Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

I have been searching for some decent vegetarian or vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipes because the meat Shepherd’s Pie is extremely high in fat and is really not good for me. I have not found anything that seemed interesting or appealing to me so I decided to make my own after endless searches. Many of the recipes that I found seemed to be really high in carbohydrates which I felt came from the potatoes. I made mashed potatoes with cauliflower and 5 red skinned potatoes instead of the whole topping being mashed potatoes. Next time I think I will try the sweet mashed potatoes on top for the crust – I can picture the flavors or even try butternut/acorn squash mashed topping. I loved the lentils in my Shepherd’s Pie; it was loaded with this awesome hearty flavor – I was so thrilled that my recipe came out amazing! What is so great about this recipe is that you can omit or add the vegetable ingredients to suit your taste. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Created on 02/09/12

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1 cup of lentils, cleaned and picked through for any debris, discard debris and then cook lentils for one hour or until soft but not really soft to lose its shape and become mush
3 large organic broccoli crowns cleaned and chopped
½ head of organic cauliflower
5 organic red skin potatoes, scrubbed and cubed, leave red skin on
5 organic carrots, peeled and cubed into 1 to 2” chunks
1 cup of organic frozen corn
1 cup of organic Muir Glenn tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) package of white button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves minced well
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup to 1 cup of vegetable broth
½ cup of Tofutti cream cheese (measure based on taste and texture of the mashed topping)
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter (measure based on taste and texture of the mashed topping)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large stock pot lined with a steamer, put in the cleaned cauliflower, cubed potatoes and steam over medium high heat until tender – approximately about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the broccoli at the last 5 minutes of cooking, turn of the heat and remove the steamed vegetables to a large bowl. Separate the broccoli from the cauliflower and potatoes because the broccoli will go into the lentil filling.

While the vegetables are steaming, in a 10” sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, add the chopped onions, mushrooms, and carrots and sauté until the carrots are soft and the mushrooms and onions have a deep brown color on them. Add the frozen corn and garlic and sauté until the corn is heated thoroughly and the garlic is soft.

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Remove the sauté pan from the heat and add the cooked lentils. The lentils will absorb all the liquid from the vegetables. Add the broccoli to the sautéed lentil mixture and stir gently until everything is mixed well. Put the vegetables in a square 8 x 8 Pyrex or stone dish. Mix 1 cup of tomato sauce in the vegetables making sure everything is coated well.

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In the bowl with the steamed cauliflower and potatoes mash the vegetables together. Season with salt and pepper and add vegetable broth to bind the vegetables together to make the mashed potato topping. I did not use all the vegetable broth and added some Earth Balance butter to give it some buttery flavor. Add the Tofutti cream cheese. Remember this is what I like in texture and flavor, please adjust the broth, butter and cream cheese as how you would like your mashed topping to be.

Spread the Cauliflower/Potato mash on top of the lentil mixture and spread to cover. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until the tomato sauce is bubbling out of the top and the mashed topping is lightly browned.

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Simple Roasted Red Potatoes

Another one of my favorite breakfast foods is roasted red potatoes. I often make the potatoes with different herbs that I have on hand. Rosemary is my favorite. I did not have many herbs this time so I just used simple things I had on hand in the spice cupboard, garlic and onion powder and seasoned the potatoes with kosher salt and pepper. I have made these potatoes with chopped onions and minced garlic – the flavor is phenomenal. The potatoes came out wonderfully roasted. I finally got the potatoes roasted the way I like them. Just use enough oil to coat the potatoes. Enjoy!

Simple Roasted Red Potatoes
Created on 11/23/11

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This recipe is enough for 2 people

 8 small red potatoes scrubbed and diced well

2 teaspoons of garlic powder (adjust to your taste)

2 teaspoons of onion powder (adjust to your taste)

2 tablespoons of olive oil (less depending on the quantity of potatoes – just want enough to coat the potatoes and not leave oil visible on the cookie tray or stoneware)

Kosher salt and cracked pepper

Put cut potatoes in a bowl and season well with onion, garlic, kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Add the olive oil just enough to coat the potatoes and spread onto a cookie tray or stoneware. Roast potatoes @ 415 degrees for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are wrinkled, soft and brown. Serve with your favorite breakfast or dinner dish or with Scrambled Zucchini Eggs as shown in the picture (click here to see recipe).

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Roasted Potato Salad

I was invited to a barbeque potluck recently and wanted to bring something that I would not have to worry about spoiling when sitting out in the warm weather for a long time. I visited the local farmer’s market in Worthington, OH and took advantage of their wonderful spring vegetable picks for my recipe. Fresh herbs, asparagus, baby red potatoes, spring green onions, and garlic were all a part of my creation for this dish. The results were amazing and there was just a little tiny serving left after the night was through. Enjoy!

Roasted Potato Salad created 06/11/11

5 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed well, cut into bite size cubes

2 bunches of spring green onions, chopped white and green parts both

1 lb of asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces

4 corn on the cobs, remove corn from cob with sharp knife

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, parsley

8 cloves of garlic peeled and minced

Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

In a large bowl, combine green onions and potatoes with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, coat well and spread single layer on a cookie sheet or stone. Put in oven @ 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and golden color.

Put cut asparagus in a bowl and coat with approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Put asparagus single layer on a cookie sheet or stone and place in oven for about 15 min or less.

Put the cut corn in a sauté pan with about ½ tablespoon of olive oil, halved tomatoes and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes shrivel a little. Remove from heat and put in a large serving bowl and top with fresh chopped basil and parsley.

Put roasted red potatoes and asparagus in bowl and toss well.

It is possible you may have to add another tablespoon of olive oil (optional).

Season dish with salt and pepper as needed.

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