A comforting vegan casserole made by layering savory stewed lentils and vegetables with easy dairy-free garlic chive mashed potatoes and baking to perfection.
Add the lentils, vegetable broth, and bay leaf (if using) to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked through, 15-20 minutes. If they run out of liquid before cooking thoroughly, add more broth or water. Remove the bay leaf and drain any excess broth.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot with a pinch of salt, and stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is softened and starting to lightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrot and stir well, cooking for another 3-5 minutes until carrot starts to soften.
Stir in the minced garlic, smoked paprika and dried thyme, and cook for about 60 seconds until fragrant. Add the apple, tomato paste, soy sauce, and maple syrup.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked lentils. Adjust salt, pepper and other seasoning to taste.
Add the red potatoes to a saucepan with cold water. (If your potatoes are on the larger side, you can roughly chop them first to save time.)
Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes, and once cool enough to handle, remove the skins (if desired).
Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes. Add the non-dairy milk, olive oil, salt and garlic, and continue mashing until well-combined and smooth. Stir in the chopped chives; add more salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out the lentil mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish (mine is 7" by 10" and this recipe fills it to the brim; slightly larger sizes will also work). Use a spatula to press the lentils into a flat, compact layer. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top and gently spread them out into an even layer. Optionally, brush or spray additional olive oil on top of the mashed potato layer for better browning.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot through, and the top of the potatoes are crusted and lightly browned. Optionally, broil for 3-4 minutes to get even more color on the surface.
Serve hot; once cooled, leftovers store nicely in both the refrigerator or the freezer.
Vegan Shepherd's Pie originally printed from https://yupitsvegan.com/vegan-shepherds-pie-lentil/ October 6, 2017