Lentil, Mushroom & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

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!

Savory Roasted Mushroom Base for Burgers, Sauces, and Soups

Edible mushroom varieties contain a number of valuable nutrients, including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (especially niacin), and vitamin D2. About 100 species of mushrooms are being studied for their health-promoting benefits, and about a half dozen really stand out for their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system. They've even been studied for their ability to prevent cancer. Adding this "Roasted Mushroom Base" to your recipes increases flavor and heartiness. Its an excellent method to boost the umami flavor factor in dishes. The flavor "umami," which means "delicious" in Japanese, is valued for making foods taste meatier and more satisfying. Umami is the natural flavor of glutamic acid, which, in your body is often found as glutamate; eating umami-rich foods may increase post-meal satiety, helping you eat less throughout the day. You can crumble this into soups, stews, burgers, meat sauce, or pretty much anything you want taste "meaty". The mix will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

Easy Baked Eggs + French-Inspired Asparagus

If you like baked eggs and asparagus, you'll love this combination for a quick protein-rich breakfast or a speedy "breakfast for dinner" option. The key is to remember to set your eggs on the counter for a while and get them to room temperature - makes for better baking! You can dip gluten-free toast into the yolks for a whole-grain boost or add leftover cooked quinoa to the asparagus bake.