Vegan Lentil Shephard’s Pie with Potato Parsnip Mash
By Gena Hamshaw
2 1/2 pounds (about 4 large) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup almond, soy, rice, or other non-dairy milk
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced evenly
2 ribs celery, diced evenly
6 ounces baby bella, cremini, or button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup brown or green lentils, dry
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and submerge in cold water and Salt water well. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow potatoes and parsnips to cook for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until both vegetables are very fork tender. Drain, return the vegetables to the pot, and add 2/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash well with a potato masher. If you need more milk, add the remaining 1/3 cup. Set the mashed potatoes and parsnips aside.
While potatoes are cooking, bring 1 1/2 cup lentils and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce and simmer until lentils have absorbed all liquid, and are soft (about 30 or 35 minutes). Set lentils aside.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and golden (10 minutes or so). Add the carrots and celery and cook till both vegetables are tender (another 8 minutes). Add the cremini mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the lentils, the rosemary, the thyme, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Simmer the mixture, stirring well to incorporate flavors. Add more liquid as needed: you don’t want too much broth or liquid in the bottom of the pan, but you do want it to be quite moist. When everything is warm and well mixed, season to taste with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350.
In a large casserole dish, layer the lentil and veggie mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes delicately and evenly on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are browning. Sprinkle with extra rosemary, if desired, and serve.
This is a recipe I made over and over again. To change things up, I sometimes swap out the potatoes for yams and the parsnips for carrots. The amounts and preparation are the same, but it brings out a whole new flavour for the dish. Enjoy!