Hearty Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 1 hour

Serves:6-8

By Vicki Brett-Gauch

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp oil-free vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 ounces zucchini, diced
  • 2 15-ounce cans lentils, drained, rinsed (or equivalent cooked from scratch)
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine (or more broth)
  • 2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 tbsp prepared chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or seasoned salt (optional)
  • dash sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 8-10 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a 2-quart round casserole dish, or two deep-dish pie pans.

Scatter the breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom. Set aside.

Peel and chop the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. (Salt the water, if desired.)

Bring potatoes to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add non-dairy milk, plus salt and pepper to taste, and mash until fluffy and delicious. Cover and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the broth in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, adding more broth or water if needed to prevent sticking. Add the zucchini and lentils, and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the wine, soy sauce (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos), chili sauce, and the seasonings. Cook gently for about eight minutes.

Add the spinach, a little at a time, cooking just until wilted. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Pour the lentil mixture into prepared pan(s), and then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. If using two pie plates, divide mixtures evenly between them. At this point, one of the two pie pans can be frozen for later use.

Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until bubbling hot, and potatoes begin to turn golden brown and slightly crispy. (If frozen, bake at 375 instead of 400 degrees, for a total of about 90 minutes.) Remove hot dish from oven, and allow to stand for five minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve hot.

Hints: I make bread crumbs from Ezekiel bread. I use Organicville brand chili sauce.