Helloooo my friends!
Well, I’ve done it. I’ve entered an epic challenge centered around lentils sponsored by Canadian Lentils. I love lentils, and as a vegetarian I just couldn’t live without them. They are so versatile and they can be used in soups and stews, sauces, salads, burgers, and desserts. Yes…even desserts.
I am entering my all-time favourite lentil recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. This pie happens to be completely vegetarian- vegan, even, but you would never ever miss the meat. Lentils are the absolute star of this recipe creating the perfect substitute. You can help me in this challenge by liking, commenting on, and sharing my post on my Facebook page.
I make these pies individually for perfectly portioned entrees on fancy occasions, or else I make a whopping double batch and serve it family style for more casual dinners. The main theme to this recipe (besides lentils, obviously!) is simplicity. You can used canned lentils if you don’t want to soak and cook dried lentils. And the filling can be made in one pot which means less dishes for you- woohoo! You can bake the individual, or family-sized pie ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. On a busy week night you can simply reheat it and it will taste just as good as if you had made it that day.
There are some big prizes at stake with this contest including a grand prize of $2000!!
I don’t have to tell you how much this would mean to me, and my future business. Each entry is judged on a variety of elements, but 20% is based on social media response. Please like, share and comment on my post on my Facebook page or on Canadian Lentils Facebook page, and/or on this blog post if you like my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie!
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Makes about 8 small individual portions or one large baking dish
- 3 baking potatoes, like russet or yukon gold
- 1/4 cup almond milk or other milk, plus extra, if needed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
Peel potatoes. Roughly chop the potatoes and place in a pot of salted, cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Drain the pot, and then add almond milk, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mash until no large lumps remain. If necessary, add a small amount more olive oil or milk until desired consistency and richness is reached. Set aside.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 14 fl oz (400g) diced tomatoes, canned
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup frozen corn kernals
- 1 1/2 cups green or french puy lentils, canned* or pre-cooked dried lentils**.
- 2 Tbsp dry red wine, optional
- pinch smoked paprika
*A 540 mL/ 19 fl oz can of lentils should yield just over this amount. Drain and rinse.
**If pre- cooking dried lentils yourself, put 3/4 cup dried lentils in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let simmer about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain
Preheat oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ Gas Mark 6.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for 5-10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices. Add tomatoes and let simmer for about 5 minutes, reducing slightly. Stir in peas and corn. Stir in wine, and finally, lentils. Make sure everything is well mixed.
Grease baking dish or ramekins and fill with lentil mixture, leaving room for the potato topping. Top with potatoes in a ‘rustic’ manner, or place potatoes in a piping bag (for cakes/pastries/etc.) fitted with a large star tip, and pipe onto lentil mixture. Top with a pinch of smoked paprika.
Place baking dish or ramekins onto a baking sheet. For a large baking dish, bake 25-30 minutes, until potato top is browned. For ramekins, bake for 15-20 minutes, until potato top is browned. Garnish with fresh sage leaves. Enjoy!