By Lauren Rashap
FOR THE MASHED SWEET POTATO LAYER:
- 3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 fresh garlic cloves chopped finely
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons olive oil melted coconut oil
FOR THE LENTIL LAYER:
- 2 1/4 cups brown or green lentils
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white or yellow onion diced
- 2 large shallots minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium sized carrots peeled and diced
- 2 medium sized stalks of celery diced
- 10 ounces button or cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or bone broth
- Salt and pepper
- First, make the mashed potatoes. (Sometimes I just do sliced baked sweet potatoes as shown in pic). Bring a large pot of water to boil. While it’s warming, peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large cubes (about 1 1/2 inches). Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re very tender.
- Drain the potatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl. Mash roughly with a handheld potato masher, and then add the salt, garlic powder, almond milk, and coconut oil Mash well, but leave a little texture. Season to taste and set the potatoes aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly oil with avocado or coconut oil a 9×13 casserole dish or 12 -14 inch oven proof skillet
- To cook the sprouted lentils, place them in a medium or large saucepan and cover them with 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce it to a simmer, then cover. Simmer the lentils for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re tender, not mushy. When the lentils are ready, drain them and set them aside. (This can also be done up to 2-3 days in advance.)
- Heat the coconut oil or avocado oil n a very large skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and shallots, along with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, and then add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, sage. Give the mushrooms another generous pinch of salt, and then cook for 7-8 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and broth to the pot. Heat everything and mix it together. Check the lentil mixture for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed (I add about a 1/2 teaspoon of high quality sea salt and about 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
- Remove the lentil/mushroom mixture from heat, and then pour it into your prepared casserole dish. Top it with sliced or mashed sweet potatoes, and then gently use a spatula to spread them out over the lentil mixture.
- Bake the shepherd’s pie for 40-45 minutes, or until it’s crispy on top. Serve with heaping handful of fall medicinal fresh herbs to help strengthen your immune system.