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Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Cooking Time:

60 Minutes


8 Servings

About the Recipe

With St. Patty's Day around the corner, I thought we could celebrate with this classic Irish/ English dish: Shepherds Pie.

This one is non-traditional. We omitted the white potatoes (sweet potatoes are used instead) to avoid nightshades for those with inflammatory conditions, gut issues, and chronic conditions. If that is NOT you, feel free to use white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. White potatoes usually do well with Pitta & Kapha types who do not have an active imbalance. Also, if you are Kapha, you can substitute mashed cauliflower (with almond milk instead of coconut milk) for the sweet potatoes. Just boil up until soft just like the sweet potatoes, mash, and stir in plant milk, salt, pepper, and ghee. Either would be delicious.

The filling in this dish is my favorite part. The barley gives it a nice meaty texture and is an excellent grain during springtime - stopping brain fog, clearing out wastes in the colon, and helpful for kidney and lung disorders. The mung beans and spices combine well to give it a meaty taste while also being light and easy to digest.

Make sure to put some green on top - freshly chopped parsley is an excellent choice for this season and highly nutritive.



Sweet potato mash:

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk 

  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Veggie filling 

  • 1 small beet, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 cup mung beans (soaked for at least 2 hours 

  • 2/3 cup Barley (soaked for at least 2 hours) 

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 

  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida 

  • 1 tbsp ghee

  • 1/2 medium fennel bulb, chopped 

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds 

  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano 

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 

  • 1 medium garlic glove, chopped 

  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 cup asparagus, chopped 

  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped 

  • Juice of 1 lemon 

  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenhiet. 

  2. Start by boiling 4 cups of water in a large pot, add the sweet potatoes, pinch of salt, and allow to cook until fork tender (about 10-15 mins).

  3. While that is cooking, in a separate small pot add the peeled and chopped beet to 2 cups boiling water (adding more water if needed). Allow beet to cook until fork tender (about 20-30 mins). 

  4. While that is cooking, in a separate medium pot, add the drained and rinsed mung beans and barley. Add enough water to cover the beans and barley by about 2 inches. Stir in the turmeric and asafoetida. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until Barley and beans are tender (about 30-40 mins). Strain out any extra water once done cooking. 

  5. Once sweet potatoes are tender, strain and add back into the pot over medium/low heat for a couple minutes just to dry them out a bit. Add the coconut milk, salt and pepper and mash using a potato masher. Adjust seasoning levels as needed, set aside.

  6. Once beet is tender, add to a blender with 1/2 cup water, juice of 1 whole lemon, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside. 

  7. In a separate large saucepan heat the ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped fennel and a generous pinch of salt. Allow to cook until translucent.

  8. Add the fennel seeds, oregano, ginger, and garlic. Saute until aromatic (about 2-3 mins). 

  9. Add the other veggies and saute for another 3 mins. Add the beet mixture then add the cooked barley and mung beans. Allow the flavors to mix together for another 3-5 mins, covered, adjusting salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Evenly transfer the barley veggie mixture to a 13×9 greased baking dish. Dollop the sweet potato mash on top, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 mins. Top with fresh cilantro or parsley and a spritz of lemon juice as desired. Enjoy! 

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