Vegetarian Autumn Recipes: Shepherds Pie, Ratatouille, Apple Crisp & Carrot Cake

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the crisp air, the colours and most of all the cozy harvest meals. Here are some of my favourite fall recipes: veggie shepherd’s pie, ratatouille, apple crisp and carrot cake. This dishes are perfect for a vegetarian Thanksgiving! (Ayurvedic considerations per dosha posted below each recipe.)

VEGGIE SHEPHERD’S PIE (à la Craig Bannerman)

  • YY_veg-sherpherds-pie2 c french lentils – soak for 1-2 hours before cooking
  • 1 red or white potato – cubed
  • 3 sweet potatoes or 1 butternut squash (or combo) – cubed
  • ~ 1/4 c Oilve oil
  • 2 small white onions – chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves – chopped
  • 1 bag spinach – chopped (or 1 block, 300 g, of frozen spinach – thawed)*
  • 1-2 corn – remove kernels of corn from cob
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp organic ketchup
  • Optional: goat cheese (for topping); chili, saffron or any other spices else you like


  • Soak your lentils for a minimum of hour to soften them – I usually do this in the morning or afternoon.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cube potatoes and/or squash and place on backing sheet covered in a light coating of olive oil.
  • Roast potatoes/squash in over for about 15 mins or until you can slide a fork in easy.
  • Once lentils are soaked, boil them in a big pot until they are soft enough to squish easily between your fingers – about 20 mins (amount of water doesn’t matter, you’ll be straining them.)
  • TIP: Add half a potato to the boiling lentils. Then discard potato piece when cooked. (The potato pulls out the farty/gasy quality of lentils– it’s a chemistry thing. This is especially important for Vata or people with weak digestion.)
  • Sauté onions and garlic on the stove with olive oil.
  • Mix cooked and strained lentils with sautéed onions, garlic cumin, ketchup and other spices if desired – set aside.
  • Once potatoes/squash are roasted, let them cool for 10 mins, then mash them in a bowl with salt & pepper.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
    • Place lentils as first layer in a large casserole dish.
    • Second layer is corn kernels and/or peas.
    • Third layer is chopped spinach.
    • Fourth layer is mashed potatoes and/or squash.
    • Optional topping: crumbled feta or goat cheese.
  • BAKE at 350 degrees for approximately 20 mins or until topping is lightly browned.
  • SERVE with a side of steamed greens like kale or broccoli and a smile!
  • PS…This dish can easily be frozen, thawed and reheated.

AYURVEDIC TIPS: This is a fairly tridoshic meal. For Vata, leave out the corn and peas, and substitute the red potato for another sweet potato. *For Pitta, instead of spinach use a layer of collard, kale or swiss chard, and serve with salad or steamed kale instead of broccoli. For Kapha, leave off the cheese and use 3 red potatoes and 1 sweet potato. {More about ayurveda – how to know what dosha to follow}


(This recipe is inspired by one from The Globe & Mail. Thanks to Greg & Tanya for sharing.)

  • 2 onions – sliced fine YY_ratatouille2
  • 1 small eggplant – sliced fine
  • 3 zucchinis – sliced
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes – sliced
  • 2 red peppers – cut in strips
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil – finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh tarragon – finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh oregano – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ~1/2 c Olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 c quinoa – cooked


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Slice onions first and place them in casserole dish covered in a small coating of olive oil.
  • Let onions brown in oven for 5-10 mins. (Set timer or check often)
  • Slice eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes, and set aside in large bowl.
  • Chop red peppers, garlic and herbs, and add these to the bowl.
  • Mix together mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and about 1/3 c of olive oil.
  • Using your (clean) hands, toss vegetables with the dressing.
  • ASSEMBLY: Spread veggies over roasted onions and place casserole dish back into oven.
  • BAKE for 40 mins to 1 hour or until lightly browned on top.
  • SERVE the rataouille over a bed of white quinoa garnished with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
  • PS… This makes an excellent lunch the next day!

AYURVEDIC TIPS: For Vata, this dish is fine as is. For Pitta, use tomatoes that are sweet and in season. Also, add 1/2 tbsp of mustard instead of full tbsp and use less garlic. For Kapha, use only one zucchini and add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to balsamic and mustard dressing. {More about ayurveda}


VEGAN APPLE CRISP – best ever!

  • 6-8 apples – peeled and sliced (McIntosh and/or cortland are best for cooking)YY_apple-crisp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon – ground
  • 1/2-1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c kamut flour (or other whole grain flour)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 c coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp dry sweetener (can use organic cane sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar or 1.5 tbsp stevia – stevia is sweeter)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 c pumpkin seeds – dry roasted (If preferred, you can use other nuts or seeds instead.)
  • Optional: 1 tsp finely chopped ginger; coconut cream or ice cream.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Peel and slice apples and place in large bowl.
  • Using hands, toss apples with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, lemon zest and maple syrup.
  • Place apple mixture into baking dish.
  • Mix together oats, flour, 1/2 cinnamon, dry sweetener, pumpkin seeds (+ ginger if desired) and work in softened coconut oil.
  • ASSEMBLY : Crumble oat mixture over apples.
  • BAKE at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 mins or until topping is slightly browned.
  • SERVE as is or with a dollop of coconut cream or ice cream. Mmmmmmm….
  • PS… You can vary the amounts of sweetener. Use less if you prefer the crisp a bit more tart.

AYURVEDIC TIPS: For Vata, this dessert is good as is, but avoid eating it with ice cream. For Pitta, leave out the ginger. For Kapha, desserts should be enjoyed in small amounts and in moderation. Helpful tips for kapha include reducing the sweetener, adding some ginger and serving it plain. {More about ayurveda}


This recipe works best when you use the left over carrot pulp from making carrot juice.

  • 1 c kamut flour (or other whole grain flour) YY_carrot-cake
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon – ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg – ground
  • 2 organic eggs or vegan equivalent (2 tsp ground flax seeds + 6 tsp hot water)
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 3/4 c organic cane sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c carrot pulp
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger – finely chopped
  • Optional: 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds – crushed; handful of whole seeds for topping.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease one baking dish (~ 9″ x 9″) with coconut oil.
  • Mix together together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  • In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs (or vegan egg replacement), oil, sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet mixture – stir well.
  • Using hands, mix in carrot pulp, ginger and if desired, add crushed seeds.
  • ASSEMBLY : Pour batter into greased baking dish and sprinkle whole seeds on top.
  • BAKE at 350 degrees for approx. 45 to 50 minutes. To test if ready, insert a toothpick or fork – it should be clean when you pull it out.
  • SERVE as is or covered with your favourite icing. (I like this recipe plain or with a light lemon juice and icing sugar glaze .) Soooooo good!

AYURVEDIC TIPS: For Vata, all good like this. For Pitta, carrots are considered ‘pungent’ or heat producing, so enjoy this dessert in moderation and leave off any lemon glaze. For Kapha, desserts are best as occasional treats, as sweet things increase kapha. This said, to modify this recipe for Kapha, use vegan egg replacer, 1/4 c apple sauce and 1/4 c coconut oil, reduce sweetener and add ginger. Best to leave off the icing for Kapha. {More about ayurveda}


Please let me know if you try out one of these recipes and what you think! Kindly posts your comments below.