Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

I was going to make these black bean burgers for dinner.  But, when I e-mailed my husband, he said he wanted vegetarian shepherd’s pie. We has some a couple of days ago at a friend’s house and he loved it.

Actually, not to digress, but what my husband actually asked for was “Hirtentorte für Abendessen.” Long story, but anyway, I was confused for a while. “Was ist Hirtentorte?” Not as confused as my husband who translated “burger der schwarzen bohne” as “the castle of the black bean.” “Whaa??”

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Anyway, I told my son we would be making shepherd’s pie for dinner. “Where is the recipe, ” my son asked. “There is no recipe,” I told him. “We are going to have to improvise and use our imagination.” My son looked upset. “I don’t want to use my imagination.” Thoughtful pause. ” Can I use a magic wand instead?” “Sure.”

I made a easy lentil stew and some instant mashed potatoes with my son. He and my daughter had the stew with the mashed potatoes spooned over. I layered and baked the remainder for my husband. The kids loved this dish, which means I will make it again. Healthy and kid friendly? And easy and quick? An A+ for this dish. Oh, and my husband loved it, too.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Make instant mashed potatoes and set aside. (2-3 cups?)

Meanwhile, saute a chopped onion and two minced large cloves of garlic in some olive oil until tender and starting to turn brown. Dump in a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes in tomato sauce (not tomato juice) and a 14.5 ounce can of lentils (drained).  Add in a couple of jars of Earth’s Best lentils and brown rice babyfood (not essential, but a fabulous way to use up rejected babyfood). Simmer away. Cook down the excess liquid. Stir frequently.

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Pour the lentil stew in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over frozen mixed vegetables (carrot cubes, corn, peas, lima beans, string beans). Spread over the mashed potatoes and season with salt. Bake for a half hour at 350 degrees. Layer the vegetables this way keeps them looking pretty. They get all mixed in when you serve the dish.

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Things I originally meant to put in, but didn’t: Some leftover shredded cabbage, black eyed peas. I thought there was too much in the pot just from the lentils and tomatoes. But I served my son and daughter and myself the stew with the black eyed peas spooned over the top and it was a nice combination.

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