French Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Bottom Layer Ingredients:

1 cup French or green lentils                                        

5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water                

2 carrots, diced                                                             

1 yellow onion, diced                                                   

10 crimini mushrooms, diced                                       

1 cup broccoli, diced                                                    

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed                                  

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning                                    

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic granules

½ teaspoon black pepper

Top Layer Ingredients:

10 medium Yukon gold potatoes

½ cup water

½ cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons cashews, ground (optional)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning

1. In a large pot with the lid on, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil. While the water heats, chop the potatoes. Add a steam basket to the pot and fill it with potatoes. Steam potatoes for about 20 minutes. They should be soft and will split nicely using a fork. Turn off heat and set aside.

2. In another pan, heat the lentils and water over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Let lentils cook until they are tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Note, it is fully cooked before it goes in the oven so baking the pie is an optional step. Baking reduces some of the moisture so that when the pieces are cut and served, they hold together better.

4. While the starches are cooking, heat the carrots, onions, and mushrooms in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Keep the pan covered and stir frequently. If the veggies start to stick to the pan, add a little water. Once the onions are translucent, add the broccoli and green peas, and turn off the heat.

5. After the lentils have been cooking for about 20 minutes, stir in the herbs, garlic, black pepper, and veggies. The mixture will thicken as it continues to cook. Add the vegetable broth or water as needed, until the lentils are tender. Keep the mixture moist, so it doesn’t become too dry in the oven.

6. Pour lentil-veggie mix into a 9x13 inch casserole pan.

7. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add water, non-dairy milk, and black pepper. Mash potatoes until they are creamy. Layer mashed potatoes over lentils. Sprinkle the cashews, nutritional yeast and salt-free seasoning over potato layer.

8. Bake for 15 minutes. Then let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes: twelve 3x3-inch pieces