Shepherd’s pie is a fall/winter comfort food. It’s hearty, and healthy. I wanted to make my family a nice vegetarian dinner that they would all enjoy. This takes a bit of prep, but it’s not hard. It’s worth it too. Especially when everyone loved it, and you got a ton of compliments on it (hahaha!). It’s a balanced meal, too. It’s also packed with protein, with at least 26 grams of protein in the dish. If my family loved it (the tough critic that is my boyfriend included), then I know your family will too. I definitely would have been happy not putting the cheese on top to make it vegan, but I knew my family would enjoy the cheese so I made it vegetarian. Really delicious, and very filling.
8 medium sized potatoes, rinsed and peeled
1 medium sized white onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry green lentils, rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock (plus a little bit more if needed)
a dash of unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp arrowroot powder (or whole wheat flour)
1/1/4 cups mixed frozen vegetables
4 tsp fresh thyme
4 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
2 tbsp Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup cheese of your choice (omit if vegan)
sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes and boil on stove top until soft (about 30 minutes). When ready, mash with a potato masher with Earth Balance (or butter), a bit of almond milk, sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, get a small pot and put 1 tbsp of EVOO in a pot with the chopped onion, garlic and 2 tsp fresh thyme. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the lentils, balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 35-40 minutes. If you need to add more vegetable stock, add it. In the last 10 minutes or so, add in the frozen vegetables along with with one tsp of arrowroot powder to ensure the mix is thick. Add sea salt and black pepper (to taste).
- Prep your bread crumbs by adding the bread crumbs to a bowl with 1 tbsp of EVOO, fresh lemon zest and the remaining 2 tsp of fresh thyme. Mix well. Set aside. Also, grease your pyrex dish with Earth Balance (or butter, or cooking spray).
- Now put the lentil mix into the pyrex dish. Then add the mashed potatoes on top (spread with a fork). Crumble the bread crumbs over top, season with sea salt and black pepper, and then add your cheese (omit the cheese if vegan or use a vegan cheese if you’d like).
- Pre-heat the oven to 425° f. When the oven has heated, throw the pie into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Let dish cool and serve with a nice spinach salad.
Adapted from The Miniamlist Baker, with my own touches.