Rich Lentil Potato Pie

By rights I can't call this a 'shepherd's pie' because of the lack of meat. However, this is a real comforting meal that is lower in fat, and higher in fiber, and iron than the regular 'beef' variety. You can add whatever vegetables you like, and season to taste. You could also use beans instead of lentils; black beans would work well. Either way, this is an easy, hearty meal, that is sure to please!

Ingredients (makes a 8 x 10 dish):
Lentil mixture:
1 tbsp margarine
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves

1/4 cup diced carrots (about 1 small carrot)
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper

1 cup dried lentils (I use red. Another quicker option would be to omit the stock, and use canned beans)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup corn
1/8 cup ketchup (optional, just gives a richer, sweeter flavor).

Potato topping:
5 small potatoes, peeled, chopped
boiling water

1/4- 1/2 cup soy, rice or almond milk (just until a smooth mash consistency is achieved)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 cup margarine
1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper, to taste

1) Saute onion and margarine in a large pan, over medium heat until the onions become translucent (about 4 minutes). Add herbs, salt and pepper, garlic and carrots, sauteing for an additional 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock and lentils. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes (or just until the lentils are slightly softened, and most of the stock is absorbed). Once finished, remove the bay leaves, stir in corn, peas, balsamic vinegar, and ketchup (if using). Put the lentil mixture into 8 x 10 dish. Set aside.
2) Boil the potatoes in water until softened. Mash with remaining ingredients. Add milk until desired consistency. Spread on top of lentil mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve as is, or with ketchup, or barbecue sauce. Enjoy!
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