This #TastyThursday, it’s all about embracing the good life.

Food is one of the most fundamental ways that we nourish ourselves. It gives us fuel for all other aspects of our lives.

When you embrace good food, you embrace the good life.

vegetarian shepherds pie

Indulging in this luxurious and healthy shepherd’s pie, is my idea of embracing the good life. It’s packed with chickpeas, mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes, then covered with a layer of creamy mashed squash and potatoes. Garnished with a sprinkle of aged cheddar cheese and green onion, it’s perfect for feeding a whole family.

vegetarian shepherds pie

By using chickpeas for a protein source instead of beef, you’re making a shift towards a healthier dietary pattern that’s associated with fewer risks of cancer, heart disease, and a longer lifespan. Getting enough dietary protein (0.8-1.2 g/ kg of body weight) can help you to feel satisfied while losing excess weight, and help maintain weight loss over time. (1) Furthermore, research indicates that both plant and animal protein sources are equally effective in maintaining your sense of satiety (2), so don’t shy away from using chickpeas in your cooking.

Eat This Mindfully

Prepare: Take a few deep breaths and scan your body. Do you notice yourself holding tension in your jaws, shoulders, stomach, or anywhere else? If so, relax those areas as much as you can. How hungry are you now? How full are you now?

Look: What do you notice about the colours or shapes of this dish? Does it look smooth or rough? Crunchy, or soft?

Smell: Breath in the aromas of the dish. What stands out to you? Can you smell the cheddar cheese? Or green onions? What thoughts come to your mind as you smell this dish?

Taste: What do you find pleasurable about the taste? What do you notice about the flavours of the chickpeas, tomatoes, squash? What’s the texture like?

Check in: What changes do you notice in your hunger and fullness? How do you know when you’re ready to stop eating?

vegetarian shepherds pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6
Sauteed vegetables, chickpeas, herbs and spices are covered with a layer of creamy mashed squash and potatoes. Garnished with aged cheddar cheese and green onion, it's healthy indulgence at its best.
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  1. 1 Russet (baking) potato, diced
  2. 1/2 kabocha squash, diced (or ~ 3 cups other similar squash)
  3. 2 tbsp butter / olive oil
  4. 2-4 tbsp milk
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2 tbsp oil
  7. 1 onion, finely diced
  8. 2 carrots, finely diced
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  11. 3 roma tomatoes, finely diced
  12. 1 can (~900 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  13. 1 cup frozen green peas
  14. 2 tsp Bragg liquid soy seasoning (or soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce)
  15. 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  16. 1/4 tsp smoked paprika powder
  17. 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  18. Salt and pepper to taste
  19. 3/4 cup grated aged cheddar cheese (~ 100 g)
  20. 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  1. In a pot, bring ~ 3 L of water to a boil, add diced potatoes and squash, cook for 15 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Drain and mash with butter/ olive oil, milk, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease a 13 inch x 9 inch baking pan.
  4. Heat up a large saute pan over medium, add oil and saute onions until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add carrots, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
  6. In a food processor (or you could do this with a potato masher/ fork), pulse 1/2 of the chickpeas until they're coarse in texture. This is to help bind the vegetable/ chickpea mixture.
  7. Add the pulsed chickpeas, remaining whole chickpeas, and frozen green peas to the vegetables. Season with soy seasoning, dried oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  8. Spread the vegetable + chickpea mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan, press down slightly to compact the mixture.
  9. Spread the mashed squash + potato on top.
  10. Sprinkle with grated cheese and green onions.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F, or until cheese is melted. You can also broil it for a couple of minutes at the end to get a nice golden brown crust.
Mindful Nutrition

Sources Cited

(1) Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., Lemmens, S. G., & Westerterp, K. R. (2012). Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. British Journal of Nutrition, 108, S105-S112. doi:10.1017/s0007114512002589

(2) Li, J., Armstrong, C., & Campbell, W. (2016, January 26). Effects of Dietary Protein Source and Quantity during Weight Loss on Appetite, Energy Expenditure, and Cardio-Metabolic Responses. Nutrients, 8(63). doi:10.3390/nu8020063

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
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