Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon
Being a newly converted vegetarian, I wanted some new vegetarian cook books to help me out with some new ideas for meals. My university’s bookstore was having a major sale so I decided to buy myself a late birthday present. This recipe is from one of the two books I bought. I had previously though about making a seitan shepherd’s pie when I got home but decided to try this lentil-based recipe from one of my new books instead. It was a great choice. I was a bit anxious about what my dad would think because he’s not huge on legume-y type things but he liked it a lot too. I hope your meat-eating friends/family likes it too.
Yield: 2 individual pies
The Shep’s Pies
- 1 cup No-Beef Broth, divided (recipe below)
- ½ small onion, diced (I used half a medium onion for double the recipe)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup cooked lentils
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/8 tsp yellow curry powder
- Easy Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)
- Line a skillet with a thin layer of broth. Add the onion and carrots and sauté over high heat until carrots become fork-tender. Add some more broth if necessary.
- Add the peas and more broth if necessary and continue to cook until the peas are warm.
- Stir in the lentils.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining broth (about ½ cup) and pour into the skillet.
- Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring, until it thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the curry powder.
- Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins or small bowls and top with the mashed potatoes.
- If not eaten immediately or if you want crispy-topped mashed potatoes, bake for a few minutes in a 350F (177C) oven.
- 1 tbsp original soy sauce
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- In a medium saucepan, whisk all the ingredients with1 cup of water until well combined.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
Easy Mashed Potatoes
- 2 medium potatoes
- nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Peel and cube the potatoes and boil until fork-tender.
- Drain and beat with an electric mixer.
- Add a splash of nondairy milk (about ¼ cup) and beat again, adding more liquid as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Comments: This was a marvelous discovery. At first, I was wondering how a lentil-based “shepherd’s pie” could come even close to the taste of the real thing. My question was answered with the first bite. The No-Beef Broth has a really good umami taste that boosts the flavor and kills some of the lentil taste. I was surprised at how good it was. If you have the broth and mashed potatoes ready, this shouldn’t take too long to make. If you want you can add onion and garlic powder to the mashed potatoes and/or the lentil and vegetable mixture.