Now, it’s not everyday that I write up on a recipe so soon after I make it. It’s also not everyday that I try out a new dish, and, upon tasting it, yell out in joyful disbelief into an empty kitchen.
This recipe just needs to be in the world; it just needs to be shared.
I’m a “free-spirited eater” (read: I will eat it all), but since Mr. Butt Toast is all about that vegetables and health stuff, I often find myself enjoying the challenge of “vegetarianizing” a dish.
To all the meat-lovers out there: I know, I know, it just doesn’t taste the same without all the cut up animal carcasses. I don’t disagree with that. However, I’ve also found that many of these vegetarian versions are just as delicious (if not more so!), albeit a bit different.
And this here, my friends, is a prime example.
This Shepherd’s pie is not only full vegetarian, it also uses mashed cauliflowers instead of mashed potatoes. +10 health points.
Actually, this mushy white goodness is the reason I shouted out in glee like a crazy person. I steamed it, blended it up, all the while doubtfully anticipating the outcome. But that moment when I put my finger into the mash and the mash into my mouth, the tastebuds of my heart exploded into rainbows of one hundred colours.
Okay, maybe I shouldn’t hype it up that much. Just know that it was surprisingly delicious and not-veg-ish. In fact, the only difference my humble tongue could discern between this mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes is that potatoes have a slightly smoother and drier texture.
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp whipping cream, heavy cream, or milk
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Note 1)
- 1/2 cup of dried lentils
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced (about 1 carrot)
- 1/2 cup celery, diced (about 2-3 stalks)
- 1/2 cup brown (cremini) mushrooms, diced
- 1/3 cup green peas
- 1/3 cup brown onion, diced (about 1/2 of an onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste (or 2 Tbsp ketchup)
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley, finely chopped.
- 1. Prepare the cauliflowers first. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Wash and roughly cut up the florets. Peel the 2 cloves of garlic. When the water is boiled, toss in the cauliflower and garlic. Cook until cauliflower is fork-tender.
- 2. When the cauliflower is cooked, drain and let it cool a little bit, until it is safe to handle. Using a hand blender or food processor, blend the cauliflower and garlic with all the other mash ingredients (butter, cream, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper). Also add in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- 1. Boil another pot of water and cook the lentils until soft. Drain and set aside.
- 2. While the cauliflower and lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetables for the filling. Dice the carrot, celery, mushrooms, and onion into equal-sized pieces. Mince the garlic.
- 3. Heat the 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- 4. Add in the carrot, celery, and mushrooms. Stir fry until ingredients start to soften, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- 5. Add in the green peas and cooked lentils. Stir to combine.
- 6. Add in the thyme, paprika, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavours combine.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- 2. Pour the filling ingredients into the bottom of a casserole dish. (Note 2)
- 3. Spread the mash over the top of the fillings. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over top.
- 4. Bake for 15 minutes, then switch to broiling for 5 minutes, until the top is slightly browned.
- 5. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
- Note 1: You can use any cheese you like. I used Mozarella for mine.
- Note 2: I used a 7" glass dish for my shepherd's pie.
Pin now, no regrets later 😉