Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie ~ Easily Vegan!

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I’m currently on day three of eating this Shepherd’s Pie for dinner and I’m nowhere near tired of it yet. This made enough to feed me for the entire week, and as it tastes absolutely delicious, I’m quite excited!

Year two of post-secondary started with the most stressful day of my school career, followed by a mountain of homework, projects and readings. The fact that I really enjoy what I’m doing though makes nothing seem like too much of a chore. (Except for my required accounting course…that definitely belongs in a more choreish realm).

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Now that I’m back in my school rhythm and it’s the first day of fall (woohoo!!), comforting, starchy foods are the only thing I want to eat. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a good green salad. But after a long day of school where the walk home is rainy and cold, my stomach is hungry, my brain and eyes are sore and there is a mountain of homework waiting to be done that night, carbs on carbs on carbs is all I want. I know you guys feel the same.

This Shepherd’s Pie is perfect to make Sunday night in a big batch so you can come home to healthy, delicious leftovers every night. Unless of course you have a lovely family to feed it to, you should definitely share it and I’m sure they will love it! But I promise I won’t tell if you just happen to misplace the leftovers and then just happen find them when you’re alone for dinner the next night…

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The combination of the lentils, vegetables, thyme and rosemary give this pie a wonderful, deep earthy flavour, which is absolutely fantastic. This Shepherd’s Pie is the best kind of healthy, hearty, homemade comfort food you could ask for.

VEGETARIAN SHEPHERD’S PIE ~ serves 6

  • 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 TB butter ~vegan butter or coconut oil for vegan version
  • 2 TB milk ~almond milk for vegan version
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water until potatoes are just covered, and add in a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher or a fork until smooth. Stir in butter, milk and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In another large pot set over medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add in mushrooms, thyme and rosemary and continue sauteing for 5 more minutes. Add in lentils and stock, bring to just a boil and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are softened. Stir in tomato paste, vinegar, lemon juice and a good pinch of both salt and pepper. Let the mixture bubble away for 10 more minutes until thickened and everything is fully cooked.

Add mixture to a large oven proof baking dish and top with mashed potatoes, smoothing the top nicely. Place in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes to thoroughly heat everything through. To get a nice crispy top on your potatoes, turn your oven to broil and place your dish on the top rack. Cook for another 3 minutes, but watch carefully as it can turn from golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds.

Let cool on-top of oven for 10 minutes before serving and devouring.

Enjoy!

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