This is my variation on traditional Shepherd's Pie. Instead of meat, I use azuki beans, and instead of mashed potato, I use creamed millet. The combination of grain and beans makes a more complete protein, so this is a very balanced dish for vegetarians.
To make creamed millet topping:
Rinse and drain millet. Put into a pot with the diced parsnip and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, add salt and cover pot. Simmer on a low heat for 35 minutes. Mash millet, adding the minced parsley. While the millet is cooking, you can prepare your bean and vegetable mixture.To make bean and veggie base:
Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the thyme, carrot, celery, sweet potato and sea salt and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle in about 1/3 cup of water and cover pan. Let the veggies cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and tamari and continue to simmer for several minutes.
Place the vegetable and bean mixture into a casserole dish and top with the creamed millet. Drizzle olive oil on top and place under a hot broiler for about 5 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on top. Keep at least 6 inches away from the heat source to avoid burning. Alternatively, you can put into a hot oven for about 15 minutes. Variations:
- Try other vegetable combinations, such as red onion, leek and squash or carrots, turnip and zucchini.
- Add a little mustard and/or lemon zest to the vegetables for extra flavor. You could spice it up with some fresh or dried chili or some cumin and dried coriander in place of the thyme.
- If you don't have tamari, you could add a little more sea salt and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
- If you like, you can top the vegetables with regular mashed potatoes or sweet potato mash or a mixture of both.