Curried Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

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Curried Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

This exotic version of a traditional meat-based dish, which is hearty and flavourful, is a popular lentil main dish here.

Vegetable Mixture
2 medium or large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning (see below)
1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning (see below)


Curried Lentil Base
1 bay leaf
1 cup green or brown lentils
2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms (I use dried shiitakes, reconstituted, and save the soaking water)
½ cup finely chopped broccoli
½ cup diced yellow or red bell pepper
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions for garnish

Vegetable Mixture: In large saucepan of boiling water, combine sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Reduce to simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Strain, reserving about 2 cups water. Pour ½ cup water back into vegetables and mash. Add olive oil, Italian Seasoning and Cajun Seasoning and mash again until well blended.

Curried Lentil Base: While vegetable mixture is cooking, in separate saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add bay leaf, lentils and Cajun Seasoning. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool briefly. Drain off any liquid and remove bay leaf.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli and peppers and sauté about 4 minutes or until onions are transparent and limp. Add reserved cup of water from sweet potatoes or soaking water from shiitakes, nutritional yeast, salt and curry powder and stir until well blended. Add cooked lentils. Remove from heat.

To Prepare Pie: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread curried lentil base over bottom of large casserole dish or 13×9-inch pan. (You can also make into individual serving sizes as illustrated in the photo). Spoon vegetable mixture on top and smooth out. Sprinkle green onions on top. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 8-9.

Cajun Seasoning: Combine 1 tbsp each paprika and sea salt and ½ tbsp each cayenne, basil and oregano.

Italian Seasoning: Combine 1 tbsp each thyme, basil and oregano and 1 tsp sea salt.

Variation: For a less spicy version, omit the Cajun seasoning from the vegetable mixture.

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