This hearty dish, also known as Cottage Pie, is perfect for a chilly night. It’s a favorite comfort food, yet plant-loving and health-promoting. Shepherd’s Pie dates back to the late 18th century when potatoes were in high demand in parts of Western Europe; this dish became a staple for many Irish, Scottish and English folks.
Although Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with minced leftover meat and mashed potatoes, we lightened our version up by using lentils instead of meat and adding broccoli for extra fiber. Feel free to substitute any of veggies with those you have on hand to make this an easy, go-to recipe!
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large stockpot with the lid on, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil. While water heats, chop potatoes. Add a steam basket to pot and fill it with potatoes. Steam potatoes for about 20 minutes. They should be soft and split nicely using a fork. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a separate medium saucepan, heat lentils and vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to medium. Cook lentils until tender and broth is mostly absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir in tahini, ½ cup of non-dairy milk, and 1 cup of water. Slowly add oat flour, stirring often so oats do not clump together. Lentils will thicken and become creamy (if too thick, add vegetable broth or water). You will want the lentils to have a little extra moisture so that they do not dry out in the oven.
In a separate large saucepan over medium heat, place carrots and onions and cook with lid on for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, herbs, and black pepper; mix well and cook until veggies are tender. Add vegetables to lentils and mix well. Remove from heat.
Pour lentil-veggie mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add the remaining ½ cup of non-dairy milk and ½ cup of water, and mash potatoes to desired consistency. Layer mashed potatoes over lentils. Sprinkle cashew crumbs on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
To create oat flour, simply place rolled oats into a food processor or high powdered blender and process until fine. To create cashew crumbs, simply place raw whole cashews into a food processor or high powdered blender and process until fine. A coffee/ spice grinder may also work in lieu of a processor.