Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vegetable Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian comfort food at its finest!


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 340g pkg. pre-cooked soy "ground beef" protein mixture (Yves Veggie Ground Round or Schneider's Oh Natural! Meatless Ground Burger are great brands) - For a non-vegetarian dish you could substitute the soy protein mixture for cooked lean ground beef
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
2 zucchini, diced
4 red potatoes
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
1/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 and 1/3 cups grated old Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced


In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Fry diced onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in lentils, soy protein (or ground beef if substituting), cumin, oregano, and half each of the salt and pepper; cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, broth, and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add zucchini. Cook, covered and stirring often, until thickened and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into 2-inch chunks. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook potatoes, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and reduce to dry saucepan. Mash together with milk, butter/margarine, and remaining salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.

Scrape lentil mixture into a 13"x9" baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and green onions. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings; you can halve this recipe if you are serving less people, but be sure to bake it in a smaller dish.

*Recipe adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection cookbook. By Allison Kent and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Published Sept. 14 2010 by Transcontinental.

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