Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie
This take on a classic comfort food incorporates inexpensive seasonal produce, while remaining healthy by being vegan, oil free, gluten-free, and high-fiber.
If I had to nominate one dish as being the most underrated I would have to say it's shepherds pie (the vegan version of course). I mean it is literally a dish covered in mashed potatoes, sounds like Heaven to me. Another reason to love shepherds pie is it's super customizable! I mean, you should definitely make this recipe, because it is absolutely delicious, but say you hate green beans, sub peas. Hate mushrooms? Add Zucchini. Add corn, parsnips, kale, broccolo, change the type of potato you use, whatever you want in this dish, add! It is the perfect dish to make at the end of the week to use up whatever leftover vegetables you have to create something delicious.
Another reason to love this dish is because lentils! Huh? Yep, you heard me right, lentils. Lentils seem like one of the most boring foods on the planet, but did you know it's actually one of the most healthiest? It is not the healthiest, because it contains crazy amounts of antioxidants, or that it extremely anti-inflammatory (although it does have anti-inflammatory benefits). Lentils are super healthy, because they contain extremely high amounts of fiber and protein for their size. More studies come out every year showing just how crucial fiber is to overall health. Lentils are also high in iron as well making it a great addition to vegan diet, or any diet! Now, one last point. This is for all my "where do vegans get their protein from?" people. Lentils have about 18 grams of protein per cup! This is a perfect amount of protein for a dinner recipe, because it's not too high and not too low. You can enjoy a second serving of this dish and double that amount, while also gaining all the other amazing vegetables and their unique health promoting features.
Lastly, y'all already know I am going to discuss how affordable this recipe is. Not only is it super inexpensive to go out and buy these ingredients, but you probably already have a bunch of them at home in your fridge/pantry right now! I think I bought everything at the store for this recipe for under $15 and that includes a bag of potatoes that I still have leftovers of, which is another great aspect of this recipe. Most of these ingredients you buy in bulk, and you probably won't use all them for this recipe, therefore, you can use them for other recipes rather than wasting them, which will save you money and help cut down on food waste, which is a whole topic for another day. Let's get to the recipe!
Total Time: 1 Hour
For the pie:
- 1 Cup dried lentils
- 2 Cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 1 Onion
- 4 Cloves garlic
- 2 Cups chopped celery
- 3 Medium carrots chopped
- 1 Cup chopped mushrooms of choice
- 1/2 Cup walnuts
- 1/4 Cup tomato paste
- 2 Cups chopped green beans (about a bag of frozen)
- 2 Handfuls spinach
- 2 Teaspoons liquid aminos
- 1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
- 3 Tablespoons tapioca starch (you can also use corn starch)
-(Optional) Add fresh herbs of choice, I added Thyme and Rosemary
For the mashed topping:
- 8-10 Medium red potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 Cup oat milk (can use any plant milk, but oat makes it so creamy)
Begin by placing your lentils in a pot with twice their amount of water, and cook on high.
Next steam your potatoes. There's a variety of ways to do this, I simply used an in-pot steamer, but if you have more efficient options available to you, I suggest that.
2. While the lentils and potatoes are cooking dice your onion, and mince your garlic. Add to a large saucepan with some water and cook. Next add the chopped celery and carrots. Allow to cook until carrots are almost done. Next add the mushrooms and green beans. Cook for about a minute then add the vegetable broth.
At this point the lentils should be done. Strain them and add them to the pot with your vegetables. Add all remaining ingredients under pie to the saucepan, cover and turn to low.
Preheat oven to 400
When your potatoes are soft, add them to a bowl along with nutritional yeast and oat milk, and mash together.
Time to assemble. In a baking dish (I used a 8x8 and had some filling leftover, but not enough for a 9x13, I also don't own a 9x13 lol, I suggest using a casserole dish) spread the filling around. Top with the mashed potatoes by spooning clumps of it around and then spreading those clumps to combine. Once the top is all covered in mashed potatoes place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the top starts to turn golden brown and crispy.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving, enjoy!