It has become increasingly popular for people to try and follow a more plant based diet in January and adverts for Veganuary are everywhere! Besides being good for the planet, eating less meat and more vegetables might not be a bad thing for our health either.

There is no doubt that veganism is on the rise, with Ethical Veganism now a legally protected philosophical belief and the availability of plant based alternatives in main stream food suppliers – the Greggs vegan sausage roll and non steak bakes are just a couple of examples.

At Elite Hotels, we pride ourselves on catering for all dietary requirements, whilst not compromising on flavour! We have a range of menu options including Gluten and Nut Free – as well as a complete menu for Vegan and Vegetarian diets; we can usually alter existing dishes if required – and provided we are given notice – just in case a particular ingredient is not to your taste.

Examples of sample menus are available online at the hotel website..

If you wanted to try your hand at a vegan dish – there are plenty of resources online and recipes a plenty – as well as a wide range of cook books to buy. As an example of how low stress this can be, please find following an easy to do lentil shepherds pie recipe from the BBC Good Food Website. It is vegetarian as uses butter, cheese and milk, but these could easily be substituted for non dairy alternatives and be made as a Vegan dish. The original recipe serves 10 so you can batch freeze, or cut the ingredients to a more manageable size. Enjoy!

Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

For the lentil sauce

  • 50g Butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 Head of celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried Thyme
  • 500g pack dried green lentils
  • 100 ml red wine (optional)
  • 1.7l vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree

For the topping

  • 2kg Floury Potato, such as King Edwards
  • 85g Butter
  • 100ml Milk
  • 50g Cheddar, Grated


  1. To make the sauce, heat 50g butter in a pan, then gently fry 2 chopped onions, 4 diced carrots, 1 chopped head of celery and 4 finely chopped garlic cloves for 15 mins until soft and golden.
  2. Turn up the heat, add 200g sliced chestnut mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more.
  3. Stir in 2 bay leaves and 1 tbsp dried thyme, then add 500g green lentils. Pour over 100ml red wine and 1.7l vegetable stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage.
  4. Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft.
  5. Season to taste, take off heat, then stir in 3 tbsp tomato purée.
  6. While the lentils are cooking, tip 2kg floury potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with 85g butter and 100ml milk, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. To assemble the pies, divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash.
  8. Scatter over 50g grated cheddar and freeze for up to two months or if eating that day, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.


For original recipe and nutritional information, please see BBC Good Food Website:

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