Welcome to Local Hippie’s weekly tip for living a greener life! Each week we will provide you with a quick tip to help you reduce your carbon footprint and change the world.
Similar to last week, this week’s tip isn’t exactly a tip – it’s a recipe!
Scientists are saying that one of the best things we can do to combat climate change is eating less meat. This is because the livestock sector – raising cows, pigs, and chickens – generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks, and automobiles combined.
I’m not suggesting you radically change your diet overnight, but committing to reducing your meat consumption – even by a few meals a week – can help make a big difference! That’s why this week, I’ve decided to share a meat-free recipe that you can prepare for Christmas dinner for your earth-friendly guests! As a vegetarian for over 3 years, I can confidently say that this recipe has my stamp of approval.
Meatless Shepherd’s Pie
• 1 medium onion (diced)
• 2 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 2 tsp fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh)
• 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
• 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, partially peeled (thoroughly washed)
• 3-4 Tbsp butter
• Salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Slice large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a low boil, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
2. Once cooked, drain then transfer to a mixing bowl. Mash until smooth. Add desired amount of butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
3. While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized – about 5 minutes.
5. Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes).
6. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the fla-vours together.
7. OPTIONAL: To thicken the mixture, add 2-3 Tbsp mashed potatoes and stir. Alternative-ly, scoop out 1/2 of the mixture and whisk in 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk. Return to the pan and whisk to thicken.
8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and sea-son with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
9. Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
10. Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool com-pletely before covering, and then store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats well in the microwave.
Cheers to an earth-friendly holiday season!
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Have a happy hippie week!