Forget the Sheep and Get Some Vegan Shepard’s Pie

I haven’t made this in a while because they have discontinued carrying Barbara’s Kitchen Instant Mashed Potatoes at Whole Foods, so now I will have to take the extra time to make the mashed potato topping by hand. Not as daunting as a task for me since I started using my electric beaters to whip the potatoes smooth.

With only 230 calories per cup of cooked lentils, they are little power houses, loaded with B vitamins, protein, fiber and iron with little fat.  Add in some other iron and vitamin rich vegetables and you have some nutritious comfort food for the eating. Go with a skin on mashed potato topping and add phytonutrients in addition to  vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and fiber to your meal.

Here’s what I like to use:

  • Lentils
  • onions
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • garlic
  • thyme, sage, rosemary
  • vegan omega spread.

But you can add whatever you like – every once and a while I change it up and try new veggies – broccoli didn’t work so well, its too tough.

It’s pretty simple to make, you can use 2 cans of canned lentils if you like, otherwise, use 2 cups of dry lentils.  For every 1 cup of dry lentils use 2 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender.  I like to substitute vegetarian broth for the water, that way there is a richer taste.

If you are using real potatoes now is a good time to get them boiling, I like skins on for the additional nutrients, wash/scrub and cut them in chunks.  Boil about 20 minutes or until soft. Then drain and mash, I throw in some vegan spread, sometimes a little bit of Silk soy milk to make them creamy, and salt / pepper to taste. I have begun to just use the electric hand mixer to whip them into a soft potato goodness!

Next, I sauté onions (1 cup because I love onions- I use the sweet onions), carrots (about 1 cup chopped), garlic (at least 4 cloves because I love garlic too and it is heart healthy), herbs (about 1 tsp of each), a little salt and pepper to taste in a minimum of olive oil, just enough to cover the pan and onions.  I sauté until the onions are translucent and then add about a bag of spinach (since it wilts down quite a bit and I like to get the extra iron).  At this point you can also add in other veggies you may want to experiment with (such as tomatoes, mushrooms, peas – anything that is soft)- and cook only an additional 5 minutes.  When the lentils are fluffy I add them to the sauté mixture and mix in, cooking another 5 minutes.

At this point you poor the mixture into a glass / metal baking pan,  then spread the mashed potatoes on top.  You can store this for baking in the fridge if need be, or pop it right into the oven, 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes should give you a nice golden brown crust on top though baking times vary.

There are some great vegan gravies on the market if you want to top your Shepard’s Pie off, I like mine plain personally. If you are not sure about where to get gravy or don’t have a place to go to get it, try Pangea online for all of your vegan shopping.

This recipe is my own, please cite my blog Family Can B Fit, I receive no compensation from the website mentioned I simply shop there for hard to find ingredients.

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