Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
This hearty recipe offers several chances to decide just how “from scratch” you want your baking to be. The vegetable broth can be either homemade or store-bought, as can the non-dairy milk. Even if you decide to make everything from scratch, the preparatory steps including cooking the potatoes, cooking the lentils, and making the broth, can be done well in advance.
Once those steps are done, the rest of the recipe is fairly simple and comes together quickly.
By Allison Rivers Samson
Mashed Potato Crust
3 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, diced, cooked and mashed
1 tablespoon vegan butter or unflavored coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup onions, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oat flour
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth or water
2 cups cooked French lentils, drained well
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons tamari
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes with oil, salt, and non-dairy milk. Set aside.
2. Filling: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots, and celery. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until absorbed. Stir in marjoram, celery seed, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, and then stir in broth. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture comes to a slow boil. Stir in lentils, parsley, Worcestershire, tamari, and peas, then remove from heat.
3. Assemble: Transfer filling to a deep pie dish or a 9 x 13-inch casserole and spread evenly. On top of the filling, spread the reserved mashed potatoes. Use the tips of a fork to rake across the top of the mashed potatoes, making a rough surface to facilitate a brown, crispy top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Serve hot.
© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of Quick + Easy DIY Salad Bar, The Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Julia Moran Martz