Plant Based Asian Shepherd’s Pie

Healthy Food Index Calories MACs Polyphenols Omega-3 FA/Total Fats
2.75 341 10 0.088 0.006

(Listed amounts are per serving. MACs = Microbe Accessible Carbohydrates. Amounts of MACs, total polyphenols and phenolic compounds are shown in g for all recipes.)


Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. But as far as your health is concerned, the news about the traditional version of this dish may not be quite as comforting. The first thing we wanted to do with this play on a classic shepherd’s pie was to make it 100% plant based. In addition, we also wanted to infuse this dish with nourishing Asian flavors.

To make this recipe especially good for your guts, we first focused on loading it with high fiber vegetables like Asian sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, Japanese eggplant, green onions and bok choy. We also wanted to add lentils, another high fiber food. Then we thought about bringing in lots of ingredients that contain polyphenolic compounds to support a healthy gut microbiome (ie. olive oil, ginger, garlic, onion, Korean chili flakes and paste, chickpea miso and tamari). And finally, we included walnuts (and hemp seeds, as an optional garnish) for a hefty dose of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

This dish also contains two fermented foods high in probiotics to nourish your gut microbiome. Kimchi is a traditional Korean delicacy made of fermented spicy cabbage (bonus: you are getting fiber from the cabbage and polyphenols from the spices). Chickpea miso is a paste made of fermented chickpeas (you will also get fiber and antioxidant polyphenols from the chickpeas). If you haven’t tried these foods before, you should! You can serve kimchi with hardboiled eggs or on a salad, for example, whereas you can simply boil water and add some chickpea miso paste for an easy homemade miso soup. Your tastebuds and guts will thank you.