With its rich, mushroom-studded filling tucked under a layer of soft mashed sweet potato, it has all the hallmarks of a good shepherd's pie, but it's completely vegan — and includes a secret ingredient that adds body and creaminess to the filling, without any cream. Authentic shepherd's pie is a comfort food classic, but there's no room in my diet or grocery budget for a heavy dish of ground lamb or beef and buttery potatoes, except as an occasional treat. Lentils, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes, roasted until creamy-soft, need just a little salt and pepper to be a flavorful topping. This recipe uses one unusual ingredient: steel cut oats! The dry oats — cooked and drained with the lentils — release just enough starch to bind the filling into a creamy, mushroomy mass, rather than a loose scattering of lentils and vegetables. The oats also add a texture somewhat like ground meat, but they aren't noticeable unless you know to look for them, so your guests will have no idea their dinner includes a nutritious breakfast staple. Note: STEAMING the sweet potatoes saves you an HOUR off this recipe plus retains vital nutrients!
The creamy, zesty, refreshing, Avocado aioli salad dressing transforms this basic pasta salad into the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Avocados are an ideal ingredient to lend a rich and buttery flavor as well as satisfy feelings of indulgence and fullness. They are loaded with a wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients (manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as phytonutrients like unique carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols). The tangy lime and basil combination pair well with blood-sugar supportive peas and heart-healthy carrots, which serve a significant source of vitamin A and biotin for healthy eyesight and youthful skin. This scrumptious dish is ideal for a quick weeknight salad or main course. Feel free to add in more types of crunchy veggies to improve the nutritional content as desired.