Vegan Shepard’s Pie


2015-10-29 20.23.43

Here’s a revived healthy version of this classic 3 layered comfort food. Made with a French lentil base, carrot & mushroom center and whipped cauliflower “potato” topping, this pie tastes great with chopped walnuts, diced stewed tomatoes, even melted cheese on top of the whipped cauliflower. It freezes well, is adorable served in individual ramekins, and makes a great mileage food – so make extra & then freeze some for a snowy night’s fireside meal.

Ingredients

The lentils:

  • 1-2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 TBS. vegetable bouillon powder, or paste
  • 1 TBS Braggs liquid amino acids, or tamari
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • Good pinch of Salt & fresh black pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL – 1 can drained & diced stewed tomatoes
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • ½ cup reserved lentil liquid

Carrot/mushroom center:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced in ¼” thin rounds, or semi circles.
  • 1TBS dried tarragon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 -3 cups mushrooms: crimini, white button, portabella (mix or not)
  • 1 -2 TBS tamari, Bragg’s OR coconut aminos
  • *Optional ½ cup chopped walnuts, sautéed with above ingredients

 Whipped cauliflower topping

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (water with bouillon cube or 1TBSvegetable powder)
  • 1 -2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1-2 Coconut aminos, to taste
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: ½ cup grated good cheddar, gruyere, parmesan, or jack cheese
  • Paprika for dusting the top, additional black pepper & small dabs of coconut oil

Directions

In a medium sized sauce pan sauté onion, garlic, bay leaf, celery and fresh herbs in olive oil. Rinse the lentils, add to the sauté with enough water to immerse by 1 ½ ” or so. Bring to a boil, then lower flame and simmer about 23 -25 minutes. (Check lentils periodically to ensure there is enough water. Add more if needed, 1 cup at a time.) The lentils should be tender, just a bit firm, and still hold their shape. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and Bragg’s if needed.  Drain lentils gently, saving the cooking liquid! Set both aside in bowls.  Add stewed tomatoes to lentils if using.

Heat olive oil in pan. Add onions and sauté a few minutes. Add carrots, tarragon and turmeric. Sir and continue to sauté about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and aminos or tamari. Cook until mushrooms wilt. Season with black pepper.  Set aside.

 Preheat oven to 375

Steam cauliflower until soft.  In large bowl, immersion – blend cauliflower, garlic, vegetable broth and coconut oil until smooth to your liking. (I prefer it a bit chunky.)With a spatula, fold in coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar. Taste. Adjust seasonings.

In a casserole or pie dish, layer lentil mixture followed by carrot/mushroom (walnut if using), and top with whipped cauliflower. Dust with paprika, black pepper & dot with a little coconut oil. Bake until hot and top is a little crisped.

 

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