Shepherd’s pie is definitely comfort food, and this one is so healthy, with lentils and familiar veggies that kids love! Lentils add protein and fiber to this dish, and you can use any combo of vegetables that you like. Mushrooms provide a nice texture with the lentils, but you can leave them out if you wish, or replace with sauteed, diced onion, zucchini, etc. A can of diced or crushed tomatoes is also a nice addition to the lentil and veggie mixture for the base. The key to making this is in the timing. While the lentils are cooking, saute any other veggies like mushrooms or onions, and also make mashed potatoes!
(Note: Smaller lentils like French lentils or red lentils will cook faster than the larger ones that are light brown in color.)
1 cup dry lentils (If possible soak lentils the night before or at least a few hours – they will double in size and also cook much faster)
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (i.e. corn,carrots,peas,green beans)
1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped small
4 med potatoes, peeled and chopped (for mashed potatoes)
Spices – Salt, onion powder, garlic powder
Herbs – Parsley, sage
Bring veggies broth plus herbs and spices to boil. Rinse and drain lentils and add to broth. Cook until soft (approx 20-45 depending on type of lentils)
Add extra broth if necessary – should be a little soupy
In the meantime, start making mashed potatoes. Boil water (add salt) and add potatoes.
When potatoes are soft, mash with salt, pepper, 2 Tblsp margarine and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
Saute chopped mushrooms in a little margarine or oil.
When lentils are soft, add mushrooms and mixed veggies and cook 10 min longer.
Put layer of lentil mixture in pie dish (spray with cooking spray first)
Spread layer of mashed potatoes on top
Cook 350 degrees about 40 min and then broil 5 min to brown top
Enjoy! This is also great for leftovers and can be easily reheated in the microwave!