Monday, March 31, 2014

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

It was a dark & stormy night and I was craving comfort food. I found a great shepherd's pie recipe from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen and went to work. This recipe makes about three ramekins worth of this hearty and filling dish. The original recipe called for mushrooms - which I was totally out of - so I omitted them, but I do think they'd be an amazing addition. Whatever you do with it, I'm sure it'll be delicious.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

12-ounces of lentils, dried
Two (2) cups of vegetable broth
5 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
Three (3) tablespoons of vegan butter
1/2 cup of milk -- I used almond milk
Two (2) tablespoons of olive oil
Three (3) cloves of garlic, minced
Two (2) cups of fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 large white onion, chopped
Two (2) tablespoons of soy sauce
Two (2) teaspoons of Italian seasoning -- you can use any type of seasoning you'd like
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
In a medium saucepan, boil lentils in the veggie broth for five minutes, remove from heat and let stand, covered, for one hour.
At the same time, chop and boil potatoes in a large saucepan for 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain them and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork and slowly add the vegan butter and milk to the mixture. Set aside.
Once the lentils are done, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (a wok would also probably work).

Toss the onions and garlic into the pan and saute until the onions become softer.
Next, add the spinach, lentils, soy sauce, and seasoning to the pan. Let cook for about five minutes and then remove from heat.
In each ramekin, spoon the lentil mixture about 3/4 of the way to the top.

Top the final 1/4 with the mashed potatoes.
Bake on the middle baking rack for 30 minutes at 400F degrees.
Once the 30 minutes is up, place the ramekins on the top baking rack and broil for 5 minutes (this will make the top more golden brown).

Remove, let cool slightly, and enjoy!