Sue and I asked our blog readers what they would like us to share on the blog for fall. The most popular responses were casseroles and healthier treats.
We will be working on the healthier treats in the future (I kind of went nuts with peanut butter and caramel this week.) But today we are sharing a vegetarian shepherd's pie casserole that definitely says "fall comfort food" to me.
Our dad makes a killer shepherd's pie with hamburger that will probably always be my favorite. This version though, using lentils instead of beef, is really good. In fact, I didn't miss the meat at all.
FYI - Shepherd's pies are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes after the holidays.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
4 large potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup aged cheddar, shredded
drizzle of oil
2 large carrots, peeled & diced
2 large mushrooms, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can lentils (about 1 1/2 cups), drained
1/2 cup peas
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dried chives
2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp flour
salt & pepper
1/2 to 1 cup aged cheddar, shredded
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 5 - 6 cup casserole dish with cooking spray OR 5, 1 cup individual oven safe dishes placed on a cookie tray. Set aside.
Prepare potatoes - Place potato chunks into a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain off water. Add butter and cheese and mash or whip potatoes until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare filling - In a large frying pan over medium heat, drizzle oil. Cook carrots, mushrooms, onions, and garlic until vegetables are softened (about 5 - 8 minutes). Add in lentils, peas, garlic & onion powder, soy sauce, and chives. Whisk the flour into a few tablespoons of the vegetable broth and then stir in the rest of the broth. Add the vegetable broth to the pan. Season with salt & pepper.
Cook and stir until mixture thickens.
Scoop mixture into prepared casserole dish (or dishes)
Top evenly with the mashed potatoes.
Place into 350 oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn tray (or large casserole), return to oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese.
Turn broiler on. Return tray (or casserole) to oven and broil until cheese is melty.
Oooooh.....look at all the bubbly, melty goodness....
And, I promise you won't miss the meat!
Tasty looking, right?
It really is.
But, don't take my word for it! You should make this for dinner tonight. You have to dirty some dishes with this one but it is worth it. Plus, you can customize it with your favorite veggies.
Zucchini, corn, beans....whatever you like!