When I think about comfort healthy food, “Shepherd’s Pie” is the answer. A warm, rich, easy-to-make recipe that will make my day. Feel free to scroll down to the end for ingredients and recipe steps.
Shepherd’s pie is perfect because you can prepare in advance and freeze or freeze the leftovers. It is a perfect side dish and a main dish as well. Cheap to make, remarkable in nutritional value, needless to say, you can go vegan, vegetarian, or full fat.
Shepherd’s Pie nutritional facts:
I chose lentils instead of beef; surprisingly, you will get the same protein benefits of this dish as one cup of lentils has around 18 g of protein. It is considered an excellent plant-based protein source. Extra protein credit goes to the cow milk we used with the potatoes.
The fat used in this recipe is extra virgin olive oil, the carb is the potatoes. Shepherd’s pie is an excellent recipe to load with veggies; just check your fridge for any available veggies such as cauliflower, carrots, peas, zucchini, or any else. I used onion, sweet pepper, peas, and carrots in this recipe.
Freezing the meal
I love Shepherd’s Pie because I can prepare it in advance; I cook the lentil with veggies, prepare the Potato mash, arrange the dish, and store it in the freezer. I just let thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before baking.
The recipe is perfect for freezing any leftovers, freezing in an air-tight container, and getting it out when in need of a portion of yummy food.
Working around the recipe
This recipe matches any dietary requests; you can swap the cow milk with any plant-based milk, you can add beef instead of the lentils. For example, is used Nutritional Yeast at the top, but you can use your favorite shredded cheese. You can add tomato paste to the veggies or skip. The result, believe me, will be just fantastic, I tried them all.
Why nutritional yeast
When I was introduced to nutritional yeast, I was not too fond of its texture, it felt like dry powder with cheesy flavor, yet when I knew its great benefits, I decided to give it a try and use more of it. In many recipes, now I use it instead of grated cheese. Some of the nutritional yeast benefits are:
- Boosting energy
- A good source of B-complex, make sure to buy the unfortified kind of nutritional yeast.
- It can lower Cholesterol.
- A good immunity booster
- Low in calories, compared to cheese. So if you want to go less on calorie consumption or aim for vegan food, nutritional yeast is the answer.
Ingredients: (Enough for three adults, or two adults and two kids)
- 350 g potatoes, boiled till soft
- 75 ml milk of choice
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg
- 250 g Lentils, go for the green or brown.
- Two Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 100 g peas (I used frozen)
- 100 g carrots, chopped in small squares ( I used fresh)
- One sweet pepper, deseeded and chopped in small squares
- One onion, finely chopped
- One tablespoon tomato paste
- 250 ml vegetable stock or water
- Three tablespoons nutritional yeast, or 100 g shredded cheese of choice.
The recipe goes simple easy once you have the potatoes boiled to tender, and the lentil is boiled till tender firm; you can use canned lentils or soak overnight, then wash and boil for 25 minutes or until soft enough but still keeping its shape.
- Mash the boiled potatoes, spice with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, add the milk, and mix well until all are mixed. For extra flavor, you can add one egg only if you plan to bake it right away. I do not recommend adding an egg then freezing it before cooking.
- Sautee the onion with olive oil until soft and tender, add the carrots, cook for 5 minutes, add the peas and sweet pepper. Once the mix is tender enough, you can add the tomato paste, the vegetable stock and stir for another 10-15 minutes. You can add 1 tablespoon of flour in some recipes, but with lentil, it is not necessary as lentil is starchy enough.
- Season with salt and pepper. The recipe is nice with chilly flakes, but my kids don’t like it.s
- You can use single ramekins or one family baking dish. It doesn’t matter.
- Grease the baking dish with a bit of oil, add the lentil mix, and spread well.
- Add the potato mash and cover with the nutritional yeast or grated cheese.
- Bake in the middle of the over for 30 minutes until golden brown.