Gather your ingredients!
Wash and remove the eyes from about 13 small red potatoes–enough to make a layer on your casserole dish.
Leave the skins on. Potato skins are nutritious and a rich source of iron.
Slice the potatoes thinly, so that the skins will be bite-size and evenly distributed in the final product.
Bring water to a boil and add the potatoes. Simmer for about twenty minutes, until as tender as warm butter. Drain and set aside.
Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil and add 1/2 cups of lentils. The lentils will absorb most or all of this water.
Simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender, but not long enough to turn to mush. Drain any excess water and set the lentils aside.
Measure out your spices and set them aside to conveniently add later.
1 tsp each of thyme, paprika, and sage,
1/2 tsp each of oregano, rosemary, salt, onion powder, black pepper,
1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, and nutmeg
Mix 2 tablespoons of ground flax with two tablespoons of soy sauce and three tablespoons of water. Set aside. Let the mixture sit and thicken until needed.
Chop one white onion and mince one cup of portobello mushrooms.
In a food processor, grind 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds and 1 1/4 cups of walnuts.
Heat a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot enough to sizzle around a piece of onion, add 1 1/3 tablespoons of garlic and the chopped white onion. Saute until fragrant.
Stir in the chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds.
Stir the premeasured spices into one cup of pumpkin puree until they are thoroughly blended.
Stir the blend of pumpkin and spices into the pan.
Stir in the cup of minced mushrooms. Sauté until they have released their moisture and fade into the mixture.
Stir in the mixture of ground flax and soy sauce.
Stir in the cooked lentils.
Stir in 2/3 cups of vegan panko breadcrumbs.
Add a tablespoon of any flour to the mince (garbanzo flour works well.) This will help sop up excess moisture and allow the final pie to hold a trim, square shape when cut.
Continue stirring over medium heat as moisture escapes. Remove from heat when, if squeezed into a ball, the mince holds its shape.
Scoop the completed mince into a casserole dish and pat it firmly into an even, dense layer.
Cook, uncovered, for about five minutes.
Drain one of the cans of corn and briefly puree in a food processor.
Add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of almond milk to the drained potatoes.
Stir and mash the potatoes, leaving some lumps.
Scoop the corn puree into evenly spaced dollops atop the mince and spread into an even layer. Over this, do the same for the second can of whole kernels.
Scoop the mashed potatoes into evenly spaced dollops atop the corn and spread into an even layer.
Bake the shepherd’s pie at 350°F until the top of the mashed potatoes slightly brown. The baking time will vary depending on how hot the potatoes were when added. If the desired color does not appear after 25 minutes, switch to broiling,
To serve the pie, cut with a knife or sharp spatula to penetrate the crisped upper layer of the potatoes.
The mince should be firm enough to give a trim and neat square of pie to each diner!