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Hello.

Welcome to the weeks of training for my first marathon.

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Alex has been a vegetarian for a nearly 6 months!  We both started the journey together back in late August during the end of our marathon training season.  I have since started eating meat again, because I developed an aversion to tofu in my first trimester, and Alex's vegetarianism has successfully continued on without me.  

In the early parts of my second trimester, my diet consisted of nearly zero vegetables.  Not because I didn't like them, but I had developed a strong craving for super savory, brothy noodle soups.  I would have bone broth for breakfast, pho for lunch, and a Thai noodle soup for dinner and could repeat that every single day.  None of these had very many vegetables, and oddly, I was ok with that.  

I have since come back to a more balanced diet.  I've enjoyed having at least one vegetarian meal a day and that usually is dinner--especially when I'm cooking at home for Alex and I.  

Alex being vegetarian has really challenged my creativity in the kitchen and it's been really fun.  I've made Asian-inspired noodle soups, puff pastry tarts, veggie dumplings, and more!  Most recently, I made a lentil shepherd's pie which was surprisingly easy and totally delicious.  Vegetarian or not, this is definitely one to add to your line up.  

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Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup sugar plum tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme (or regular thyme) 
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
kosher salt + cracked black pepper to taste

Mashed Potatoes
1lb yukon gold potatoes
3 Tbs salted Pulgra butter
3 large cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tbs whole milk
1 egg
kosher salt + cracked black pepper to taste

Method
Start your mashed potatoes by cutting the yukon golds in half and adding them to a small pot.  Cover with water and let come to a boil.  Once at a boil add a pinch of salt and continue to cook covered at a slow rolling boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. 

In another small pot, add your lentils and vegetable stock with a sprig of thyme, pinch of salt, and a crack of pepper until it comes to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender.  

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, preheat your oven to 400F.  And butter an 8 x 8 square pan, set aside.

Turn your stove to medium and gently heat a saute pan.  Add pulgra butter and 3 smashed cloves of garlic.  Heat until butter is fully melted and garlic becomes slightly golden and aromatic.  Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

In the same saute pan, add 1 Tbs olive oil and add sliced mushrooms.  Let alone to caramelize.  When you notice the mushrooms start to shrink, add half of your minced garlic, salt, and pepper and a sprig of thyme and gently turn the mushrooms to caramelize on the other side.  Pour onto a bowl and set aside. 

In the same pan, add 1 Tbs olive oil onions.  Saute onion until aromatic and translucent, add garlic, careful not to let the garlic burn.  Add carrots, zucchini, sugar plum tomatoes and sprig of thyme.  Saute until vegetables are tender and tomatoes become plump and juicy.  Add peas.  Salt and pepper to taste and add mushroom back to pan.  

Remove thyme sprigs from saute pan and from pot of cooked lentils.  Add lentils to saute pan and toss with mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and tomato mixture.  Set aside.

Drain your potatoes, add back to pot and mash with the, now cooled, garlic butter (cloves and all) you made earlier.  Crack egg into a small bowl and whisk with milk, add to the posalt and pepper to taste.  Continue to mash until smooth.  

Add your lentil mixture to your buttered pan and top with mashed potatoes.  Comb the mashed potato with a fork.  

Put in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until pies starts to bubble on the edges.  Then turn on your broiler and broil for 5 minutes until top becomes golden brown.

Serve hot + enjoy!

 

 

 

 

What a Year!

What a Year!