Search
cW Recipes: Veggie-Packed Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Replacing ground beef or lamb with nutrient-packed lentils is a healthy upgrade for this classic comfort food.

As a young cancer patient (and now survivor), there is nothing more important than eating meals packed with health benefits. Trying to keep my cells healthy and strong during chemo was my top priority. One of my favorite winter dishes during chemo (and still today) is my mom’s Lentil Shepherd’s Pie. This easy-to-cook vegetarian recipe is nutritious, delicious, and loaded with veggies and leafy greens. I love cooking with lentils because they are rich in iron, protein, folate (a B vitamin bone marrow needs to make blood cells), and fiber—a chemo patient’s best friend! It’s also the perfect comfort food for those bed days, when you need the comfort of your bed more than anything else.

Recipe ingredients

ingredients

FILLING:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chiffonade (long, thin strips)
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • ½ sweet potato with skin, grated
  • 8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups frozen yellow corn, rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

 

MASHED POTATOES:

  • 10 yellow potatoes, thoroughly washed, peeled, and quartered
  • ½ sweet potato, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/8 cup butter (for yellow potatoes only; can be substituted with vegan butter or ghee)
  • ( use organic ingredients when possible)

 

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:

  • 3 curly or redbor kale leaves, chiffonade
  • 5 dandelion leaves, chiffonade
  • 4 rainbow chard leaves, chiffonade
directions

Directions

MASHED POTATOES:

  1. Place sliced yellow potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until covered. Bring to a low boil on medium-high heat and let cook for 20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
  2. In a smaller pot, add the sweet potato and fill with water until covered, bring to a boil on med-high heat, and let cook for 10 minutes until soft.
  3. Once cooked, drain the yellow potatoes. In the same pot, use a large fork or masher to mash the potatoes. Add butter and salt to taste (for creamier potatoes, add more butter).
  4. Drain and rinse the sweet potatoes and mash with a large fork or masher.

 

FILLING:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté olive oil, shallots, and half of the diced onion until soft. Add thyme, mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until mushrooms sweat and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add grated carrots, grated sweet potato, and chopped bell pepper.
  3. In a small pot, cook lentils in vegetable broth with 1 shallot, 2 thyme leaves, 1 garlic clove, and the other half onion for 10 minutes. The lentils will absorb the nutrients and flavors.
  4. Remove only the lentils from the pot with a slotted spoon, and add them to the sautéed vegetables. Remove from stove, and add greens of choice. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch, oven-safe baking dish. Layer the corn on top, followed by the mashed yellow potatoes. Using a fork, swirl in the mashed sweet potato.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until mashed potatoes are lightly browned. Serve hot.

to serve

In order to prevent the growth of bacteria (which can be life-threatening for chemo patients), don’t wait too long before storing your cooked leftovers in the fridge—two hours at most. This is a great dish to store uncooked in the freezer as well.

about the chef

LINDSAY YARROWMontreal-based blogger Lindsay Yarrow was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at just 27 years old. Describing it as the worst day of her life, Lindsay learned that it is the friendships we nurture that truly lead to happiness. After her diagnosis, Lindsay found joy in yoga, meditation, and cooking. At @mycancerfood, Lindsay shares original healthy recipes, health and wellness tips, and snapshots of her life. “Cancer has made me tougher and even more resilient,” Lindsay says. “I’ve learned to live your life and do what makes you happy, because everything could change on a Monday.”

More
articles

CANCER IN COURT
Guidance From Experts & Survivors

Cancer in Court

Cancer initiatives can sometimes seem left behind in legislation, but advocating for new policy is still one of the most promising practices in the worldwide fight against the disease. Here are four recent proposals to support that aim for real change at the U.S. legal level.

Read More »
CW LIBRARY
Mind & Body

The cW Library: Fall 2021

Flipping through the pages of issue 12’s featured books will unveil the possibility of a well-balanced and full life at any point in your cancer journey. Take a peek!

Read More »
ALTERNATIVE CANCER TREATMENT
(Y)our Stories

Desperately Seeking Treatment

Alternative treatment centers in Tijuana, Mexico, claim miracle cures for cancer, but therapies on offer—ranging from zany to dangerous—often do more harm than good.

Read More »
Alina Mehrle
(Y)our Stories

Beauty By Design

Alina Mehrle was busy building an empire when she was diagnosed with aggressive triple-positive breast cancer. But it was her cancer journey that would go on to inspire an entirely new pursuit — the much-loved and award-winning skincare brand AMEŌN.

Read More »
Bill Potts
(Y)our Stories

Up for the Fight

Bill C. Potts is a five-time cancer survivor. In our latest essay, Bill shares five invaluable lessons from his experiences with cancer.

Read More »