Sunday, 14 April 2013

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

This recipe has been a favorite of mine for a few years. It's always changing depending on what I have on hand, but always tasty. I love doing healthier, veggie versions of traditional dishes, especially Newfoundland food, because that will always have a special place in my heart. I think Shepherd's Pie originated in Scotland, but we share many similarities in our traditional cooking.

Shepherd's Pie is one of those dishes that taste better the next day, after all the flavours have had time to  soak into everything. That's one reason why I love casseroles, it's so easy to make enough to last the whole weekend (This particular one didn't last more then 24 hours, though. It was that yummy.)

Vegan Shepherd's Pie
serves 5

3 medium potatoes, cubed (equals about 3-4 cups)
1-2 tbsp butter (or Earth Balance)
1-2 cups veggie stock
1 chopped small onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup dry TVP
1/2 cup dry red lentils (optional, but I like the extra protein)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste


1. After you have your potatoes chopped, add them to a stock pot of boiling, salted water. Simmer until tender (about 10-15 mins).

2. Meanwhile, start another pot with 2 cups of water for your red lentils. Once it's boiled, add your rinsed lentils and reduce to a simmer. They don't need to be fully cooked, they'll finish cooking while in the oven, so about 15 mins on the stove top should be fine.

3. When your potatoes are done, save some liquid at the bottom of the pot after you've drained them for your mashed potatoes. Add the butter and start mashing! I used a splash of unsweetened Almond Milk so they were a bit creamier. Salt & pepper to taste.

4. Add the chopped onion, garlic and carrot to a saute pan with a splash of oil. Cook about 10 mins, until tender and fragrant.

5. Pre-heat oven to 375. Add your tvp to the bottom of your casserole dish, and rehydrate with 1 cup boiling veggie stock. Let it sit for 5 mins, then add your onion, garlic, carrots, (drained) lentils, corn, and seasoning. Mix everything together (Or layer it if you prefer, I think it taste better when it's mixed) Add enough veggie stock so it just covers everything. The TVP and lentils will soak up a lot of the liquid, so keep that in mind.

6. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the mixture as evenly as possible. Slightly smooth it, and score with a fork. Bake about 30-40 mins, if your mashed potatoes don't have a crispy top, then broil for 5-7 mins before taking it out of the oven. Let sit for 10 mins, then enjoy with some beets and mustard pickles!

Coming up: The recipe for my favorite pickled beets!

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