This vegan shepherd's pie recipe is a wintertime favorite. It's comforting and satisfying. Instead of using mashed potatoes, we use a version of our vegan cauliflower mash. The sautéed garlic and thyme adds a nice rich flavor to the cauliflower. This is a great meal for preparing lunches ahead of time on the 21-Day Clean Program.
We added turnips and carrots into the lentil mixture, but feel free to substitute whichever veggies you have on hand or prefer. You can also use parsnips instead of turnips. We always like to sneak in some greens, so we included green beans.
LENTILS FOR CONSISTENT ENERGY
What is great about lentils is that they absorb a lot of flavor and are extremely filling. After eating them you aren't going to be hungry for a while, as these legumes are rich in fiber and protein. Being high in fiber they help stabilize your blood sugar, as well as help to lower cholesterol. Lentils are also extremely rich in manganese and vitamin B, which are essential vitamins that provide your body with energy. Normally when you constantly feel tired, it's because you are magnesium-deficient.
Lentils also increase your energy by replenishing your iron levels. If you are vegan or vegetarian and don't eat red meat, lentils are a great plant-based alternative. Iron plays a major role in transporting oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in your body and is responsible for energy production and metabolism. Making sure these levels are stabilized will prevent you from feeling sluggish, tired, or moody, especially if you do not include animal protein in your diet.
PREPARE AHEAD FOR SUCCESS
This recipe isn't complicated to make, and it's a nourishing meal to have on hand during your busy work week. The best part is that there are a variety of nutrients in one dish.
Serves about 6 people
3 heads of cauliflower
2 small cloves of garlic
2 tsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion (diced)
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 turnips (peeled and diced)
5 carrots (peeled and diced)
1 ½ cups green beans (chopped)
1 cup green lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Bring a large saucepan to a boil. Roughly chop cauliflower and add to the boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes until tender.
Thinly slice the garlic and cook in a separate skillet with the avocado oil on low heat for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.
Once the cauliflower has fully cooked, drain all the water from the cauliflower. Blend together in a food processor the cooked cauliflower, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper until smooth. Set mixture aside.
Peel and dice all vegetables. Add avocado oil and onion to a large saucepan and cook on medium heat until onion has become translucent.
Then add in the remained ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, bring down to medium heat. Cover your saucepan with a lid and sture every 5-10 minutes. It will take about 40 minutes for the lentils and vegetables to fully cook.
You may need to add more water if the lentils haven't softened yet. If so, add water slowly and mix in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once your lentil mixture is fully cooked, pour mixture into a 13x9 cooking dish and evenly spread out.
Then evenly spread out the cauliflower mixture on top of the lentil mixture.
Place the vegan shepherd's pie underneath your broiler for about 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Watch the pie carefully while doing this to make sure it doesn't burn.
Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
Recipe and photography by Dorit Jaffe
If you like this recipe, you might also like The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole for the Holidays