Nourishing Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
When I think “comfort food” I go immediately to this shepherd’s pie. I love that it’s completely plant-based and just packed with foods that nourish the body.
This is definitely not your traditional shepherd’s pie that has lots of meat and potatoes, which always left me feeling so heavy. Instead, this one uses sprouted lentils, a super creamy and delicious cauliflower purée on top, is packed with vegetables and a lot of flavor! You definitely won’t be feeling that heaviness after eating this, even if you eat half of it like I maybe do… 😉
One of my favorite legumes to eat is sprouted lentils, and I absolutely love sprouting them myself. If you have kids and want to get them involved in food prep, this would be an awesome place to do so. I’m pretty sure I get a little too excited when they start sprouting and you see the little white tip bursting through. It’s just way too fun!!
I love sprouting all my beans, grains, etc. to increase digestion and maximize absorption. I noticed a huge difference in my body’s ability to digest them once I starting preparing them properly. Sprouted lentils in particular are high in protein, fiber, vitamin A and folate, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Such a beauty food with so many amazing nutrients to benefit the body! LOVE!
This dish has two super easy-to-make components: the filling and the topping. Simply caramelizing and sautéing all the veggies and lentils with some yummy seasoning is all you need for the delicious filling, and quickly steaming and blending the cauliflower makes for the best smooth and creamy topping!
The textures and flavors that are built are just amazing. Caramelizing the garlic, onions, and mushrooms is a must for me, which really builds up that deep umami flavor. The other must for this dish is the final broil…
…that topping. Oh my goodness. I could eat bowls and bowls of just that filling! The key = broiling it with just a bit of coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Holy smokes!
I can’t wait for you to experience this amazing dish. Perfect for those who already love plant-based food, or forfor introducing more veggies to you, your kids, or someone you know who has a hard time eating them. They may just want to eat half of it at one sitting like me and it become their new favorite comfort food too!
- Garlic, chopped
- Onions, diced
- White or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- Zucchini or yellow squash, diced
- Celery, sliced
- Carrots, sliced
- Peas, fresh or frozen
- Corn, fresh or frozen
- Lentils, sprouted or at least soaked overnight, uncooked
- Seasonings- I use the Organic No-Salt Seasoning from Costco, but garlic powder, ground cumin, and dried oregano could be used instead
- Nutritional yeast
- Coconut oil
- Himilayan sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Cauliflower, about 1 large head, chopped into about 1x1 inch pieces
- Steam the cauliflower pieces until fork tender.
- Blend with a blender (I use a Vitamix) or a hand blender with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Caramelize the garlic, onion, and mushrooms with a pinch of salt. I love using these to build flavor, so use as much as you'd like. A great starting point is 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 small or ½ large onion, and 4-5 mushrooms.
- Add the zucchini, celery, carrots and lentils and allow to cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Try starting with 1 medium zucchini, 1-2 stalks of celery, 1 large carrot, and around 2 cups of lentils and add more if desired.
- Throw in however much peas and corn you'd like, I typically go heavy on the peas and light on the corn.
- Season with as much seasonings as you'd like, adding more based on your taste. Again, I cheat and use that "all-purpose" blend from Costco (use what you've got on hand), about 1-2 spoonfuls of nutritional yeast, a handful of fresh parsley, and a little extra salt and pepper! Give a few good shakes or sprinkles and stir all around. Taste and add more if needed.
- Spread the cauliflower puree evenly on top. Dab or drizzle a small amount of oil on the puree, and sprinkle with a thin layer of nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt.
- Broil until caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Do not feel limited to the vegetables I used, feel free to take out or add different ones like green beans!
For the vegetables, cut them as big or small as you'd like, just make sure they're all roughly the same size.