Lentils are nutrient dense, protein-packed legumes that are low in calories and high in health benefits. They are perfect to eat in salads, soups, spreads and other main entrees. It doesn’t take much time to prepare and they can really be thrown into just about any dish. Taste aside, you also reap many health benefits by incorporating lentils into your diet. How does lower cholesterol, improved heart health, improved digestive health, stabilized blood sugar and increased energy sound to you? Hopefully good! Lentils not only can give you these health benefits but they are also a great source of iron and plant based protein (18g for only one cup)! Oh yea, and they are high fiber. The higher the fiber, the longer you feel full. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with lentils. As you can tell…we love them!
When trying to find good sources of plant-based protein, we believe in eating the densest foods that will give us the most bang for our buck. This low-fat Lentil and Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie recipe from One Ingredient Chef combines healthy carbs, fiber and protein in one simple and delicious meal.
Makes about 6 servings
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 4 1/2 cups prepared lentils
- 1 box of sliced mushrooms
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon basil + more for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 2+ tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Sea salt
1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks. Boil them in a pot of water for at least 15-20 minutes
2. Meanwhile, chop the carrots, onion, and celery (mirepoix) into small chunks. We bought a pre-cut mirepoix at Trader Joe’s. You can just use a food processor though. Add this to a large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of water and allow them to soften.
3. Once the veggies are softened, add the prepared lentils to the pan. You can use any kind of lentils you’d like… dried (cook them yourself), canned (drained), or pre-made lentils in a package (as long as the don’t have any unnatural ingredients). Allow these to cook for several minutes with the mirepoix.
Preheat the oven to 350º F
4. Open the cans of diced tomatoes (but do not drain them) and add these along with a tablespoon of chopped (or dried) basil leaves, a handful of chopped spinach, and a splash of soy sauce or balsamic vinegar, black pepper, red pepper, and any other seasonings of your choice(we added our 21 seasoning blend). Let this filling simmer for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to blend.
5. When the sweet potatoes are soft all the way through, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Mash with a little salt and a splash of non-dairy milk until the consistency is perfect.
6. Add the lentil filling to a 9 x 13 pan and top with a layer of sweet potatoes. Or you can add to individual oven-safe bowls. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the topping becomes slightly browned. Allow to cool before serving.