Over-the-Top Sweet & Savory Shepherd’s Pie

30 Thu, 2010 § 3 Comments

As promised,

one nutrient-dense dish.

Traditionally “Cottage” or “Shepherd’s” Pie was made with minced [also known as ground] beef or lamb with a crust of mashed potatoes.  Throw in a few veggies, ample amounts of cream, sour cream & butter, & you have a simple & rich greasy modern version.

Nothing about traditional shepherd’s pie appeals to me, but after my grandma passed along a version using lentils, I knew I could make it even tastier & healthier.

By using lentils instead of the traditional ground meat, we still get a good dose of protein but without all the disease-causing, saturated fat.  The fat that is present in my pie is primarily “healthy fats” from sauteing the vegetables in olive oil.

Swapping out white potato for sweet potato means your blood sugar will rise about 30 percent less during digestion.  Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin A & have more vitamin C, calcium & soluble fiber [& they taste better].

I was given two different caloric totals per serving when I tried calculating the nutritional information on two different online sources.  252 or 450.  Honestly, when you are eating whole foods & listening to your body, you really don’t have to count calories like a mad person.  Eat slowly & mindfully until you are satisfied.

This pie packs nearly 8g of protein per serving.

18.4% DV Iron

Nearly 9% DV Calcium

Loads of Vitamin A & Potassium

Vitamins C, E & B6

Zinc, Manganese & several other key nutrients

Over-the-Top Sweet & Savory Shepherd’s Pie

Preheat oven to 350*F

  • ½ C dried whole French Lentils
  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes, washed & cut into small cubes [I left the skins on, but feel free to peel.]
  • 3 large sections of Shallot, peeled & chopped
  • 3 small Carrots, I found it easier to cut length-wise slices [rather than rounds] to chopchopped
  • 1 large Tomato, chopped
  • 1 C Kale, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried Basil
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ T Braggs Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
  • ¼ C Rice or Almond Milk
  • 1T Earth Balance Butter
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt

Simmer Lentils in a pot with 1 C of water until liquid cooks out, ~45-50 min.

Mash with a fork.

Meanwhile, boil Sweet Potatoes in a pot of water until they can be easily pierced with a fork, ~30 min.

Once Lentils are cooked,

  • On medium heat, saute Shallots in 2T EVOO until soft & translucent, 1-2 min.
  • Add Carrots & Tomato, cooking until carrots are almost tender.
  • Add Kale.
  • Once Carrots are tender, add the mashed Lentils, salt, basil & Braggs.
  • Stir & simmer, uncovered, until the liquid cooks off.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash [or food process] the cooked Sweet Potatoes, salt, milk & butter with a fork or potato masher.

Pour the vegetable-lentil mixture into a lightly-oiled pie pan.

Layer mashed Sweet Potatoes over the top.

Bake 15-20 minutes until heated through & slightly browned on top.


*Our pie was a bit “over-the-top” because the sweet potatoes were larger than medium & really towered over the lentils [see first photo].  No complaints here; we love our sweet potatoes.  I may use more lentils in the future.

*This is a great recipe for “late” work days, because it can be prepared & assembled beforehand & kept in the refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.

*I like the simplicity of the basil, but next time I will try substituting cumin, coriander — maybe even red pepper flakes.  Use whatever you have on hand or suits your taste — including other vegetables!

*Not a fan of Kale?  This is a great way to “hide” it from Dave ;).  He really enjoys this dish.  I started with ½ cup, then added more & still would have liked more.  Feel free to add even more kale or use spinach instead.

*This dish nearly has it all: ample vegetables, a protein; the only thing missing is a whole grain.  You could add cooked brown rice or another grain to the “filling”; or do like I sometimes do & enjoy an evening snack made up of whole grains.


What are your favorite make-ahead dishes?  What nutrient-dense meals do you love?

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