This nutrient-rich dish is a flavourful vegan shepherd’s pie but since there are no animals like sheep or animal products in this dish (unless you use cow butter) I’d rather it have it’s own name like maybe Gardener’s pie. My husband and son, who eat meat occasionally, actually prefer this dish rather than the meat based one. (That’s a win!)
I use my dried soup base in this which kicks up the flavour. Ever since making it I’ve found many uses for it and I love adding it to my dishes rather than a store bought bouillon or stock. If you don’t have ready-made soup base then you could add half a veggie bouillon cube in the lentil mixture with a little water so that it dissolves.
If you have a mushroom hater in your midst ie: someone who doesn’t like the taste or texture of mushrooms (NOT someone that’s allergic) then mincing the mushroom is a great compromise. The texture is not detected when minced and mixed with the lentils as the lentils tend to be dry and the mushrooms hold lots of moisture which is released when cooked. It also adds nutrients like B vitamins and potassium as well as fiber and vitamin D which is so essential for the darker winter months.
This is a layered pie with the lentils on the bottom, they can get quite saucy so having it rest for about 10 minutes afterward is best. I also chose to sprinkle it with a little cinnamon just for looks but you could omit it too or use parsley.
The mustard is an important component as there are many different kinds. It’s important to get a grainy, hot stone ground variety rather than the bright yellow type. The kind I love to use in recipes is the Sierra Nevada brand which you can get here.
Besides being “good for you” or “healthy” (as some people that hear these words want to run in the opposite direction) this is a mix of sweet, savoury and rich umami (ooooo-mommy!) that just please all the taste buds!
This is packed full of goodness but may I suggest you serve it with a side garden salad?
Lentils and Maple~Mustard Sweet Potato Mash
- 1 large onion, diced
- 225 g mushrooms, minced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp sage
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans lentils (brown or green)
- 1 tbsp tamari
- dried soup base seasoning
- salt to taste
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 3 large sweet potatoes (about 6 cups)
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp butter
- To prepare the sweet potato: Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes and add to a pot covering them with water. Add 2 tbsp salt. Cover with a lid then set on high heat and allow to come to a boil and continue to cook until soft. Drain, then return to the pot and mash together with the maple syrup, mustard and butter until smooth. Set aside.
- To prepare the lentil mixture: Chop the onion and mushrooms finely, practically mincing the mushrooms. Add some oil or a little water to a large pan over medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook about 10 minutes or until onions are soft and mushrooms crisp slightly.
- Dice the tomato and add to the pot along with the thyme, sage, garlic and soup seasoning. Give it a stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes then add the lentils and tamari. Cooking until heated through. about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Set aside a large (about 10″) oven proof dish. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- To assemble: Pour the lentil-mushroom mixture into the oven proof dish and smooth it out evenly. Sprinkle the spinach over top evenly. Add the sweet potato by the spoonful on top then spread it out evenly covering the spinach. Create some peaks with your spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes then broil for about 10 minutes or until the potato peaks are slightly browned.
- Remove from oven onto a cooling rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before digging in.
- Enjoy life in the pink!