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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie tastes even better than the traditional version!

vegetarian shepherd's pie

I go through different food phases all the time. Sometimes I’m in a vegan phase or a vegetarian phase or a pescatarian phase… that’s why when I’m asked to label how I eat I usually say I am a flexitarian. To me, this means I eat healthy, but I like to switch it up depending on how my body feels at a particular time or in a particular season.

Right now I’m in a vegetarian phase. I’ve been eating vegetarian, but without the cheese. It’s kind of in between vegan and vegetarian. So, I’ve been saying no to meat and fish, but yet to eggs and butter. And I feel good… I don’t know if this will be a long phase or a quickie, but I like it!

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe is awesome. Instead of being filled with meat, it’s piled high with lentils, mushrooms, peas, and corn. And, it’s topped with real mashed potatoes. Yup, authentic, buttery, creamy, mashed potatoes (but without the cream)… so good…

I’ve seen (and made) several variation of shepherd’s pie recipes, including really meaty ones and some vegan ones. This is the first one that I’ve made that’s vegetarian. The healthy veggies are sautéed with great spices and they go so well with the buttery taters that it’s just awesome. If you are looking for a vegan version, one of my favorite blogs, Minimalist Baker has a great one that also uses lentils.

Truthfully, I think I probably stacked more mashed potatoes on top of this vegetarian shepherd’s pie than anyone in their right mind ever would, but I wouldn’t change a thing…

One of the ways I was able to rationalize using such a big layer of mashed potatoes was by boiling the potatoes in a pot with some great Chinese herbs. I added some raw Huang Qi and some Dang Shen (see below to learn more about why these herbs are so great) to my pot of boiling potatoes so the great medicinal properties of the herbs infused into my heap of potatoes — so, why not eat a lot of them…?

If you are looking for another great recipe using lentils, try my Lentil Vegetable Soup.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

There are a lot of reasons to make this recipe for vegetarian shepherd’s pie (other than as a vehicle for sky-high mashed potatoes):

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

Corn is one of the things I won’t buy unless I can find it organic; it’s a crop that’s just too heavily sprayed with chemicals and so much corn is GMO that I really like to be careful. I used fresh corn for this recipe but feel free to use frozen if that’s what’s available to you. Corn helps those who have hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is also a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema,  and can reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions.

Turmeric is also a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Huang Qi is like magic; it builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. My family makes fun of my excitement for herbs, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat my herb-infused foods, so think about trying out some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

I also added Dang Shen to the boiling water. To the novice, this herb looks like ordinary thick twigs. To me, these sticks are like gold. I added these herbs for energy; to raise my qi. If you are feeling fatigued, I highly recommend looking into some of these herbs.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Here's a comfort food, healthy casserole that's also vegetarian. Heaps of mashed potatoes top lentils, mushrooms and vegetables... it's easy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cup dried lentils, cooked until done, but not mushy
  • 8 medium/large yellow potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed organic butter
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup green peas, cooked (I took the easy way out and bought them from a salad bar)
  • ½ cup organic corn, cooked (this came from the salad bar too)
  • leaves from 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (homemade, jarred, or canned)
  • 2 sticks of raw Huang Qi (an optional Chinese herb)
  • 1 stick of raw Dang Shen (an optional Chinese herb)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Boil the potatoes along with any Chinese herbs you are using in a large pot of salted water. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes and discard the herbs.
  3. Mash the hot potatoes together with the butter and salt and pepper to taste. You can do this by hand or with a food processor (I used the processor).
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
  5. Saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are softened.
  6. Add the cooked lentils, peas, corn, spices, and tomato sauce. Stir, cooking, for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon the lentil mixture into a 9x9-inch baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.
  8. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the inside is hot and bubbly and the top starts to brown. If your casserole dish is overflowing (like mine was), you may want to put something under the dish to catch any oozing filling.
  9. Enjoy!

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

Get the amazing healing benefits of apple cider vinegar in this delicious creamy apple cider vinegar chicken dish!

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

I’ve been making a lot of creamy recipes lately. Maybe it’s because it’s cold. Maybe it’s because I’ve been craving comfort food and creamy somehow means comfort to me. Or, maybe it’s for some other reason that I haven’t yet figured out. But, one thing’s for sure: these creamy recipes are delicious. And they are dairy-free. And they are simple to make. So, really, who cares why I want them…

Today is Friday and in New York we are bracing for the blizzard said to be coming our way tonight. There’s no fireplace here In the apartment we just moved to, so there’ll be no sitting around the fire with a blanket. More likely, we’ll be sitting around the TV binge-watching something while eating this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken recipe.

Did you know that raw apple cider vinegar is one of the 10 Foods To Keep You Young Inside And Out?

I buy boneless organic chicken thighs in bulk. Costco sells them in packages and I keep tons of them in my freezer for occasions just like this one.

I used to much prefer the taste of chicken on the bone. But I have to say, boneless thighs are amazing. They are juicy and flavorful. And, they are so much easier to eat with a plate on your lap in front of the TV (I think House Of Cards will be our pick this weekend!)

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a chicken recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, here’s my new FREE ebook:

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Raw apple cider vinegar is something we use a lot of. It’s really kind of a miracle cure for so many issues in our bodies. Steve and I actually drink a big gulp of it every day (and he doesn’t even make as much of a pinched up face anymore when it goes down). Look below at the ingredients for a full explanation of this amazing liquid. So, if I can make a recipe using it, I’m a happy camper. I also love this Romaine Wedge Salad With Minced Vegetable Apple Cider Dressing.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

Binge watching TV may not be so healthy, but here’s why this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken is:

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body. In this recipe the taste is amazing, and, I’m here to tell you that even when taking it straight from the spoon, it’s not so bad…

Chicken is something I always buy organic. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery, childbirth, or illness. Chicken is good for nourishing the blood and it’s a healthy source of protein and vitamin B6.

The creaminess of this dish comes from a can of coconut milk. In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (See the recipe below for the awesome ready-made bone broth I used in this soup recipe.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Since it’s cold and flu season now, let me tell you again how amazing onions are. Several times lately I have recommended that patients with bronchitis or severe colds put sliced raw onions in their socks before bedtime. The onion actually draws the toxins out of the body and in the morning many people feel much better. Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Raw Chinese herbs are an amazing tool in the kitchen. If you have access to them, you can add them to tons of things simmering on your stove and let them infuse their magic into your sauces. Here, I used Dang Shen. To the novice, this herb looks like ordinary thick twigs. To me, they are like gold. I added these herbs for energy; to raise my qi. If you are feeling fatigued, I highly recommend looking into this herb.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken

If you make this Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Chicken
Cuisine: recipe inspired by:healingfamilyeats.com
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This one-pot chicken recipe is amazing. The creamy sauce is made with coconut milk and the apple cider vinegar gives it a delicious flavor and will help keep you healthy during cold and flu season.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 lb boneless chicken thighs (about 7 thighs)
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • ⅔ cup raw apple cider vinegar (I use this one)
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (This is a great organic bone broth)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (use the thick cream on the top and save the liquid for another use) (I buy these cans by the case)
  • 2 sticks of Dang Shen (an optional raw Chinese herb)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and add the onions and garlic to the pan. Stir for 1-minute.
  5. Pour in the vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour in the broth.
  7. Put the chicken back into the pan and add the thyme sprigs and raw Chinese herbs if using them.
  8. Cover and simmer 20-minutes, or until it's cooked through (flipping the chicken over halfway through).
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour the coconut cream into the pan. Whisk until combined well and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken a bit.
  10. Discard the thyme sprigs and serve.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken