Monday, September 23, 2013

Shepard's Pie [vegan]

Shepherd's Pie is one of those comfort food dishes I used to make, but didn't for a while when our family transitioned to a healthier diet.  I just didn't know how to make it without the meat.  One day, I came across a recipe that used lentils in its place, but when the time came to make the dish, I couldn't find the recipe.  This is what I came up with, and our family is very satisfied with the results.   

Feel free to sub other vegetables in under the delicious garlic-potato crust.  Sometimes I use all zucchini in place of the brussel sprouts, sometimes I just bolster a smaller bag of sprouts with some squash, and other times I even up the sprouts becasue our family loves them so much.  Needless to say, the recipe is flexible!

I usually serve this hearty main dish with a small side salad and sometimes even with a light pureed vegetable soup.

Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6
Active time:30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup dry lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped baking potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 lb frozen brussels sprouts, thawed and cut in half
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence OR Italian seasoning 
  • 3 TBLS flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
What you'll do:
  • Cook lentils using the 2 cups of broth.
  • Cook your potatoes until tender, either by boiling them or in the microwave.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and mash with 1/4 cup water and garlic powder.
  • While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet and saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and brussel sprouts for 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Mix together the 1 cup of broth, red wine, spices and flour. 
  • When lentils are done, add to skillet with the liquid.  Mix and heat through.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish.  
  • Evenly spread the mashed potatoes over top bake for 30 minutes.

Time tip:
Make lentils ahead of time
Make mashed potatoes ahead of time, and boil them in large chunks to save time chopping
Run the carrots through a food processor instead of chopping

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