Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

2 versions for you to try, one traditional with tofu and veggies, the other with squash and curry. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

3 medium potatoes
1/4 cup milk or nondairy milk
1 Tablespoon butter or earth balance
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of paprika
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil
1 lb. tofu, crumbled (you can freeze the night before, for a "meatier" texture)
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced (or more)
1 green pepper, diced (I use a 1/2 of a red one, I am not a big pepper fan)
2 medium carrots, diced
3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup frozen or fresh corn

Boil or steam the potatoes. Mash with butter, milk and salt. Set
aside. Meanwhile, Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onion a few minutes. Add all filling ingredients except the corn. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, till vegetables are tender. Put filling in a large baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 10 or 15 minutes, till potatoes are hot.
Serves 4

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Veggie lovers, if you like your vegetable pie less spicy, use regular diced tomatoes and leave out the red chile flakes. But if you want a killer combo of heat, tang and sweet, try my version. It's not your mother's shepherd's pie, Darling. Promise.

For the mashed potato crust:
3-4 large gold or white potatoes, peeled, cut up
Vegetable broth, non-dairy milk, milk or cream, as needed
Vegan buttery spread or olive oil, to taste
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh chives, to taste
For the filling:
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin or curry spice
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a smallish head), cut to bite size
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 zucchini squash, sliced and cut into quarter moons
1 yellow summer squash, sliced, cut into quarter moons
1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
1 14-oz. can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles, with juice
2 tablespoons chopped roasted Hatch chiles or jalapenos- whatever you like

1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons low sugar apricot jam, to taste- to balance the heat
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
Hot red pepper chile flakes, to taste (or use hot pepper sauce)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 14-oz. can butter beans, drained and set aside

Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water; bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about twenty minutes.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin or curry, and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes or so.

Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chile, the chopped Hatch chiles or jalapenos, vegetable broth, vegan Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce. You want the vegetables to be tender-crisp, not too done, and the sauce to be thickened and not too thin [if, by chance, you need a little more liquid to cook the veggies, add a splash more broth or water]. When this has been achieved, taste test the sauce for seasoning adjustments; then remove from heat, and gently add in the butter beans. Set aside.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a little liquid and Smart Balance or olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add chives if you like. Taste test. Don't add too much liquid or over-mix the potatoes or they'll get gluey. Gluey spuds = not so good.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble your pie:
Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish. Top with mounds of mashed potato. Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a side dish.

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