On days when the mercury dips to -30 C, few foods bring more comfort than shepherd’s pie. This veggie versions features a lentil base with peas in the middle and a roasted cauliflower and potato mash on top. Parents of picky toddlers will love this recipe because each layer contains oodles of hidden veggies. Oh, and you’ll also like the fact that it yields a double batch because let’s face it, making shepherd’s pie takes precious, precious time. So worth it though!
- Food processor
- 2 9″x5″ loaf dishes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 head garlic plus 2 cloves garlic
- 2 boiling potatoes (like Yukon Gold), peeled and quartered
- 1 1/2 cups dry green lentils (or 2 cans of cooked lentils)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/2 a zucchini, grated
- 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 a teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups frozen peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, set the lentils and potatoes to cook and wash and chop all your veggies. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over cauliflower florets, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Arrange into a single layer on a baking sheet then bake for 45 minutes, tossing half way through. Chop the top off of the head of garlic, nest it in some foil, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil then wrap tightly. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the onions, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes; add the shredded zucchini plus 2 cloves crushed garlic, nutritional yeast and dried herbs – saute a minute longer. When your lentils are done cooking, drain thoroughly then add them to the hot pan; this will cook off any excess liquid. Season the mixture with salt and pepper then set aside.
- Drain the potatoes and place them in the food processor. Add the roasted cauliflower and roasted garlic; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Rise out your potato pot, fill with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the frozen peas and cook 1-2 minutes, until just tender. Drain then set aside.
- Layer half of the lentil mixture into the bottom of each 9″ x 5″ pan. Top each with a layer of peas, and finally the cauliflower and potato mash. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Set the oven to broil and leave in a minute longer. Remove from oven, let the pies stand 5-10 minutes, then serve. Each pie will feed a hungry family of 3.
We love ours with ketchup, and that’s pretty much it. From a nutritional standpoint you can feel good about feeding this dish to your kids and yourself. It’s an excellent source of protein and fiber, plus vitamins like folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C and Thiamin. It’s also chock full of minerals like iron, phosphorous, copper and manganese.