Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
This hearty, comforting dish will satisfy your carnivorous cravings and as blogger Koko Brill from Koko’s Kitchen Blog says: “it will nourish your guts without an ounce of meat in sight!” Like any good shepherd’s pie, it’s built on a protein-rich base topped with delicious mashed potatoes. It’s a classic and it’s so tasty, you’ll never miss a thing.
For the topping:
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) of your favourite nut or seed milk, gently warmed
1/2 cup (125 mL) of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of naturally-sourced salt
Lots of freshly ground pepper
For the filling:
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of your favourite vegetable or coconut oil
2 to 3 onions, diced
2 to 3 carrots, diced
2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) of whatever red wine you’re sipping
a 28-ounce can of diced, crushed or pureed tomatoes
a 19-ounce can of lentils
2 cups (500 mL) of fresh or frozen corn
2 cups (500 mL) of fresh or frozen peas
3 or 4 sprigs of your favourite fresh herb (sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or tarragon) finely minced or 1 tablespoon (30 mL) dried
Prepare and preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Turn on your convection fan in your oven. Lightly oil an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch casserole dish.
Start the topping. Toss the potatoes into a pot of water. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, leaving the potatoes in the pot. Add the milk, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mash until smooth.
Meanwhile make the filling. Splash the oil into a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and without browning, sauté until soft and aromatic, 5 minutes or so. Splash in the wine and stir briefly. Add the tomatoes and lentils. Bring to the simmer and stirring, reduce until thickened. Add the corn, peas, and your herb of choice. Transfer the works to the casserole dish.
Assemble the Shepherd’s Pie. Top the filling with the mashed potatoes by spreading them into a thick, even layer. Bake until the top is golden brown and the filling is steaming hot and delicious, about 20 minutes.
Lentils can be a key part of a vegetarian lifestyle. Like all pulses, they’re packed with protein, fibre, and micronutrients. You don’t have to let meat be your protein middle-man, you can go straight to the source by eating lots of lentils!
© 2016 Koko Brill – lentils.ca