Friday, March 15, 2013

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Scooping Shepherd's Pie from the dish.
This is a favorite comfort food at our house. We all love it, and it doesn't stick around long. I started with this recipe from Nava Atlas via Fat Free Vegan, which was a little too complicated, pricey, and time consuming for my Midwestern style. So, I tweaked it to suit my simpler lifestyle. If you want the gourmet version - surf to her site and use her recipe : ) The pics on her blog turned out SO much prettier than mine - even if you don't use her recipe, look at the great pics on her site!

Lentil & Veggie Shepherd's Pie
Stir together filling***:
1 teaspoon Onion Powder (not Onion Salt!)
 2 tsp fresh garlic
The layer of lentils and veggies - before the potatoes are added.
I use a 2 quart rectangular dish for this one.
2 (4oz) cans mushrooms, drained
4 cups cooked brown lentils, drained *
2 Tablespoons dry red wine
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons seasoning blend (I use Mrs. Dash Table Blend)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (12 oz) bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
Spread in oiled 2 quart casserole

Top with mashed potatoes **:
Boil
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons Vegan Margarine, such as Earth Balance (or use oil) (may be omitted, but texture of potatoes will change slightly)
Stir in
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Soy Milk or other non-dairy milk
Then gently stir in (do not whip)
2 ¼ cups potato flakes
Spread potatoes over top of lentils. Score with fork for decoration if desired
Sprinkle top with
Garlic Salt
Bake, 400 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes, till light golden brown on top.
Serve with Salad, bread, pickles, etc.

* You can use green lentils for this if you prefer (the standard grocery store variety of lentils that look brown) - but they tend to become a little mushy. I use Brown Lentils from the Indian Grocery. They are labeled "Whole Masoor Dal" and they hold their shape quite well, while still having a very similar taste to the Green Lentil. Other good substitutes would be French Puy Lentils or Beluga Lentils, but those varieties are much more pricey. I usually pay about $1/pound for Whole Masoor Dal. I cook a big batch of Whole Masoor Dal and keep portions of it in the freezer for this recipe, lentil salads, and other dishes.

** I know what you're thinking! INSTANT POTATOES?! Of course you CAN make real mashed potatoes from scratch if you have the time and inclination. I don't ; ) But, I find that when there is a thin layer of potatoes over a nice layer of lentils, the potatoes blend and are disguised pretty well.


About Freezing this dish: There are two good methods to freeze this dish.



First, make a batch or two of the filling (I like to make one for today, one for later) and freeze the filling. On cooking day, thaw filling thoroughly, and top with potatoes & bake. This means you can do an entree as easily as preparing a pot of potatoes. This has the added advantage of not tying up one of your baking dishes.

The second method is to assemble the whole dish in your casserole dish, potatoes and all. Generally it is a bad idea to freeze potatoes, but since these are mashed potatoes AND they will be baked, it can be done successfully (the oven-baking takes away any watery texture from freezing). In that case, wrap it securely before freezing (I use Glad Press and Seal wrap) and write baking directions on top. Carefully consider what type of casserole dish to use, as glass casserole dishes do have some inherent risks - you may wish to use a dish of a different material. Thaw in fridge 24 hours.  Baking time may need to be increased (about 20-30 minutes if a few ice crystals are still present when you start baking.

I edited this recipe in November 2013.
The original filling directions were these, for those who like the previous method:
Saute ***
1 cup chopped onion
 2 tsp fresh garlic
The layer of lentils and veggies - before the potatoes are added.
I use a 2 quart rectangular dish for this one.
Add and saute for a few minutes
2 (4oz) cans mushrooms, drained
4 cups cooked brown lentils, drained *
2 Tablespoons dry red wine
2 Tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 teaspoons seasoning blend (I use Mrs. Dash Table Blend)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste (1 ½ to 2 teaspoons, approx) (If you use regular soy sauce and salt may be reduced or omitted)
1 (12 oz) bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
Spread in oiled 2 quart casserole

This is being shared on Lil Suburban Homestead and Healthy Vegan Friday

7 comments:

  1. Wow! This looks fabulous! I need to try it. Thanks for posting it!

    And thanks for your kind comment on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We love it at our house.

      I really enjoy your blog : )

      Delete
  2. That looks really good! I like lentils and I LOVE shepherds pie! Thank you so much for sharing a tried and true recipe from your household! Also so glad you linked this fab recipe to "The Ole Saturday Homesteading Trading Post" blog hop this week! http://www.lilsuburbanhomestead.com/2013/03/08/the-ole-saturday-homesteading-trading-post-ed-no-41/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I really appreciate you hosting : )

      Delete
  3. I've never made Shepperd's pie before but I have always wanted to - esp vegan :) I don't know why - maybe because I thought it was too complicated - but perhaps one of these days I will jump ALL-IN! :)

    LOOKS GREAT!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I remember after I gave birth to Hannah, it was during the Sts. Peter and Paul fast and my mom and dad came to visit...mom made a delicious vegan shepherds pie! ♥ Thank you for posting this. I actually never made one!!! It looks so good. And my girls LOVE the homemade alphabet soup, too (from your previous post), I'll have to make it again soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad y'all are enjoying the soup! It's fun!

      And hope you like the Shepherd's Pie (I'm guessing that you'll make your potatoes from scratch, tho - you're much better at that sort of thing than I am! : )

      Delete

Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

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