy.

As I reflected on the meal I had made and the fact it is vegan I suddenly was made to think about the sense among the big manly meat eating community that people who are vegetarian’s or particularly vegan’s are hippies or that they all feel the need to wear hemp products.

I personally have never found this cliché or stereotype to be true.

People who choose to live their lives in this manner are, in fact, fancy as anyone else.

They just choose to fill their bodies with different foods or rather a larger spread of healthier fare.

Changing an old English recipe that has meat as big component into a vegan version proved an appetite pleasing change.

Vegan Shepherdless Pie
Serves 8

400g can black beans, rinsed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 fennel head, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 tablespoon vegetable broth
2 large sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
3 large portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup oat/almond milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder

Place the black beans in a saucepan with half a cup of water and add 1 1/2 tablespoons  vegetable broth on low heat. Chop the onion, garlic, fennel, scallions, carrot and tomatoes and add to the black beans. Continue cooking for 15 minutes to really soften the vegetables and blend the flavors together, stirring every few minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the sweet potatoes and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Heat on high until soft. Remove 3/4 of water and add the other half tablespoon vegetable broth. Continue cooking on low for approximately 3 minutes.

Heat the oven to 150°C/300F on grill/broil.

Add the mushrooms to the black beans and stir to combine. Seasoning to taste.

Pour the remaining water from the sweet potatoes into the black bean mixture and mash to a smooth mixture, adding the milk, olive oil and curry powder. Season to taste.

Place the black beans in a heatproof baking dish and spoon the mashed potatoes on top. Running a fork over the top.

Broil/Grill in the oven for 10 minutes or until brown on top.

Serve immediately with a salad or on it’s own.

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