Vegetarian Mushroom & Lentil Shepherds Pie

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Happy Monday!

Guys... I seriously love Mondays now that I work on my blog full time. Before, working in the corporate world, I DREADED Sunday night/Monday morning. It always marked the end of my freedom for the next 5 days. It sounds horrible and depressing and if I'm being honest, it totally was. Sunday nights we're spent pressing my slacks and trying to plan out how I would shove as much as humanly possible into the next week. 

Now Sunday nights are peaceful. I'm usually STOKED to get started on the week and tackle as many recipes and styling as I can. I spend other days hanging out with Rascal and hacking away on my computer at the kitchen table (office space is currently undergo!). 

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Did you guys have a good weekend?! Ours was half filled with necessary weekend things like Costco runs and cleaning around the house. We also managed to fit in a four mile hike on Saturday morning (thank you for gorgeous so cal weather in January!). Then on Sunday I headed over to Pasadena to meet up with my girlfriends for a day at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

I was on the hunt for a kitchen rug and I am always searching for food styling props. I managed to find a rug that I looooove at such a good price. We ended the afternoon with lunch at Lemonade. Last night Jared and I had leftover chili (really exciting, I know) and cozied up to start the first season of Stranger Things. It was a very cozy and lazy Sunday night and I loved it. Our little family of three makes me so happy. 

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I am happy to report that I have been still working out on the regular and eating healthy-ish! I have been filling dinner slots in with cozy and healthy meals like this soup and easy Mexican tilapia bowls with fajitas (a recipe I plan on putting on the blog!). I wanted to fit in a cozy healthy casserole type of dish that wasn't filled with heavy cream and carbs. Que in Vegetarian mushroom and lentil Shepherds pie! 

This vegetarian shepherds pie is like... a life savor. It's loaded with vegetables, low carb and makes an incredibly cozy weeknight dinner. I will be totally honest there is still a little bit of butter and red wine in the recipe but not enough to make this a totally rich or 'fattening' meal. I swapped out the traditional topper of mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower and used a healthy middle filling of fresh vegetables and lentils instead of potatoes and meat. I used a variety of mushrooms, peas, carrots, onions and shallots all in a flavorful red wine broth gravy. I mixed in green lentils for some added protein and to bulk up the recipe.

This kind of meal is so great for family dinners. It's usually just Jared and I having dinner but we LOVED the leftovers. By leaving out the meat you totally cut down the costs of the whole dish. I can only imagine how much feeding a family adds up each week. My two best friends from highschool have recently turned vegetarians so I LOVE being able to give them a comfort food option. My friend Alex actually got to taste test this, and she really enjoyed it :) 

On your next grocery store run be sure to include the recipe ingredients for this vegetarian shepherds pie. I think you will absolutly love it! 

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Vegetarian Mushroom and Lentil Shepherds Pie with Mashed Cauliflower  

for shepherds pie
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 White or yellow onion, diced
1 Shallot, diced
1 Teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
6 Carrots, peeled and diced
8 Ounces of brown mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Cup of red wine
2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
2 Teaspoons of thyme sprigs
12 Oz of frozen peas
1 1/2 Cups of vegetable broth
1 Cup of cooked green lentils

for mashed cauliflower
1 Head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 Stick of unsalted butter
1/2 Cup of milk
2 Garlic cloves
2 Teaspoons of thyme sprigs
2 Teaspoons of kosher salt
1 Teaspoon of pepper
+Grated Parmesan cheese to top with (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Fill a large pot of water 3/4 of the way and add chopped cauliflower. Bring water to a boil and cook cauliflower for 10-15 minutes or until a fork pierces cauliflower easily. Drain cauliflower from water and transfer to a blender, food processor or vitamix. Add butter, milk, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, kosher salt and pepper to cauliflower and puree until smooth. Set aside for topping Shepherds pie...

In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot heat olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add in onions, shallots, minced garlic, carrots and mushrooms and saute for 5-10 minutes or until onions are transluscent. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and add tomato paste and mix well. Add in red wine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the vegetables. Add in the thyme sprigs, vegetable broth and peas and stir consistently for 5-10 minutes on medium low heat until mixture has thickened. Stir in the cooked green lentils and transfer mixture to a casserole dish (if not using a dutch oven). Top mixture evenly with mashed cauliflower and sprinkle with a later of grated parm. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pie is slightly golden. 

*Notes: You can totally use leftover mashed potatoes to top with, add in cooked ground beef or steak chunks and use more broth if you don't want to use wine :)

SERVE HOT! (with a fresh baqguette if possible)...

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