Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is usually made with ground meat and white potatoes. I like this one because it has sweet potatoes mixed in and omits the meat filling. The curried lentil filling is sandwiched between two layers of creamy potato filling sitting on a crouton crust baked on top of sweet zucchini. I serve this as an entree with a simple chopped tomato salad.
2 medium or large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 medium or large white potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
CURRIED LENTIL FILLING:
3 1/4 cups purified water
1 bay leaf
1 cup lentils
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 cup sliced onions
2 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup yellow or red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 zucchini, cut in rounds (about 2 cups)
bread crumbs or premade croutons
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions or green onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the cubed sweet and white potatoes into the water and simmer for 45 minutes. They should be easily pierced with a fork. Strain the potatoes, reserving 2 cups of the water. Pour 1 cup of the water back into the pot and mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a large fork. Add the olive oil, Italian seasoning, and Cajun seasoning and mash again until seasonings are completely blended into the potatoes.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils: Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil. Add the bay leaf, lentils, and Cajun seasoning and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat when completely cooked and let cool briefly. Drain off any liquid.
Saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, and bell peppers in the olive oil in a large sauce pan until the onions are transparent and limp, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved cup of potato water, nutritional yeast, salt, and curry powder and stir until everything is blended in. Add to the cooked lentils. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup water and stir it into the lentil and vegetable mixture. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Line the bottom of a casserole dish with the zucchini rounds. Sprinkle half of the bread crumbs or croutons on top of the zucchini. Spoon out 4 cups of the mashed potatoes and spread across the zucchini rounds. Spoon out 2 cups of the curried lentils and spread on top of the potatoes. Spoon the remainder of the mashed potatoes and smooth them out on top. Sprinkle the rest of the bread crumbs and the scallions or green onion on top. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
7 g total fat (1 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
92 g carbohydrate
23 g protein
22 g fiber
350 mg sodium