This recipe is a Plant-Based winner on so many levels.
If you need to bring a dish to a pot luck or event that will impress your Plant-Based and even non Plant-Based friends? Winning!
If you are looking to lose weight and love to be full of delicious goodness? Winning!
If you have love to be able to reach into the freezer for a wonderful easy meal? Winning!
A large casserole of delicious, comforting, earthy fare from the lentils and vegetables, mixed into a flavourful gravy, then topped with fluffy potatoes for baking, makes your heart feel well nourished and gives great energy.
You will feel like lifting weights.
The recipe has three parts that are not difficult to accomplish, are easy to throw together, and allow you to feel like you've done something great in your day.
How could such a hearty dish assist with weight loss?
It's a Plant-Based secret that starchy vegetables (in this case potatoes and lentils) when combined as the predominant ingredient in a dish, with no added oil, contribute to support optimal healthy weight loss. If in doubt, then perhaps it's something to try and see for yourself. The proof is in the doing and seeing for yourself!
Lentil Shepherd's Pie
Make this recipe in three parts and then assemble all together in a 13 x 9 rectangular baking dish or pan. Preheat the oven to 375F.
The blender sauce makes a nice gravy in any dish but when not cooking in the dish (the sauce will cook in the oven), heat on the stove until bubbly and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavours.
8 oz cremini mushrooms (cleaned and halved)
1 small diced yellow onion (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (vegan cheese flakes)
1 TSP salt
1 TSP pepper
1 TSP poultry seasoning
2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
2 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth or water
3 TBSP tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
1 TBSP corn starch
1) Place all ingredient into a sturdy blender and pulse until well combined and the onions are broken down finely into the sauce. It should have a smooth consistency. Set aside until ready to use.
Lentil & Vegetable Base:
***We use green lentils for this dish. I find them to be sturdier and less apt to be too soft. Season them at the end to keep from softening too much.
2 cups dried green lentils
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (thawed)
1) Rinse the lentils in a colander under cold water.
2) Place lentils and water, bay leaf into a large saucepan.
3) Bring to a rapid boil and reduce to simmer, uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes. You may add more water in little bits, as needed, if the lentils are not covered by water. (only to keep covered) Add salt toward the last five minutes of cooking.
4) Remove from stove, drain in colander and remove the bay leaf.
5) Place back into pot, stir in vegetables and add the sauce from the blender. Mix gently.
8-10 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 cup Plant Milk
1 1/2 TSP Salt
1 TSP Pepper
1 TBSP Smoked paprika
***Note: You may peel and dice the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes or prepare as below. We always use a potato ricer, a cost effective gadget, that removes the skin and presses the potato flesh out in such a manner that a gentle stir is all that is required. No lumps!
1) Place the Potatoes (skins on) into a vegetable steamer. Steam on high for 40 minutes. The flesh should give way when pressed.
2) Remove potatoes one at a time (while still warm) and over a large bowl, press through the potato ricer one at a time (the skins come off in the ricer) removing the skin each time with a dull knife. Takes under five minutes to accomplish.
3) Stir in the remainder of ingredients until well combined.
Layering the Casserole:
1) Spread the lentil, vegetable and gravy mixture onto the bottom of a non-greased 13 x baking pan (we use glass).
2) Spoon the potatoes in an even pattern onto the top and spread gently with a spoon to cover the base generously with potato topping.