Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

What do you do with a large sweet potato and a bag of French lentils and you are just craving home and comfort? Shepherd’s pie and a Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.

So let’s get a bit familiar with this pie:

Shepherd’s pie, common and inexpensive British dish originating from the sheep country in Scotland and northern England. It is a baked meat pie made with minced or diced lamb and topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. Although the dish is sometimes called cottage pie, that name is usually given to a version featuring beef. It is thought that peasant housewives invented the pies as a way of repackaging leftovers from the Sunday roast. Source :https://www.britannica.com/topic/shepherds-pie .

Shepherd’s pie in my household was actually one of my favorite dishes. My mom would make it in the fall and winter months. My favorite part was was the mashes potatoes and sweet peas and carrots. I wasn’t a big meat eater growing up, but you ate whatever mom put on the table. I remember times being hard for us growing up, but my mother made sure we had a hot meal, clean clothes on our backs and lots of laughs. She was a very funny woman. Shepherd’s pie was special , it was comforting and a time to cuddle up with my family and enjoy a warm hearty meal together. My mother used ground beef, carrot, sweet peas, celery, onions and garlic as the base with lots of thyme. It was so yummy. I believe I have made this recipe only once in my life. Why? Why would I make a childhood favorite only once, because some dishes your mom just makes better, she adds that special mom LOVE ingredient.

This is what brought this recipe to life. Mother’s Day is coming up and I am missing my mom. She has been gone for 16 years now and I this time of the year I miss her so much and I just wanted to feel home. I do not eat meat like that anymore, no I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but my body craves plants more so I listen. Honoring myself and what my heart was desiring birth this lovely and delicious version of Shepherd’s pie. I hope you enjoy it and it brings your soul comfort and a smile.

Oh yes, don’t forget to Set the Table with Love. Thanks Mom for always teaching me how.

Sweet Potatoes

SWEET POTATOES

  • 1  large organic sweet potato (thoroughly washed, peeled and roughly chopped into big chunks)
  • Organic vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp or more of maple syrup, depending on how sweet the potatoes are.
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
The Filings

FILLING

  • 1  cup French lentils, cooked (follow instructions on package)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Instructions

  1. Place sweet potato in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until you stick a fork in it and it breaks apart.
  2. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use a masher or fork to mash until smooth. Add coconut oil, all the spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
  3. Next heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, onions, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned and caramelized – about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf and the thyme, and red pepper flakes and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes).
  5. In the last 15 minutes of cooking the lentils, add the carrots, and celery. Cook until the carrots and celery are a bit tender, but not mushy. Add in the frozen corn and sweet peas, stir, and cover and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain the lentils. Taste and adjust flavor to your preference.
  6. Transfer the lentil mixture into oven-safe baking dish and top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon.
  7. Set on a baking sheet to catch any juices come from the pie and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling.
  8. Let cool at bit before serving.

Notes

Super Easy Breakfast Carrot Cake Bites

After Easter feast, my body needed to cleanse. A raw vegan diet is the best way for me to get rid of all the pies and cakes I indulged in and not to mention, my mac and cheese that’s made with six cheeses.

But a girl still needs a little something sweet in her life. My Carrot Cake Bites does the trick every-time. Now on my blog I do have this recipe, but the bites are shaped into balls. To make them square bites, you will need to pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 -1 1/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried coconut and Enjoy. These go well with a cup of cinnamon tea. Remember to always Set the Table with Love. 💕💕💕💕

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 3/4 cup dried raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrots, peeled
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼  cup water or more if needed

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut  in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
  2. Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
  3. Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough,

4. Pour the mixture into a square pan and gently smooth out, you want the bites to be about 1 – 11/2 inches thick. Put them in the fridge for one hour or over night to firm up, cut them out into squares, top each one with dried shredded coconut

5. Enjoy!

Asparagus with a Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette

As I promised here is another healthy Easter side dish you can prepare super fast, but fast doesn’t mean you are skimping on flavor. Yes, I love how the shaved parmesan pulls this dish together. Enjoy and Always Set the Table with Love. 💕

Happy Easter.

TIP: The vinaigrette will last for a week in he fridge. Put it in an air tight container.

Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar

• 2 tsp ground mustard

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 1 small shallot, finely diced

• 1 tsp honey

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp pepper

• 1/2 cup olive oil

Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk vigorously until the dressing is combined.

Drizzle over the asparagus, right before serving or toss the asparagus in the dressing top with shaved parmesan (optional)

Asparagus

Ingredients :

• 1 bushel of asparagus or more based on how many you are serving.

• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1 Heat blanching water: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil.

2 Prep the asparagus: While the water is heating, prepare the asparagus. Rinse them thoroughly; break off any tough, white bottoms and discard.

Cut the spears into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

3 Blanch the asparagus: Add the asparagus to the boiling water and lower the heat slightly to maintain a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water.

4 While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with a generous amount of the Ground Mustard Champagne Vinaigrette or plate the asparagus on a pretty platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over it and shave parmesan over top.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Healing Tuesday~ Good Food, Energy Work, lots of Laughs and some Wine.

Long title. Yes. I know, but I couldn’t put it any other way, because that is what Tuesdays are like with my good friend Loyale. She is this incredible Wellness and Lifestyle Coach. She has been on a journey of wellness for over two decades and she shares her healing with so many of us, I am grateful to be one of those souls. She keeps me open up in my body, mind and soul through reiki and massage therapy. I in turn, life coach her, feed her keto meals and reiki her as well. It’s a beautiful exchange of energy and love.

I am so grateful for our times together. Today, I think the energy was truly about clearing and allowing space for what truly suppose to be there within ourselves and our lives.

So let me allow you, into a Tuesday with Loyale and I. Are you ready? Well it begins with her unloading that huge massage table, she’s a small powerhouse with this amazing infectious smile, and let me tell you, she handles that massage table like no other. She comes in and set things up and my body instantly begins to relax. I am in the kitchen cooking up a keto friendly breakfast for her. Today I made a keto friendly eggs benedict, 86 the English muffin, add instead, avocado and sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs and it’s a magical morning and she’s a happy girl.

Keto friendly Egg Benedict with Tomatoes and Avocados
Egg Benedict with Tomatoes, Avocados and Potatoes

We sit and talk a bit about our lives and what we are moving through, over a delicious breakfast and her keto coffee and my chai latte. Life coaching begins, this time helps me with how to move in her reiki session. Healing is not just about what we put in our bodies, but also about what we put into our spaces and in our minds and hearts. We are always digesting life. The question is being conscious of what we are digesting and how we are digesting life. Does it all serve our highest good? Is it healing us or making is sick? These are important questions we need to ask ourselves, if were are to stay healthy spiritual beings.

After breakfast we get into more energetic healing. Our reiki and massage sessions are full of deep breath, aromatherapy, prayer and just allowing ourselves to let go and enjoy healing touch and positive intentions being sent from one soul to the other.

Once we are full of just pure bliss, we talk more about what was revealed in our individual therapies and how we can move more consciously in life. Now it’s time for lunch. Then I remembered, I have a roasted chicken in my fridge. Now, how can I make this special for her keto diet. I know, make a pan sauce with butter, white wine, fresh rosemary and garlic. Now we have a Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce. I also pulled out of my fridge some blackberries, homemade lavender infused fudge with sea salt, I made a few days ago for my grandkids and pluck some mint from my herb garden, now we have dessert.

Homemade Lavender Infused Fudge with Blackberries and Mint
Pan Seared Roasted Chicken with a White Wine Rosemary and Garlic Butter Sauce

Healing starts with the intention of what we are pouring into others and ourselves. In all that you do, pour love into it, pour compassion into it, pour your soul into it and you have all the ingredients of making people feel alive, awaken, loved, HEALED. This is what we do on Tuesday. I am grateful! Here’s an idea, start a healing day for you and your friends, by just exchanging your God giving gifts to bring a little happiness into their lives and yours. Thanks Loyale, until next Tuesday.

Winter Detox Soup

This is simple and super easy! But here’s the twist. You eat this soup for breakfast!! What?!! Yes, breakfast. Soup for breakfast has incredible health benefits.

Having soup in the am helps with better digestion and elimination. When we are cleansed from the inside , we have more energy and our immune system is able to function better. This will help us ward off all those yuckies that our kids lovingly bring home to us.

Here’s a few benefits:

1. They are quick and easy, especially when you are in a hurry. Pour it in a Yeti thermal and go.

2. They are loaded with lots of nutrients,. A super easy way to get what you need all at once.

3. They help with digestion, because of the high fiber content and the liquid from the broths, which also helps with elimination.

4. The options are endless. You will never get bored with soup.

5. You feel fuller longer, because they are nutritionally dense.

So, why not?

Here’s my go to:

Ingredient:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ginger, powder

1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 sprigs of thyme, remove leaves to use in the soup

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 large yellow squash, chopped

1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets

1 /2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup kale, finely chopped, fresh or frozen

32 fl oz. Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Directions:

In a medium pot or Dutch oven add the olive oil over medium heat. Next add all your spices, stir and cook the spices for 15 seconds. Add the aromatics and sea salt and pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and thyme leaves , stir and cook for 1 minutes. Add the vegetables except the kale, Stir and cook for 5 -7 minutes, until the pot starts to get brown pieces at the bottom. Add the broth, stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, add more of the previous seasoning, to taste , plus add more salt or pepper, if needed. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the carrots and cauliflower are soft, but still has some crunch. Add chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Beet Salad with a Parsley and Walnut Pesto drizzled with Orange Vinaigrette

I adore beets. They are loaded with lots fiber, vitamin C and they help with inflammation in the body, which mean they are good for you, but they also taste amazing. I love to add beets to my salads, smoothies, and they are awesome sautéed, roasted or just raw.

Today I was craving a salad, but not the lettuce type. I looked in my fridge and remembered, I bought diced beets already marinated from my favorite beet company, Love Beets ! They made this salad easy to make, because everything is seasoned and ready to assemble. I just had to slice the red beets.

I wanted this to look a bit fancy, so I used one of my metal rounds to assemble the dish, but you can easily, slice your beets, top with the pesto and drizzle some of your orange vinaigrette on top and toss. However you decide to do it, just remember to Set the Table with Love.

Beets Rock!!!

Ingredients:

1 pack of Love Beets diced marinated golden beets

1 pack of Love Beets marinated red beets thinly sliced

For the Parsley walnut pesto:

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces

2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch

1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese or if vegan nutritional yeast

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.

2. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredient:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. Cover and shake well until combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.

Place your metal round on a pretty plate. Inside the round, layer the thinly sliced red beets, then top with the diced beets, stacking them on top of the red beets slices, until you have no space left. Add some pesto, then start the process over, until you end with a layer of pesto on top of the golden beets. Place on fridge to set for 30 minutes. Gently remove the metal round and drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. 💕

Spicy Orange Ginger and Garlic Cauliflower with Orange Ginger Cauliflower Rice

This week it’s all about the cauliflower.

Here’s the recipe, running out for an event, but wanted to share this with you guys. Always Set the Table with Love.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

• 2/3 cup water

• 1/3 cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon

• 1/3 cup flour

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup onions, minced

•. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

• 1 large orange, zest only

• 1/4 cup orange juice, from zested orange

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

1 In a bowl, whisk together the water, 1/3 cup of corn starch, the flour, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

2 In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, ginger and onions, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a slight boil.

3 Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Whisk into the sauce and reduce heat to a very lower simmer.

4 Next, heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.

5 Coat each cauliflower floret in the flour mixture.

6 Carefully place each floret into the hot oil. Fry each piece until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

7. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture, pour into a bowl and spoon the remaining thick, hot sauce over top. Garnish with some cilantro or sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, (optional).

Serve immediately.

Back to School Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Today I had the opportunity to do a television segment for Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, because back to school is upon us and we want to give our kids a healthy start to the new school year. Well, I got you covered. Try out some of these recipes with your kids and see how going back school can be a fun and tasty experience for the whole family.

Here’s a few tips to get your kids into eating healthy:

1. Show the new ways to eat fruit and veggies: peanut butter on celery, hummus and red pepper slices, coconut milk with berries popsicle sticks

2. Get them involved in the process. Let them come up with healthy recipes ideas that incorporates more veggies .

3. Plant a garden.

4. Let them explore new fruits and veggies once a week. They don’t have to love it, just be open to trying new things.

5. Make eating healthy fun and not a chore. They are exploring and getting to know how to make good eating choices. So keep light.

If you want to check out the television footage just click this link: Good Day Atlanta Healthy Breakfast ideas .

Remember to always Set the Table with Love as you head into the new school year. 💕

Good Day Atlanta

Naleyla’s

Mango Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 Cup Mangoes, fresh or frozen, chopped

½ cup frozen blueberries

1-cup organic orange juice

A pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend and Enjoy.

Serves two happy little campers 

As a school snack or for the lunch box add this smoothie into a thermos keep drinks cool.

Coconut Chocolate Chip No Bake Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1-½ cup raisins

½ cup maple syrup or (honey if not vegan)

½ cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup mini chocolate chips or (cacao chips, if vegan)

2 cups rolled oats, gluten-free, for any sensitivities

Directions:

1. Process raisins in a food processor until small bits remain. You are looking for ”dough” like consistency.

2. Place the oats in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil and toast for 3 minutes on medium

heat. Add all the spices and stir.

3. Place oats and raisin “dough” a large mixing bowl – set aside.

4. Warm honey and nut butter or sunflower butter, if there is a nut allergy, in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir

and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the raisin “dough” to disperse throughout.

5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or

parchment paper so they lift out easily.

6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. I use another piece of parchment paper over top of the granola and smooth flat with a spoon.

7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.

8. Remove bars from pan and cut into bars of your desire. I cut them into small squares or 2 inch logs. Store in an

airtight container for 3-4 days. If you freeze them they will last longer and you can pop them out the fridge and add

to your kids lunch boxes each morning or as a great after school snack. Note: IF THE BARS ARE TOO CRUMBLY,

ADD A LITTLE WATER TO MAKE THEM STICKY. IF TOO STICKY AT MORE OATS.

Fruit and Granola at the Bottom Yogurt Cups

Ingredients:

1 small 4 oz. Mason jar with lid or 4 oz. BPA free recyclable plastic cup with lid

¼ cup granola

Few strawberries and frozen blueberries, or any fruit of your choice. I love to add frozen fruit, because it will keep the yogurt cool.

¼ cup Greek yogurt

A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, cacao chips or granola to add on top as garnish

Directions:

Add the granola to the bottom of the jar. Top with your favorite fruit, then top with greek yogurt and garnish as you desire.

This is a great lunch box recipe and after school snack. For school I would suggest using a BPA free plastic cup with lid, instead of a jar class.

There’s more than one way to use vegetable skewers

How can you take 4 prepackaged vegetable skewers and make several meals?

What I love about using the skewers is they have all my favorite veggies, big plump portobello mushrooms, crunch red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and red onions. The first day I marinated them in a balsamic glaze with olive oil and herbs and paired it with a red quinoa vegan tabbouleh. The next day I took the two of the vegetables skewers and took off the vegetables and sautéed them in olive oil, herbs, sea salt and cracked black pepper. I put the veggies in a bowl, add kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, banana peppers and chickpeas. I added a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and toss. I chopped some fresh parsley over top and you have your second skewer meal. I took the last one and made a simple stir fry with eggs.

Keto Zucchini Cakes the Vegetarian Way

I had such a beautiful afternoon spending time with my girlfriend Sarah and talking about her amazing weight-loss using the keto lifestyle plan. She has lost 40 pounds using this plan. So in honoring of her big victory, I decided to make her my keto savory zucchini cakes.

We did a Facebook Live, where she was able to talk to about how the keto lifestyle plan has helped her live a more healthier way of living. It’s pretty fun, hilarious and educational, so check it out in my Facebook page under Lisa Washington.

Here’s the recipe. To find out more about to keto lifestyle Magic Pill on Netflix.

Keto Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients

• 1 pound zucchini

• 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt or regular sea salt or to taste

• 2 large eggs

• 1 1/2 tablespoon onions, diced and 11/2 tablespoons garlic, diced

• 1 1/2 teaspoon savory south seasoning by Hillari Moon or herbal garlic no salt seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 cup almond flour

• 1/4 cup coconut flour

• 1/4 cup grated Vegetarian Parmesan cheese, BelGioioso Cheese is Vegetarian

• olive oil for frying

Instructions:

1. Grate the zucchini on a box grater . Put the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with the teaspoon of Himalayan pink sea salt or regular sea salt. Mix the zucchini gently to distribute the salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the zucchini out with your hands and place into a medium sized mixing bowl.

2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Remove from pan once the garlic is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

3. Add the eggs to the zucchini and the cooled onions and garlic mix together. In a small bowl, add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir together. Add them to the zucchini and mix thoroughly.

4. Heat a medium to large pan over medium – high heat. Pour in enough oil to completely cover the bottom surface of the pan. When it looks hot, stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and check for bubbles. If the bubbles are moving quickly, then the oil is hot enough.

5. Stir the zucchini mixture one more time and dip a 1/4 cup measuring cup into the batter, level off. Dump the batter into the pan and gently push it into a flat pancake shape with the back of a metal spatula/flipper. Cook for three minutes adjusting the heat up or down as needed, then flip, cooking for another three minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed to prevent sticking.

6. Drain the zucchini cakes on a paper towel before serving.