Vegan Italian 'Shepherd's' Pie

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By Fork and Beans

Fact: an actual Shepherd's Pie is filled with lamb. Another Fact: This recipe is filled with lentils, in fact, it is also flavored with Italian spices and herbs which is (fact) not in an actual Shepherd's Pie. Let us agree that it's not really the name of the recipe but what is inside the recipe that counts most.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme), I recommend using fresh
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, preferably BPA and salt-free
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 18 oz. tube of premade Polenta (I got mine at Trader Joe's)

Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 2 qt. dish, 8x8 dish, or 4 large (no larger than 14 oz) ramekins.
  2. Bring the lentils in the water to a boil. Simmer covered on low-medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the shallot and garlic together until translucent. Add the herbs and red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the bell peppers into the mix and sauté for another minute.
  5. Toss the can of tomatoes, parsley and salt. Mix until well-combined and heated through.
  6. Place in your dish of choice (see above). Pour the cooked polenta on top of the lentil mix. You should have a nice thick layer.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the polenta is nicely heated through.
  8. Season with salt if needed and garnish with fresh parsley.

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