Colourful, flavourful, subtly spicy and a crowd-pleaser.
This shepherd’s pie ain’t yo mama’s!
(Unless you’re lucky enough to have a Mom like mine who gives me a run for my money at this whole plant-based chef thing)….
Unusual and SUPER healthy, this new and improved version features lentils instead of beef, and bright butternut squash instead of potatoes (not that there’s anything wrong with taters, but squash is mega-abundant right now and needs to be gobbled up).
And of course, it just gets better by the day as the ingredients infuse each other to enhance each flavour in the mix. Leftovers for the win.
Have fun with this one, and serve it at your next dinner party to get a reaction. Let me know how it goes!
Here’s to comforting fall dishes and dinner parties.
–Butternut Squash is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fibre. The bright orange colour of this squash means it’s packed with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that will combat cancer, asthma and help strengthen your immunity. The potassium will help lower blood pressure, and the vitamin A will help your skin and nails!
–Lentils are nutrient-dense, fibre rich, low in fat, and give you digestible and usable plant protein. We should all be eating some type of legume or bean daily. So, here’s your fix.
–Kale. Can I get a kale yeah!!? A super-green packed with vitamins and minerals galore. Fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K are also packed in there. Here’s a good run-down of 10 benefits!
Vegan Butternut Squash Sheperd’s Pie
Time: 1 hour
For squash topping:
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1-2 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance from Spud Vancouver is what I use. You can use my code for a discount at check-out ‘CRVAN-MURJUB’)
- 1-2 tsp oregano
For lentil filling:
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 tbsp curry paste
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups green, brown, or French lentils, rinsed
- 4 kale leaves, stemmed and torn
- 3-4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Steam butternut squash until tender. Pour over a strainer and let sit until all liquid is gone.
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add some water and the onions, carrots, and celery (no need for oil!)
- Let sweat for 10 minutes, adding more water if it’s sticking. Then add in garlic and shallot. Let sweat for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add curry paste, thyme, cumin and salt. Stir to coat.
- Add pre-rinsed lentils and enough vegetable broth to just cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are just tender.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- While this is simmering, place butternut squash, vegan butter, oregano, salt and pepper into a bowl and use potato masher or fork to mash until almost smooth.
- Mix frozen green peas and torn kale in the lentil mixture, then pour into oven dish (about 12″ by 8″ and 2-3″ deep (there shouldn’t be extra water in the mixture, if so, drain it out).
- Spread mashed butternut squash evenly over top off the lentil mixture.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Broil on low for 2 minutes to brown that colourful squash.
- Let sit a few minutes before serving!
- Let cool completely before storing in the fridge.