Meatless Monday Quarantine Recipe

As I stated recently, I think it helps to feel empowered when we are shut in by continuing to abide by other things we do to help ourselves and others. For me, one of those things are Meatless Monday (although, to be honest, it’s not always on Monday for me).

I’ve been doing this for years–going meatless at least once a week–as well as trying to increase my plant-based meals in general. We’ve had a bit of a setback lately with my husband and son, who are less committed to this idea, eating more meals at home. Still, we have at least one meatless day a week.

The Meatless Monday campaign began in 2003, largely under the direction of the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Visit the website here for lots of research about how eating less meat would benefit most of us personally as well as reduce the climate change issue for our planet.

I thought I would share my recipe for today’s meatless entree because it fits well under stay-at-home regulations. We had Lentil Shepards Pie, the main ingredients of which can last in the pantry or freezer for several weeks.

I began with the lentils. First I sautéed some onions and garlic, then added 4 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of brown or green lentils with your preferred spices (we like things hot, so we had smoked paprika, chipotle, and some chile pepper, along with salt and black pepper). Bring that to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. At that point, the lentils should be at a consistency similar to sautéed ground beef (or lamb, as the original recipe required). Then I added in a package of frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, etc.) and let those heat up.

That goes into a casserole dish with mashed potatoes on top. We had leftover mashed potatoes, but you can make them fresh. If you don’t have traditional milk/cream and/or want the dish to be vegan, you can make the mashed potatoes with canned coconut cream. Cook at 400 degrees until potatoes are slightly browned (10-15 minutes if potatoes are warm, 20-25 minutes if they are chilled)

I roasted asparagus with the casserole cooking (obviously not a pantry item, but we aren’t officially quarantining) and served it with some cherry tomatoes.

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