Lentil Shepherd’s Pie and Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Last summer, I tried a recipe for vegan shepherd’s pie that avoided the highly processed Club House Shepherd’s Pie Seasoning Mix (my old standard–haha!), and the experiment was a success. Indeed, I froze some of it and warmed it up a few weekends ago, and it was still delicious! I’ve been trying to avoid all processed foods, however, and the recipe included Yves Meatless Ground Round, so I decided to try the recipe with lentils instead.

So…here we go:

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.

Add the following three ingredients to a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the green lentils are al dente. Set the lentils aside until needed in the next step.

  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups mushroom broth

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Next, saute the following in a lightly oiled pan until the vegetables are cooked, but not mushy (again, you want them al dente):

  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups cooking greens, chopped (I used kale and Swiss chard from the garden)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

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Next, add:

  • the lentils
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional, but it gives it a bit of a “meaty” taste)
  • 2 cups mushroom stock
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Next, make the mashed potatoes:

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered (about four)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Add potatoes to the water and bring to a boil. Let potatoes cook until soft about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are at a desired density, drain the potatoes and place them back into the saucepan for mashing. Add almond milk and begin to mash potatoes into a semi smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the lentil mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place potato on top of mixture and spread out evenly, once the top surface has been covered, rake through with a fork to create peaks that will brown nicely.

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Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned about 20 minutes.

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To accompany the shepherd’s pie, I made grilled Brussel sprouts. I’ve become obsessed with grilled Brussel sprouts ever since I tasted Earls’ warm kale salad with grilled baby potatoes and Brussel sprouts. I spent the better part of the afternoon perusing a variety of recipes until I finally figured out the best way to produce Brussel sprouts that taste as good as the ones in the Earls’ salad.

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Microwave for three minutes:

  • 1/2 pound Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved

Brush a sandwich grill with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and heat. When the grill is hot, place the Brussel sprouts cut-side down on the grill and close for about five minutes.

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After which, they should look like this:

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Toss them with 1/8 cup of these amazing things:

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And heeeeere’s dinner!

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James had his shepherd’s pie with mango chutney (as is his wont–haha!). He also said that this was the first time in his life he’d ever actually enjoyed Brussel sprouts!

AND I was very glad to be able to use the kale and Swiss chard that CONTINUES to grow on the deck in February. Seriously, those plants have been producing leafy green produce for close to a year now! Mind you, the stalks of the kale are like fat bamboo trunks, so I’ll need to do some research on caring for mature kale plants soon.

Kale:

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Swiss chard:

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And here’s the February bounty, and there’s lots more Swiss chard…though I decimated the poor kale plants for this harvest.

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And we were listening to Iron & Wine as I cooked dinner. Here’s Iron & Wine‘s cover of a Postal Service song that I’ve always loved: “Such Great Heights”

I just realized that I spent my entire day first full day at the cabin doing two of my favourite things: cooking and hiking.

Just a perfect day, which reminds me of another great song….

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

The shepherd’s pie made a great next-day lunch topped with this quick vegan gravy:

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2 thoughts on “Lentil Shepherd’s Pie and Grilled Brussel Sprouts

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