Barefoot Tiger Blog

Recipe: Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepard's Pie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shepard's PieFrom Nava Atlas' Vegan Holiday Kitchen

A hearty dish, this is a perfect dish for a cold winter day.


8 large or 10 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
1/2 cup rice milk
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms
Two 15-ounce cans lentils, lightly drained but not rinsed (or about 3 1/2 cups cooked lentils with a little of their cooking liquid)
2 tablespoons dry red wine, optional
1 to 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
2 teaspoons seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
8 to 10 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves
1 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed)


Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.

Stir the margarine into the potatoes until melted, then add the rice milk and mash until fluffy. Cover and set aside until needed. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the lentils and their liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the optional wine, soy sauce, seasoning blend, thyme, and pepper. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve in a small container. Stir into the lentil mixture.

Add the spinach, a little at a time, cooking just until it's all wilted down. Remove from the heat; taste to adjust seasonings to your liking.

Lightly oil a 2-quart (preferably round) casserole dish, or two deep-dish pie plates. Scatter the breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom. Pour in the lentil mixture, then spread the potatoes evenly over the top. If using two pie plates, divide each mixture evenly between them.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve.

Serves 8

A Little Known Fact about Flaxseeds

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flax seeds, although tiny, are a powerhouse of nutrients. In addition to a high content of alpha linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acids,) flax seeds are also high in antioxidants and a great source of fiber.

Did you know? Unfortunately, our digestive systems cannot break down whole flax seeds.

For best results, ground your seeds just prior to adding them to food or cooking. You'll get more nutrients and fiber. If you prefer to go with pre-ground flaxseeds for the convenience, put them in the freezer so the oil in the seeds will not go rancid. 

Another great option is to add pure flax seed oil to your salads in place of olive oil. Yum!


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