This year on Valentine’s Day it wasn’t just about romance and love. The holiday was also shared with the first day of Lent. This a Christian time of observance that traditionally lasts for 40 days, the amount of time Jesus spent wandering in the desert, fighting temptation. (My very quick definition, but not the whole story!)
In present day, many Christians use this time to give up something of luxury that we maybe have too much of. In my case, dairy and flour products (i.e. bread, desserts, pizza, pasta, etc.) are something I enjoy on the regular. I wanted to see if I had the will power to not indulge in either foods for the 40 days. Those who know me well, know that this is a huge feat, as I enjoy eating bread and cheese way too much! Pretty much my friends and family looked at me and wished me A LOT of luck, as they chuckled on.
During Lent, we also like to keep Friday’s meatless. There was my dilemma! What am I going to make to satisfy my family which won’t include flour, dairy or meat? That’s when I thought about a shepherd’s pie! Not going to lie, growing up I don’t think my family has ever eaten a shepherd’s pie before. Not your usual Italian dish, but I knew I was going to change my parent’s view on what a pie can be.
I used lentils as my protein and sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes and the result was very delicious!
**I want to update you all and that I am currently on Day 9 of this journey and I don’t miss dairy all that much. I’ll admit I could use a piece of bread once in a while to clean up my plate, but so far so good!
Hope you like the recipe!
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 2 cups of chopped carrots, corn and peas combined (I used a frozen organic package from the grocery store)
- 3/4 cup of cooked lentils
- 1/2 cup of vegetable gravy (1 tablespoon of corn starch and vegetable broth)
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of almond milk
- 1/2 tablespoon of vegan margarine
- any seasonings you like to add to your veggies (I like to do a splash of chili powder, garlic flakes, thyme and a little smoked paprika)
- salt and pepper for taste
- In a medium size pot, fill 1/4 wth cold water and let it get to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the sweet potatoes and let it steam until you can run your fork right through quite easily.
- Once the potatoes have cooled, using a ricer (or fork), rice the sweet potatoes into a bowl.
- Mix in salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of almond milk and 1/2 tablespoon of margarine(optional). Combine well and set aside.
Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
- In a pan, add a1/2 cup of water and steam the veggies for about 5-7 minutes, drain the water and set aside.
- In the same pan, dry out the water and add a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat.
- Add the onion and let it cook until they become semi-translucent.
- Once the onions are ready, add the chopped veggies and lentils to the pan.
- Add your desired seasonings , including salt and pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes, until all the flavours have blended well.
- Prepare a baking dish you will be placing your shepherd’s pie.
- Combine the mix with your prepared gravy and pat down nice and firm in your dish.
- Using a spatula or big spoon, spread the sweet potato evenly over the mixture and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes and serve. Serves about 4-6 people.