Prescription – comfort
Give yourself a healthy dose of comfort with sweet potato shepherd’s pie packed with red lentils, veggies and a savory tomato sauce with a wonderful mix of spices and special additions.
Let red lentils (the pulse) and a few simple veggies (onions, carrots and celery) plus a savory sauce fill your casserole dish. Red wine brought a few special characters to this comfort party and I was happy to open the door. Enter, Marmite and Henderson’s relish. Welcome!
In case you were wondering, Marmite is a ‘yeasty’ brown paste with a distinctive taste somewhere between yeasty, salt and soy. Think miso paste and you’ll be on the right track. That’s exactly the substitution you can make if Marmite isn’t sitting on your supermarket shelf. My British hubby considers it a staple, but this American waited to move to Europe to experience it.
My third party-crasher,
Henderson’s relish was another of those culinary experiences just waiting for me to move across the pond. Same stuff I used in my chili for those irresistible fries. It might be difficult to come by, but like Marmite, it’s made its way to the US. If not, there are some very taste vegan sauces to choose from. Here’s your other hack (I’ll note this in the recipe as well): 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice,1/4 sweetener (agave nectar, date paste, whatever you use) and a dash of hot sauce for every tablespoon Worcestershire.
And to top it off…
Sweet potato shepherd’s pie just isn’t without a healthy topping of mashed sweet potatoes. The savory filling offsets the sweetness of the potatoes and a bit of paprika (smoked if you have it) gives it just the kick it needs.
Shepherd’s pie is amazingly simple to put together. Yes, you do the potatoes separately and mash them, but the filling is a one pot wonder. I just kept tossing everything in the pot and let the lentils cook with the 2 cans of tomatoes. Keep an eye on the pot though, you may need to add a bit of water before the lentils get tender. I ended up adding about ¾ cup. After that, it’s just getting everything in the casserole dish. Then you can wash up the entire kitchen and coast into dinner and after.
For some time now, I’ve been hearing references to food as ‘medicine’. There is sound, scientific evidence that supports the position that plant-based diets have huge positive impacts on many serious diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
Food isn’t necessarily a magic pill where 1 specific nutrient works in isolation to combat our ails. Nutrients and therefore food, unites to launch a systemic influence on our health. A variety of plant-based foods, positive influences on your health, oh and I can eat sweet potato shepherd’s pie? That’s enough comfort for me to join the party.Print
Give yourself a healthy dose of comfort with sweet potato Shepherd’s pie packed with red lentils, veggies and a savory sauce with Henderson’s relish.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp. paprika (smoked paprika is great for this)
- 1 medium onion, diced (1 – 1 ½ cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
- 2 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans tomatoes (don’t drain). Use any kind you like as you can always break up whole tomatoes in the pan before adding the lentils.
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 5 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce (Henderson’s relish) or 10 tsp. soy sauce, 1 1/4 tsp. lemon juice, 1 ¼ tsp. sweetener (agave nectar, date paste, whatever you use) ½ tsp hot sauce.
- 1 cup red wine (200 ml)
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 2 tbsp. marmite or miso paste
- Start by prepping all the ingredients (including the potatoes). Measure out all the ingredients so you are ready to roll.
- Add the sweet potatoes to a large pot and add enough water that they are covered by several inches. Bring the pot to boil and then turn down to simmer and cook the sweet potatoes until they are tender. Once they are done, you’ll want to drain, allow them to cool and then mash them.
- While the potatoes are cooking, add the onions to a medium pot. Sauté them for 5 minutes until they start to become a bit translucent.
- Add the garlic and thyme. Stir constantly to coat the onions for 30 seconds.
- Add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, marmite (or miso) and the tomatoes. Mix well.
- Add the lentils and bring the pot to simmer. Cover and cook the lentils for 20 minutes until they are tender. Check the pot a few times and add extra water if needed. (about 1 cup).
- Once the lentils are cooking, your sweet potatoes are probably done. Drain them and allow them to cool. Transfer them to a bowl, add 1 tsp. paprika and mash them until smooth.
- When the lentils are done, set the oven on grill (the top element).
- Transfer the lentil filling to a baking dish (9 in. x13 in.). Spread the mashed sweet potatoes evenly over the top of the lentil mixture.
- Place the dish in the oven and grill for 15 minutes until the top is slightly browned (that’s enough time to clean your 2 pots).
- Commence comfort party!
- Although the title of this recipe is ‘sweet potato’ shepherd’s pie, you can substitute white potatoes in this recipe and yes, it’s good too.
- Another option for this recipe, is to substitute the red lentils for brown or green. That’s ok. You will likely need to add a cup of water (or more) to get them to tender. Rock on!
- Category: Main Courses
- Cuisine: British
Keywords: sweet potato Shepherd’s pie