Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

vegan lentil shepherd's pie with TVP

So after being completely impressed by those lentil sloppy joes the other day, I decided I needed to try lentil shepherd’s pie next.

I decided to just wing it, using my old beef shepherd’s pie recipe (right, right, that makes it a cottage pie, not a shepherd’s pie, I know). I sauteed the standard veggies, added the lentils and a bunch of not-beef broth, and simmered the bejeezus out of it. When the lentils were tender, I added the last of my TVP and some ketchup and worcestershire sauce, because I’m super classy like that. I threw in some peas for color and texture, topped it with some kickass mashed potatoes, and tossed the whole thing in the oven until it was brown and bubbly.

The Verdict
A+, man. Definitely adding this to the rotation. It’s very savory, the potatoes are creamy with a nice little crust from the broiler, and the little bit of TVP adds a really nice bit of meaty texture. It’s also relatively low in calories, fairly nutritious, and good reheated. Basically I can’t think of any way to improve this one.

My husband, the poor soul, was briefly disappointed because he thought I meant pot pie rather than shepherd’s pie, so when he didn’t see a proper pie crust, he got all sad. After a bite or two, though, he was converted. It was also a hit with both kids, although the two-year-old did insist on being spoon-fed.

Recipes Used

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

The TVP isn’t strictly necessary, so leave it out if you don’t have any on hand or have some kind of problem with soy, but I think it adds a nice meaty chew to the finished product. If you leave it out, you’ll want to reduce the liquid by half a cup or so.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 4 cups not-beef broth (or 4 cups water and some bouillon)
  • ½ cup TVP
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 ½ lb potatoes, ideally russet, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup milk of your choice (I used plain almond milk)
  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375, and get out a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and cook until soft.
  3. Add the lentils and broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until tender.
  4. When the lentils are tender, add the TVP and simmer for ten minutes or so, until it’s tender and has soaked up some of the cooking liquid. Stir in the ketchup and worcestershire sauce.
  5. Add the frozen peas and wait for them to warm up. If the mixture seems soupy, whisk the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir it into the lentil mix to thicken things up.
  6. While the lentils are cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and boil the potatoes until completely tender. Drain and mash with the milk and margarine.
  7. Once the lentil mix and the potatoes are done, pour the lentils into a 9x13 dish. Spread the potatoes over them and bake for half an hour or so, until the filling starts to bubble up from under the potatoes.
  8. If you like a crusty top, turn on the broiler for a couple minutes to brown everything before you eat it.
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