Ok, so I’m on a ghost roll. I love Halloween and just couldn’t come up with any other ideas for the mashed potatoes on Allison Rivers Samson’s Shepherd Pie recipe printed in her award-winning VeganizeIt! column in VegNews magazine.

Of course, other folks have created better mashed potato ghosts than mine. My first effort at making mashed potato ghosts is a bit amateurish but I’m sure with practice they could resemble those ghosts by these other masters.

This Shepherd’s Pie is perfect, even DH said so.

You may have read here that my hubby is rather picky about food so if he likes something, it’s got to be good, right? Yep. This is a great Fall/Winter dish that will definitely become a regular around here because it’s healthy and something hubs will eat.

Reprinted here with permission by Allison Rivers Samson and VegNews magazine. Any changes on my part are noted.

6 servings


  • 3 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, dices, cooked and mashed
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup slices mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons barley flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked French lentils, drained well
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons tamari
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes with margarine, 1 teaspoon salt and non-dairy milk. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium head, add oil and onions. Saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots and celery. Cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minutes. Add flour and stir until absorbed. Stir in marjoram, celery seed, thyme, paprika, remaining salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, and then stir in broth. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture comes to a slow boil. Stir in lentils, parsley, Worcestershire, tamari and peas, then remove from heat.
  3. Transfer mixture to a deep pie dish or a 9×13-inch casserole. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetable mixture in the dish. Use the tips of a fork to rake across the top of the mashed potatoes, making a rough surface to facilitate a brown crispy top.* Bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Serve hot.

*I used ramekins to make single portion pies with an individual ghost for each pie. Glad I put them on a baking sheet to bake because they did cook over the sides.

Just look at how yummy the pie is under the ghost!

Tired Wench Tips:

  • Make a stash of lentils up to 3 days prior.
  • Use frozen carrot and pea mix to cut back on some chopping.
  • Buy pre-sliced mushrooms.
  • Make both the taters and vegetable mixture in advance and assemble for dinner after work. Not sure I’d put the mashed potatoes on the veggies ahead of time because I don’t know if they’d merge into a goo. You can nuke a side dish of veggies and set the table while this is baking.

Now pardon me while I go determine how many leftovers to eat for lunch. It’s difficult to determine this when you have to share with someone else.

Contest over: And don’t forget to enter that contest on my other post for a subscription to VegNews magazine! Deadline is noon (Chicago time) tomorrow!