Confession- I’ve never had Shepard’s Pie with meat. There are quite a few foods I never ate until I tried the vegan versions. I’m not totally sure why. Even though I eat meat again, I find that I still cook a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipes at home.
I was hoping this would stay really colorful… but the red lentils kind of lost their bright red… but they still taste great! This is a tasty dish on a fall night. I need a good title for this. I’m fighting the word “deconstructed” so hard.
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions diced
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 cloves of fresh garlic)
4-6 oz of shiitake mushrooms roughly chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup dried red lentils
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, or enough to cover the veggies and lentils
1 bundle of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small bag of purple fingerling potatoes (mine weighed 1lb and 9oz) diced
2 tsp olive oil
Baby spinach (optional)
Ok, I’m going to tell you what I did and what I’d change for next time in some cases.
In a large pot, sauté the onions (and fresh garlic if using) in 2 tsp of olive oil with some salt and garlic powder (if this is your option) until translucent. Add the shiitake mushrooms, thyme, oregano, and pepper (we have a grinder, so I didn’t measure) and cook until the mushrooms are tender (5-6 minutes?)
Add the carrots and lentils (I also added the asparagus at this point, but next time, I’m going to wait so that they stay a little crunchier) and broth (3 cups seemed to cover everything; I used chicken stock because we had it but vegetable would make it vegan). Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and broth is absorbed. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils cook, add more stock or some water.
Potatoes! I should have started these earlier or cooked them first… So I threw the diced up potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes to speed up the cooking process. After, I transferred them into a pan on the stove with 2 tsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper to finish cooking and to crisp them up a little.
Serve with wilted spinach because it’s tasty!