I was searching for a recipe that would hold up for the week as a quick meal or snack for my husband (the ultra marathoner) who is always hungry and in need of a large amount of satisfying food. We both love Shepard’s pie and it was always a go to meal on weekends when I had more time to cook, before I had my babies and before I changed to a Vegetarian diet. I feel like I have finally perfected my vegetarian version of this dish and now I can proudly share it with all of you.
Now as a busy mom I am all about the food prep since my time is limited. You can usually find me in the kitchen holding my toddler while cooking and entertaining my four-year old. Yes I know, multitasking master! You can crown me later.
This recipe allows me to prep the ingredients whenever I have maybe 15 minutes in between all the craziness in my life (I wouldn’t have it any other way) and then pull it all together in no time at all. I can cut the veggies a few days before and also make the lentils and mashed potatoes. Then on any given weekday all I need to do is assemble and bake it and poof dinner is done. Sometimes I really do amaze myself!
If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a big fan of planning ahead and prepping any ingredients I can for the week. I learned to do this more out of necessity after having my kids and staying home with them full-time, although brief, now looking back on it I certainly learned a lot. Being a mom you really have to be creative with any time you have. Even if I only have 10 minutes, I will rinse some beans and make rice or quinoa so I have it in the fridge ready to pull together some vegetarian neat balls or veggie burgers or even for Buddha bowl Thursdays.
Theme nights for meals are also a great idea since everyone looks forward to it and knows what to expect for dinner. Nothing like surprising your kids with something new they have never tried on a weekday night when they are tired and cranky. I use weekend days to entice them to try new foods (like this recipe) since that is when they seem to be more willing to venture out and explore new things. Same here! I like dinner theme days that the whole family can join in on. My kids choose a meal they like and we pick a day for each family member although taco Tuesday is kind of given since everyone loves tacos. We typically have pasta Mondays, Taco Tuesday, Sandwich night on Wednesdays, usually with my roasted potatoes wedges, Buddha bowl Thursday and Pizza night on Fridays. Like I said, the weekends are left for anything creative I am looking to try out or dinner out (if we can manage it).
So here it is, my always delish, meaty and creamy Lentil Shepard’s Pie. Enjoy!!!
- 3 cups of mashed potatoes
- 1 pint of baby Bella mushrooms diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 1 stalk of celery diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups of cooked green lentils
- 1 cup riced caulifower
- 1 cup of vegetable or mushroom stock
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley or thyme
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl, add a little of the stock and mix. You can skip this step if you did not pre-make the mashed potatoes.
- Heat up a medium skillet to medium high heat and add a little olive oil to the pan.
- Add all of the chopped veggies to the pan and cook until translucent.
- Add the cooked lentils to the veggies and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add some stock (you can use white wine as well) if it is too dry. You want the mixture to have a moist and meaty taste.
- Set aside and let cool for a few minutes.
- Spray a 9X13 or a round baking dish with the cooking spray
- Place the veggie and lentil mixture on the bottom of the pan and top with the potatoes. Sprinkle the paprika on top.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool a bit and top with fresh thyme or parsley.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- This recipes holds up great in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat just pop in the microwave one piece at a time.