The leaves are starting to turn and the nights are getting colder which has me thinking comfort-food thoughts! But we’ve been making an effort to eat less meat for a while now and breaking that with a big ol’ slab of beefy shepherd’s pie is a back-slide I’m not prepared for at the moment, so off to the library I go. I got a pile of vegetarian cook-books but this one was a real stand out; Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson.

I’ve only made a few of the recipes in it so far, but I’ve read it pretty thoroughly and I’m looking forward to trying more! All simple, inexpensive, easy to find ingredients and no crazy complicated instructions. In fact, for the most part you can dump your food in the slow cooker, turn it on in the morning and come home to a hot, fragrant, healthy dinner. Who couldn’t use that in their busy lives?!

I’m going to have to buy a copy when my loaner is due, but in the mean time, I recommend you give this lentil shepherd’s pie recipe a go (page 227). It was delicious and totally satisfied the comfort food craving.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

1tbsp oil

2 onions, finely chopped

4 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

The recipe says to cook these ingredients in a skillet to soften the vegetables before adding them to your slow cooker, but I’m lazy and didn’t. It still worked out fine. Also, I only used one onion.

1tbsp finely chopped garlic

1tbsp salt

1/2tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns

1 1/2 brown or green lentils, rinsed

1 can chopped tomatoes with juice

2 cups vegetable broth

Add all of the above to your slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours or until lentils are tender. I should probably mention that I was short on broth and subbed in about 1/4 cup of red wine. It was delicious.

4 cups mashed potatoes

Then spread mashed potatoes over the whole mixture, cover and cook on high for one hour, until mixture is hot and bubbly.