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

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie ( made from leftover quinoa chili)

I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie. It was not my favorite, to be honest I have never had a Shepherd’s pie I could say was my friend. LOL. But I had leftover Vegan Quinoa Chili and was trying to do something with it instead of eating leftover chili. Well honey, I think I put my foot in this, because this version of Shepherd’s pie I am totally feeling.  I took my leftover chili, put it in one of my little cask iron skillets and took some sautéed mushrooms, creamy polenta, added a little mozzarella, baked it on 450  until golden brown and BAM, you have Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie.  I am eating this skillet as I am typing, so bear with me. LOL.

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

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Yummy Mushrooms

First things First:

The Quinoa Chili

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2  cup water ( the 1/2 cup will be added at the need, based on your preference of thickness of the chili)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion,chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (15 ounce) can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce ) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water.Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender about 4-5 minutes. Stir  in garlic, poblano peppers and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables are tender.

3. Add  kidney beans, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water, a little at a time based on your preference of thickness.  Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder,  salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 20 -30 minutes. Serve warm.

For the Shepherd’s Pie, set aside enough chili to coat the bottom of a mini skillet. I used about 1 cup. If you are making more, set aside enough chili for each skillet.

Vegetarian Polenta

1 1/2 cups of polenta

4 cups of water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cup of mozzarella cheese, ( leave  1 cup of topping the pies, especially if you are making 2 or more Shepherd’s Pie skillets)*

Dash of black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Bring water to a boil. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. Add the cheese, black pepper and sea salt. Stir throughly. It should come away from sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Shepherd’s Pie Skillets

What you will need: Mini skillets or you can use a Medium size skillet if you are using more of the chili to make a family size portion.

1  – 1  1/2 cup  Quinoa Chili per skillet ( you can use more or less, if you desire. The idea is  to cover the bottom of the skillets.) 1/2 cup  Vegetarian Polenta

1cup of organic baby bella mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a sauté pan add the olive oil . Saute the diced baby bella mushrooms on medium heat until they are tender. In your desired skillet, first add the chili. Top the chili with your Vegetarian Polenta. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  I like to serve these in the mini skillets. They make a wonderful presentation.

* This can easily be a Vegan dish, just do not add the cheese, but still back the polenta in the oven until it is golden brown on top.