This is a winter favourite of mine. It's delicious, crowd pleasing, and looks impressive if you want to show off your skills in the kitchen :) (No fear! No real skills required - this recipe is super easy!!)
I found this recipe online at heathercristo.com and adapted it to make it vegetarian. The recipe originally calls for ground beef, but brown lentils make a great substitute in dishes like this (your meatatarians might not even notice!). I also added cremini mushrooms instead of white mushies - they are more nutritious and flavourful.
- 1 can rinsed and drained lentils
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Whipped Cauliflower:
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- For the whipped cauliflower:
- Bring a large saucepan filled half way with salted water to a simmer and add the cauliflower. Add a lid to the pan and steam for about 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and add it to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth and season with salt. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- For the Shepard Pie
- In a large oven friendly pot or dutch oven, warm a drizzle of grapeseed or avocado oil (or butter if not vegan) add the onion. Cook 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the lentils and stir.
- Add the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix it into the vegetables and lentils.
- Add the frozen peas and 3 ½ cups of broth and 2 bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
- Mix the ½ cup of broth with the cornstarch in a dish and mix well until smooth. Pour the slurry in and stir it in well. Cook while occasionally stirring for another 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt.
- Spoon the cauliflower in scoops to the top of the pot. Bake the pot uncovered for 20 minutes and then take it out when it is piping hot and the cauliflower is golden around the edges. Sprinkle with chives and serve hot.
** photo credit: heathercristo.com