Homemade Meals For The Busy Guy: Vegetarian Mini Pies


I had potatoes, no ground beef, but I wanted to eat shepherd’s pie—it was a real conundrum. But then I remembered I had boiled beans in my freezer. The gears of my mind started spinning—why not throw the beans in the food processor to make easy ground protein?

Sure, I could have ground some beef instead, but that would have meant more time, effort and clean-up (chopping the beef into tiny enough pieces using a board and knife, grinding it in the food processor, then scrubbing the processor clean of the fat left behind).

The beans were simpler (either grind with the food processor, which would only require  rinsing with water afterwards, or mashing with a steady potato masher). Plus beans are cheap as dirt, and they don’t have any cholesterol. My mind was made up.

How to make the pies

The recipe makes 4 portions.


  1. About 3 cups boiled and ground/ mashed sugar beans.
  2. 1 average sized carrot, chopped.
  3. 100g peas.
  4. 1 average sized onion, chopped.
  5. 4 garlic cloves, chopped.
  6. 1 red bell pepper, chopped.
  7. Mixed dried herbs.
  8. Salt and black pepper.
  9. 4 average sized potatoes.
  10. 2 tablespoons of butter.
  11. Milk.
  12. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.


  1. Peel, boil until cooked and drain the potatoes. Mash them, adding the butter, and enough milk to give the mash a smooth consistency.
  2. In a pan, add the vegetable oil, onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Sprinkle in the mixed herbs, and grind in some black pepper.
  3. Place on medium high heat, and fry until the vegetables begin to sweat. Add the peas and carrot. Sprinkle in some salt. Stir, cover the pan, and allow to cook for about 6 minutes. When the carrots and peas are cooked, but still firm, add the beans and stir until well mixed. Switch off the stove and remove from heat.
  4. In a ramekin, scoop in about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable mix. On top of that, dollop about 2 tablespoon of the mashed potato. Smooth over with the tablespoon. Repeat this for up to 8 ramekins.
  5. Grill in the oven at 200°C for about 13 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Tip: I used ramekins of about 10cm diameter and 4cm depth. But even one large casserole dish will do.


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