Vegan Recipe: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lentil Shepherds Pie

By Vicki Brett-Gach, a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach

This dish makes everyone happy. It skips the meat in traditional Shepherd’s Pie, and goes right to the good stuff. A savory lentil stew simmers with onions, zucchini, and dry red wine. It’s smothered with a thick pile of rich mashed potatoes, and then goes into a piping hot oven to bake until the potato topping gets crisp around the edges.

HEARTY LENTIL SHEPHERD’S PIE

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I make crumbs from Ezekiel bread)
6 large potatoes
1/2 cup soy milk, unsweetened, plain
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons oil-free vegetable broth
1 large onion, minced
6 ounces zucchini, diced
2 15-ounce cans of lentils, drained, rinsed (or equivalent cooked from scratch)
2 tablespoons dry red vegan wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
4 tablespoons of prepared chili sauce (I use Organicville brand)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash of Cajun seasoning, or seasoned salt (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 to 10 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves, chopped

Instructions

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a 2-quart round casserole dish, or two deep-dish pie pans.

– Scatter the breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom. Set aside.

– Peel and chop the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. (Salt the water, if desired.)

– Bring potatoes to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add soy milk, plus salt and pepper to taste, and mash until fluffy and delicious. Cover and set aside.

– While the potatoes are cooking, heat the broth in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, adding more broth or water if needed to prevent sticking. Add the zucchini and lentils, and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the wine, soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos), chili sauce, and the seasonings. Cook gently for about eight minutes.

– Add the spinach, a little at a time, cooking just until wilted. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.

– Pour the lentil mixture into prepared pan(s), and then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. If using two pie plates, divide mixtures evenly between them. At this point, one of the two pie pans can be frozen for later use.

– Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until bubbling hot, and potatoes begin to turn golden brown and slightly crispy. (If frozen, bake at 375 instead of 400 degrees, for a total of about 90 minutes.) Remove hot dish from oven, and allow to stand for five minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve hot.

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Vicki Brett-Gach is a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, a Certified Personal Chef through Wellness Forum Health, and a graduate of the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. She coaches clients, teaches heart-healthy vegan cooking classes, and is featured in THE VEGAN FRIENDS COOKBOOK, a collaborative collection of recipes by vegan chefs around the world. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen blog for new recipes as soon as they are published.

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