Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

A plant-based version of an old family favorite, this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie offers such a great combination of flavors and textures, you’ll probably end up preferring it to the original! A perfect dish to introduce vegan options to your regular rotation, that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

A plant-based version of a true family favorite, this Vegan Shepherd's Pie offers such a great combination of flavors and textures, you'll probably end up preferring it to the original! A perfect dish to introduce vegan options to your regular rotation, that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie — I never know what to call it, really, but if it has no meat in it, then I guess both appellations would be correct, right? — has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was a little kid. It should come as no surprise that, throughout the years and especially according to my ever changing lifestyles, I have come up with at least a dozen version of the dish… 

Of course, since I’ve recently decided to follow a plant-based diet, it was only a matter of time before I felt the need to create a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie. 

To be honest, this new version is more like a take on the Vegetarian Cottage Pie that I’d made last year; that version had been a real winner for me and I’d already made it countless times! But since I don’t eat animal products anymore, I needed to make a few adjustments here and there, and especially in the mashed potatoes department. I wasn’t certain that I’d even manage to make decent mashed potatoes without relying on dairy whatsoever, but it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated  — just like staying away from animal products seems to be, really! — thanks to my new best friend nutritional yeast! 

I then made a few more changes, like adding mushrooms to the lentil base to make it taste even meatier, for instance! And plus, I really love mushrooms, so… 

Bottom line is I totally created my new go-to Shepherd’s Pie recipe. And you know what? I think that I like this new version even better! 

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Mujadara – Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Mujadara is a super simple yet crazy comforting Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice which are slowly simmered with caramelized onions, then tossed with fresh cilantro and served topped with even more caramelized onions! Stunning on its own, or as a side!

Mujadara is a super simple yet crazy comforting Lebanese dish made with lentils and rice which are slowly simmered with caramelized onions, then tossed with fresh cilantro and served topped with even more caramelized onions! Stunning on its own, or as a side!

Up until about a month and a half ago, I’d never even heard of Mujadara. Now? I can’t get enough of it! In fact, since I discovered this yummy Lebanese dish, I’ve been making it every single week without fail; I think I’m addicted!

Now I’m not saying that my recipe is the real deal, as in super authentic and all. In fact, it’s probably not even close to that. To come up with my own version of the dish, I’ve analyzed (and tried) several recipes. As is the case with many classic dishes, there’s a myriad different versions out there, but all have the same 3 ingredients in common: rice, lentils and caramelized onions. While most recipes call for white rice, I much prefer to use brown rice. I find that it has more texture, a more robust flavor and goes super good with the lentils. Also, the ratio of rice to lentils seems to vary a lot. I find that 1:1 works perfectly well!

As for the caramelized onions, some prefer to add very little, while others, like me, go all out. Some cook the onions, rice and lentils separately. Yikes! You know me, right? I’m all for keeping things stupid simple, saving time and using less dishes. I did everything in one pan.  

Seriously, while it might not look like much, this Mujadara thing is dangerously tasty! You should totally give it a try! Granted, this is the kind of dish that takes quite a bit of time to make, but most of this time is completely non-demanding of your attention. It’s a dish that practically takes care of itself. 

5 minutes prep time to slice the onions, 2 minutes to blow your nose and wipe your teary eyes…

The rest, you can take care of the rest while the onions are cooking.

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Vegetarian Moussaka

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they’re not big fans of eggplant!

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Although this Vegetarian Moussaka probably has very little to do with the authentic Greek dish — well, apart from the fact that it’s made with layers of sliced eggplants that is  — I think that it still deserves to be called Moussaka! The way I see it, it’s a super healthy and tasty vegetarian version of an already crazy delicious classic. 

Honestly, I don’t think that the “real deal” has anything on this veggie version. The addition of chickpeas and lentils bring so much texture to the tomato sauce, while the thin eggplant slices practically melt in your mouth.  As for the cheesy topping, it just adds the perfect amount of tangy saltiness and brings the whole experience to a whole new level. 

Honestly, this vegetarian moussaka is so good, I think that it would convert just about any eggplant non-lover out there, and turn them into total believers!  


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Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice

Need a change from plain white rice? This Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice makes for a very tasty side dish but would also be perfect as a light vegetarian meal!

This Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice makes for a very tasty side dish but would also be perfect as a vegetarian meal!

If you’re tired of eating plain white rice as a side dish, I’ve got a fairly easy and super tasty alternative for you…

Even better yet, this Brown Lentil and Mushroom rice could even be served as a light vegetarian meal, if you felt like it! Just maybe serve it with a little bit of steamed broccoli or sauteed sugar snap peas on the side and you’d be all set! 

Or, if brown lentils weren’t really your thing and you were more in the mood for meat, you could even turn it into a complete carnivore meal by substituting cooked ground meat for the brown lentils! 

Frankly, this is the kind of dish that you can have tons of fun playing with and that you’ll always be happy to whip up whenever you’re feeling a little low on inspiration! 


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