Looking for the perfect holiday recipe to bring to a potluck, family gathering or just to have at home? LOOK NO FURTHER! Trust me, this recipe deserves a grand introduction. I’ve seen versions of this recipe circulating the internet and I’ve meant to try it, but I didn’t expect it to be this tasty! This is my personalized recipe, and I encourage you to tweak it to suit you – for example, using white potatoes if Shepard’s pie is a childhood comfort food for you and you want it to be as similar as possible, or leaving out the rice and using all lentils and veggies for the filling! I also used flax oil because it’s high in Omega-6 but I’m sure any oil will do.
Fun fact! Most people discard the leaves of their celery, but they are a very potent source of calcium, vitamin E and iodine as well as many other micro nutrients. If you like celery, they’re a great garnish and go well with this dish.
2 large sweet potatoes
1 can lentils (or 1.5 cups, cooked)
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
A few handfuls of raw spinach
1 cup frozen mixed veg (peas/carrots/corn mix)
1 vegetable stock cube (like Knorr brand)
2 tbsp flax oil
Pinch of sea salt
Dried tarragon leaves
Fresh celery leaves
1. Bring 2 pots of water to boil. One is for the sweet potatoes, which will have just enough water to fully cover the potatoes. The second is for the rice, and if you’re using 1/2 cup rice use 1 cup of water. Add a pinch of salt to each pot to make it boil faster. Make sure the pot used for rice is big enough to fit the lentils and veggies as well.
2. Preheat oven to 425 F and spread a tablespoon of the oil onto an oven-safe baking dish such as the one pictured.
3. Add the rice and the potatoes to their designated pots. Add the cube of vegetable stock to the rice. Each should take around 20 minutes. You know the potatoes are ready when they are soft. The rice will absorb almost all of the water, and will be soft.
4. When almost all of the water is absorbed by the rice, add the frozen mixed vegetables, can of lentils and spinach to the rice pot. If the water is gone before the vegetables are warmed, add some more to prevent the rice from sticking. Stir continually.
5. Drain the sweet potatoes well. Mash them in a separate bowl with another tablespoon of flax oil and another dash of sea salt.
6. When the lentil/rice/vegetable mixture is warm throughout, spread it on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, spread the sweet potatoes on top of that.
7. Transfer the dish to the oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes begin to brown and get slightly crisp around the edges.
8. Garnish with dried tarragon and celery leaves!