You may have noticed that my website’s looking a little different lately. A few months ago I changed the look slightly, and I added a new recipe page where the dishes are categorized by type. I’ve been working my way through old posts to categorize them and add a printable recipe card. I’ve also been making a list of recipes to rephotograph, because I used to take photos with an old point-and-shoot camera, and they were atrocious. I ended up deleting the entire first year and a half’s worth of posts, as ths blog originally started in 2009 as a way to showing what a vegan with food sensitivities eats. (By the way, those food sensitivities never were a huge problem for me – it turns out that I had an ovarian cyst stuck to my intenstines for years, and my digestive problems were misdiagnosed.) I still have quite a ways to go with post updates, but they’re coming along.
While going thorugh my old posts, I noticed that my old shepherds pie recipe was missing. Maybe I deleted it years ago, or maybe it was recently deleted by accident. Either way, the photo would have been awful, and the recipe needed a little updating, so I decided to do some tweeking and post it again.
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional Irish dish made with minced meat and topped with a mashed potato crust. Shepherd’s pie and cottage pie are pretty much the same dish, the only difference being the type of meat used. Years ago, it was a means of using leftover roasted meat, but in recent years, it’s come into it’s own as a hearty and filling comfort food dish.
It’s very easy to veganize shepherd’s pie, using meaty beans in the filling. In this recipe, I’ve used toothsome lentils with a few mushrooms thrown in for good measure. Rather than a mashed potato crust, I’ve used cauliflower-millet mash here. Cauliflower is a cruicferous vegetable with many health benefits, including compounds that are known to fight cancer and heart disease, fight inflammation, and boost brain health. Millet is a small round grain that high in protein, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The two together give this dish a big nutrient boost.
Shepherd’s pie is a warming and hearty dish that’s perfect for keeping you warm and cosy on a cold winter’s day.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup millet
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cup brown lentils, rinse and picked over for stones
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 ounces button or crimini mushrooms, sliced, about 8
- 2 carrots, sliced
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup peas, frozen or canned
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Make the Topping: Bring the cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add millet, cauliflower, and salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and the millet is cooked.
- Transfer the cauliflower millet mixture to a bowl and add the non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mash together until smooth and creamy with a potato masher, or process with an immersion blender. You can also use a food processor. Add more non-dairy milk, if needed.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and then fold in the chopped chives.
- Make the Filling: Add lentils to water, bring to a boil, and let cook until lentils are tender, about thirty minutes. While they’re cooking, sauté the onion in the oil over medium-high heat until they are translucent and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and salt, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, peas, and tomato paste, spices. Add lentils to the mixture once they are cooked.
- Assemble the Pie: Spread the vegtable mixture in a 13" x 19" casserole dish and then carefully top with the cauliflower millet mash. Sprinkle the paprika on top. Cook for 20 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve hot.