These dishes are a vegan twist on family favourites. Try them out today for a taste sensation this veganuary.

Gaz Oakley – star of the meat-free world and cookbook author from Wales – has been challenged by Merchant Gourmet to replicate the UK’s favourite dishes in plant-based form, as part of veganuary. Which will you try first?


Shepherd’s Pie for Veganuary

Serves 4

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 tbs olive oil

6 Dried Merchant Gourmet Porcini Mushrooms, soaked in 250ml Boiling Water

1 large onion, peeled

2 carrots, peeled

5 cloves garlic, peeled

2 sticks celery

3 tbs soy sauce

4 tbs tomato puree

1 tbs fresh thyme leaves

1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 pack Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils

1 pack Merchant Gourmet Glorious Grains

240ml vegan friendly red wine

240ml vegetable stock

Pinch sea salt & pepper


4 large potatoes

4 tbs vegan butter

½ cup / 120ml non-dairy milk

1 tbs olive oil

Pinch sea salt & pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/gas 4.
  2. Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and add a little oil. When the pan is hot, add the onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Sauté the mixture for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Finely chop the re-hydrated mushrooms then add them to the pan with the tomato puree, herbs, lentils and grains.
  4. Keep stirring the mixture for 2-3 more minutes before adding the mushroom liqueur (soaking water), red wine, stock, salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, make your mash for the topping.
  6. Add your potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover over with water. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the potatoes for around 10-12 minutes, or until they are soft enough to mash.
  7. When the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a colander, draining away the water. Let the potatoes dry for 2-3 minutes, then pass them through a potato ricer to mash them.
  8. Once you’ve riced all the potato, whip in the milk, vegan butter, olive oil and seasoning. Set the potato aside until you’re ready to top your pie.
  9. When the filling mix is rich and the liquid has slightly thickened, transfer it to your baking dish and top with the creamy mash.
  10. Place your shepherd’s pie into your oven to bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the mash on top is crispy and golden.
  11. Serve right away.

Lentil Curry for Veganuary

Serves 4

Cooking time: 40 minutes


1 onion, peeled

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tbs fresh ginger

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs vegetable oil, for frying

1 pack Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils

1 tbs curry powder

1 tsp mild chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground fenugreek

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbs tomato puree

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

480ml vegetable stock

240 ml vegan cream, or coconut milk

1 tbs brown sugar

Serve with:

Fresh coriander and chilli garnish



  1. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and salt to your food processor with a splash of water and blitz to form a paste.
  2. Place a medium sized, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices. Pan roast them for a minute or two before adding the paste & the oil.
  3. Sauté the mixture for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato puree followed by the potato and lentils.
  4. Keep cooking the mixture & stirring until everything is coated, then deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock & vegan cream.
  5. Add the brown sugar, then pop a lid on the pan and let the curry bubble away for 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat down low and don’t forget to stir it every 3-4 minutes, as the potato has a tendency to stick.
  6. After 20 minutes of cooking, the liquid should have thickened considerably & it should smell beautiful.
  7. Serve the curry with rice or sides of your choice and garnish with coriander and chilli.

Credit: Merchant Gourmet working together with Gaz Oakley.