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Veggie Rich Shepherd’s Pie: A Delicious, Anti-Inflammatory Comfort Food

nutrition & recipes Jan 08, 2024
Image of a freshly baked Veggie Rich Shepherd's Pie, with a golden-brown mashed topping, served in a ceramic dish.

As the chilly, rainy weather sets in here in Ohio, the craving for warm, comforting meals grows stronger. Shepherd's pie, a beloved classic, seemed like the perfect dish to experiment with. My aim was to enhance its anti-inflammatory benefits without compromising on taste. How, you might ask? By asking questions like: Can we boost the plant content? Is it possible to include healthier fats like omega-3s? And can we reduce refined grains or added sugars?

Sure, my culinary experiments have sometimes gone awry (cue the gagging emoji), but I'm thrilled to share that this shepherd's pie was an absolute hit with the family!

A Recipe That Won Everyone Over

The joy of seeing every one of my kids (and the hubs!) devour this dish was immense. I even savored the leftovers the next day, and they tasted even better! I’ve also stashed half of the recipe in the freezer and will update you on how it holds up.

Though this recipe requires a bit more prep, it's totally worth the effort for its leftover and potential freezer-friendliness.

Veggie Rich Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Here's how you can make this delightful dish:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils (French green preferred)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic (4 whole, 2 minced)
  • 6 sprigs thyme, divided
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian version available)
  • 2 T flour (whole grain or GF option)
  • 32 oz veggie broth (or bone broth)
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 lb potatoes, 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large rutabaga, 1-inch cubes
  • 4 small/medium turnips, 1-inch cubes
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 6 T butter (vegan or olive oil blend possible)
  • 2 oz cream cheese (vegan alternative available)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (plant-based substitute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water for boiling

Equipment

  • Large pot with lid, small pot, sauté pan, casserole dish, colander, potato masher

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook Lentils: Prepare as per package instructions using veggie broth. Use leftover liquid in filling.
  3. Prepare Mash: Boil potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, whole garlic, and thyme in salted water until tender.
  4. Cook Filling: Sauté onions, minced garlic, and thyme. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and flour. Gradually add veggie broth, cooked lentils, and frozen veggies. Simmer and season.
  5. Mash Topping: Drain cooked veggies, remove thyme, and mash with butter, cream cheese, and cream. Season with salt.
  6. Assemble: Spoon mash over the filling in the sauté pan or transfer to a casserole dish.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F.

For meal prep, cover and refrigerate, then bake as instructed, allowing extra time for a cold dish.

This recipe, though a bit time-consuming, is a testament to how we can transform traditional dishes into healthier versions without losing their soul. I'd love to hear your thoughts or variations if you try this recipe.

Remember, our food choices are a significant part of our journey towards anti-inflammatory living, and this Veggie Rich Shepherd’s Pie is a step in the right direction!

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