With many having made the infamous “get healthy” New Year’s resolution, we turned to local caterer Karen Martin of Incredible Edibles for some help. We loved that this lightened up Shepard’s pie recipe offers a healthier version of a classic comfort dish. It would be a perfect Meatless Monday dish for tonight! Try this recipe, or better yet, ask Martin to make it for you…
Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup almond, soy, rice, or other non-dairy milk
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, diced evenly
- 2 ribs celery, diced evenly
- 6 ounces baby bella, cremini, or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup brown or green lentils, dry
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and submerge in cold water (there should be at least 1 inch of water over the vegetables).
- Salt water well.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow potatoes and parsnips to cook for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until both vegetables are very fork tender.
- Drain, return the vegetables to the pot, and add 2/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mash well with a potato masher.
- If you need more milk, add the remaining 1/3 cup.
- Set the mashed potatoes and parsnips aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, bring 1 1/2 cup lentils and 3 cups water to a boil.
- Reduce and simmer until lentils have absorbed all liquid, and are soft (about 30 or 35 minutes). Set lentils aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and golden (10 minutes or so).
- Add the carrots and celery and cook until both vegetables are tender (another 8 minutes).
- Add the cremini mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the lentils, the rosemary, thyme, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth.
- Simmer the mixture, stirring well to incorporate flavors.
- Add more liquid as needed: you don’t want there to be too much broth or liquid in the bottom of the pan because you’ll get a runny shepherd’s pie, but you do want it to be quite moist.
- When everything is warm and well mixed, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large casserole dish, layer the lentil and veggie mixture.
- Spread the mashed potatoes delicately and evenly over.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are browning.
- Sprinkle with extra rosemary, if desired, and serve.
Our recipe tester, who was trying to make sure her not-as-healthy husband was happy, added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a teaspoon of Worcestershire, and 1/4 cup of red wine. She also cooked the lentils in veggie broth and added Italian seasonings.