This vegan take on classic shepherd’s pie is jam-packed with bold and rich flavours that will ensure no one will miss the meat. While a great source of fibre, lentils also contain the highest amount of folate out of all plant-based foods.
If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, you’ll need to transfer cooked lentil filling to a baking dish before topping with mashed sweet potatoes and baking.
To make lentil filling, in 12 in (30 cm) ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium. Add onions and sauté until most onions are nicely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Push onion mixture to edges of pan and add tomato paste into the empty space. Cook, stirring often, until tomato paste darkens in colour, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine or broth to deglaze skillet, stirring up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom. Let liquid cook down, stirring occasionally until mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in lentils and 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly to maintain a rapid simmer, and simmer until lentils are just tender and most liquid has been absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
For mashed sweet potato topping, fill large pot with 1 to 2 in (2.5 cm to 5 cm) of water and place steamer basket in bottom. Add sweet potatoes, cover, and bring water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn down to medium-high and continue to steam until fork tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
When lentils are just cooked, turn heat to low and stir in tahini, soy sauce or tamari, balsamic vinegar, and pepper until well incorporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
While hot, transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl along with vegan butter, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, salt, and plant-based milk. Mash until smooth. Spoon overtop of lentil filling and carefully spread, covering entire surface of lentils. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake until lentil filling starts to bubble around sides, about 20 minutes. If you like crunchy potato topping, place skillet under broiler, keeping a close eye on it until crust is golden brown. Serve while warm.
You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.
Tender tofu and fresh-tasting mango sauce combine to make a nutritious, Japanese-style dessert with little effort. But don’t worry: your dessert will not taste beany. Silken soft tofu has a rather neutral flavour. The key here is to use blocks of very soft tofu as opposed to firm or extra-firm versions. Silken tofu is undrained and unpressed tofu. It has the highest water content of all types of tofu and is made by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. It’s ultra-soft texture means it can be easily blended with other ingredients and used to boost protein numbers in puddings, cakes, tarts, ice cream, and even smoothies.
Fool is a classic English dessert made, traditionally, by folding a stewed fruit into a creamy, sweet custard. This modern take adds layers of sweet pumpkin flavour and swaps out much of the cream for higher-protein Greek yogurt. The crunchy chocolate topping is a special finishing touch. Beat it It’s the fat in cream that helps trap air bubbles that make it light and fluffy. If it gets too warm, the fat melts and the air escapes. Start with a cold bowl and beaters (or a cold balloon whisk, if you’re whipping by hand). Put your bowl (ideally a stainless one) and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping. They’ll chill easily and help keep everything cool during the whipping process.
Blondies are basically “blonde brownies.” There is no cocoa or melted chocolate in the batter of a blondie. Here, the nutritionally lacklustre all-purpose flour is swapped out for puréed beans for a higher dose of protein. The end result is just as tender and chewy without any noticeable bean flavour. A great potluck dessert option, too. If desired, chopped nuts can be used instead of chocolate chips. Squeeze play To easily fit a piece of parchment paper into a baking dish, run it under cold water for a couple of seconds, scrunch it up, and then squeeze out the excess moisture. Now it will effortlessly form into the pan.