Post by contributor Erin Long
Like most good ideas, this one was born of desperation.
We were getting ready to move and I planned to make my go-to lentil shepherd’s pie for dinner. Because of the chaos that is moving with three kids under five-years-old, I wasn’t 100% aware of the contents of my pantry. Before going to the store earlier in the day I did a mental check list of what I needed for the pie and figured I had the staples on hand so I didn’t worry about picking them up.
As I started to make dinner I headed to my pantry to grab what I needed and, lo and behold, I was out of several key ingredients. The lentils were cooking away on the stove so there was no going back, but how was I supposed to go forward? I turned to my spice cupboard for inspiration and there, looking straight at me, was curry powder.
It was like it knew it was going to save the day.
I ditched the herbs called for in the recipe and went in a totally different direction. The curry powder gave the lentils an awesome flavor kick and it blended beautifully with the mashed cauliflower.
Goodbye herbs, hello spices!
It’s the perfect hybrid of English and Indian food and is now the staple in my kitchen.
This shepherd’s pie is loaded with veggies. Like loaded with them. The topping is veggies, veggies fill out the bottom half and, if you add veggies to your bone broth, the lentils are cooked in veggies.
There are so many veggies in this dish you could serve it with a side of meat.
And the veggies are super versatile, too. Don’t have or like mashed cauliflower? Swap it out for mashed sweet potatoes. Or even just mashed white potatoes.
You can use whatever vegetables your heart desires in the bottom part. Carrots, peas, eggplant, sweet potatoes, beans, greens, squash, you name it. Use what your family likes and what’s in season. This time of year it’s perfect with lots of fresh and affordable root vegetables!
And now that we’re in the thick of the holiday season, who doesn’t need a few more veggies in their life? This is the perfect meal for the day after you enjoyed a little too much holiday cheer.
And with the dairy-free option, it’s also vegan! It’s already gluten-free so it’s a good recipe to have on hand if you have guests with food sensitivities.
So if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that your body will thank you for having eaten, look no further than this curry lentil shepherd’s pie! I guarantee it will become a staple in your kitchen, too.
Curry Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- 3/4 cups lentils
- 4 cups bone broth
- 1 Medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 Large parsnips about 2 pounds or 6 cups
- 1 Large head cauliflower about 2.5 pounds or 8 cups roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 cups vegetables
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons curry powder adjust to taste
- 1.5 cups reserved broth
- Bring large pot of water to boil. Chop parsnips and cauliflower and add to boiling water. Simmer until veggies are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Add 1 teaspoon salt, butter and milk and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
- Bring broth to a boil and add lentils. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes or package recommendation. Drain and reserve broth.
- While lentils are cooking, heat oil in a pan and cook vegetables and onion until tender. Time will depend on vegetables used. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add lentils along with 1 1/2 cups reserved broth, salt and curry powder. Simmer for 5 minutes to bring the flavors together.
- Preheat oven to 350° and put rack in top third of oven.
- Scoop lentil mixture into an 8 or 9 inch dish or cast iron skillet. Top with cauliflower mash. Bake for 20 minutes then turn on broiler and cook until mash is just browned.