Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
This plant-based variation on the traditional Shepherd’s Pie blends the savory mix of lentils with the sweet taste of sweet potatoes combined with lots of veggies and greens for a spin on a recipe dating back to the 18th century.
Total prep and cooking time: 1 hour
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups uncooked lentils (I used a medley of lentils – green, red, black, brown, golden and French – the mix of colors is visually very nice with the sweet potatoes!)
4 cups + 4 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 cup carrots, halved and sliced
1 cup peas
1 cup spinach, chopped, large stems removed
3 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp margarine (choose an organic variety using expeller pressed oils – I like Earth Balance brand)
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste
In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic with 4 tbsp vegetable broth until just browned – about 5 minutes – and add 4 cups vegetable broth, lentils, turmeric, basil, thyme, sea salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cover. After 10 minutes, add carrots and peas (if fresh) and continue simmering. After another 15 minutes add peas (if frozen) and spinach. Continue cooking until lentils are tender – an additional 10-15 minutes longer – uncovered to allow broth to thicken. (Total simmering time of 35-40 minutes)
While lentils are simmering, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1” pieces and place a large pot with water to just cover the sweet potatoes. Boil over medium high heat for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with margarine, sea salt and black pepper until well mashed. Set aside.
Grease an 8” x 8” (2 quart) casserole dish with an organic canola oil spray and add lentil and vegetable mixture. Top with sweet potatoes and carefully smooth over lentil and vegetable mixture. This recipe just fits in an 8” x 8” dish. I would recommend placing the dish on a cookie sheet in case of spill over.
Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving to allow pie to thicken.