Friday, January 4, 2013

VEGETARIAN SHEPHERD'S PIE




Billy and I love food trucks and we love animals!  Tonight our city is hosting a food truck event that will benefit the Tri County Humane Society…A win, win.  Food trucks have come such a long way from the questionable, grimy canteens of the past.  Chefs have gotten on the band wagon realizing that they don’t have to pay high rents and wait for the people to come to them; only for those people to pay a week’s wage for their delicious gourmet meal.  No, these chefs have gotten wise and are bringing affordable gourmet fair to the people…Hooray!

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with food trucks, I’m just very excited for all the eating I’ll be doing tonight (I’m sure none too lite); as well as the ooh and awing over all the puppies that I will want to bring home with me.  I often wish I had a farm; I would fill it with dogs, cats, chicken (for the eggs) and pigs (I adore pigs).

 

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is lightened up from the traditional shepherd’s pie.  I used surprisingly beefy tasting, veggie round, which is made of soy and wheat protein.  Veggie round is high in protein, and iron; low in fat and cholesterol; it can be found in the refrigerated section, near the tofu, or in the freezer by the veggie burgers.

To make the mashed potatoes flavorful and creamy I added reduced fat Velveeta instead of my usual heavy cream.  If you want to keep this vegan; just sub out your favorite vegan mashed potato recipe, you will need 2 lbs. of potatoes.




Here’s what you do.

Preheat oven to 375.

Put the potatoes on to boil.  I just wash and cut mine, I don’t mind a little peel.

 



Sweat the onions, carrots, turnips and garlic in a little olive oil.







When the onions are translucent add the veggie ground and Herbs de Provence.  Don’t worry that the veggies aren’t cooked all the way through, they’ll be cookin’ some more. 



Break up the veggie round and heat it through, and then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour over the top.  Cook and stir that for about 3 minutes, you want to cook the raw flour taste out.

 



Add the white wine and when that has dissipated…

Stir in the vegetable broth (I used unsalted), low sodium soy sauce, honey, and black pepper (to taste).  Bring that to a simmer.



 



Add the fresh green beans, and simmer for about 2 minutes. (You can use frozen beans instead, but don’t add them yet)









Stir in the frozen peas and remove from the heat. (Add the frozen beans now.)





 
Meanwhile; drain the potatoes really well.  Give them a mash.  I like this masher with the holes because it removes much of the potato skin for me.

This is a double batch of mashed potatoes, because I also made a Turkey Shepherd’s pie…stay tuned!





Add the butter, cheese, warm milk, salt and pepper.   

 

I cut the cheese into too large of cubes; it really didn’t want to melt.  I turned the heat to medium low and put the lid on to facilitate the melting of the cheese.  I stirred the potatoes a couple of times being careful not to over work the potatoes; therefor, avoiding gluey mashed potatoes.

 




Pour the veggie mixture into about an 8 x 11 x 2 inch baking dish.






 


Top with the mashed potatoes.

Sprinkle the grated cheese.  I wanted to use up the last of the Mexican blend cheese that I had in my fridge, cheddar or Colby would also be good.





 

Bake until the sides are bubbly and the potatoes are a golden color.

Note to self:  make more peaks with the potatoes so that they get pretty and brown.






 



This is actually a picture taken the next day with leftovers.  The pictures that I took the same night turned out too dark.  The Veggie Shepherd’s Pie tastes just as good, if not better the next day.







Serves 6 regular people or 4 really hungry men.

1                              Small onion, small dice
2                              Small carrots, small dice
1                              Small turnip, small dice
2              cloves        Garlic, minced
1              Tbsp.          Olive oil
½             tsp.           Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning
12             oz.            Veggie ground (veggie protein crumbles), frozen or refrigerated
2              Tbsp.         Flour
1/3           cup           Dry white wine
1 ½           cups         Vegetable stock, unsalted
2              Tbsp.         Soy sauce, low sodium
1              Tbsp.         Honey
                               Pepper to taste
½             cup           Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (frozen beans can be substituted)
½             cup           Peas, frozen
1                              Recipe Cheesy Mashed Potatoes (recipe follows)
½             cup           Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

  1.        Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.        In a large skillet over medium heat sweat the onions, carrots, turnips, and garlic in the olive oil.
  3.       When the onions are translucent add the veggie ground and the Herbs de Provence.  Break the veggie ground up in the pan. 
  4.       When the veggie ground is heated, stir the flour in, cook and stir for about 3 minutes (to cook the rawness out of the flour).
  5.       Add the white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed into the veggie ground.
  6.       Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, honey and black pepper, bring to a simmer.
  7.       Once the liquid is simmering add the fresh green beans, cook for about 2 minutes (If using frozen beans, add them at the same time as the frozen peas).
  8.       Add the frozen peas, stir and remove from the heat.
  9.       Transfer the veggie ground and vegetable mixture into an 8 x 11 x 2 inch baking dish.
  10.   Spread the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes over the top of the mixture.
  11.   Sprinkle the grated cheese over top of the potatoes.
  12.   Bake for about 30 minutes; until the shepherd’s pie is bubbling up at the sides, and the top of the potatoes is golden in color.
  13.   Let the Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

  *Note, Unsalted vegetable broth is used in this recipe, if you only have broth containing sodium, then reduce the amount of soy sauce.  Try 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and give it a taste, if it needs more you can add more.


CHEESY MASHED POTATOES

2              lbs.         Waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), washed and cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch cubes (peeled or unpeeled, it’s up to you)
2              Tbsp.       Butter
4              oz.          Reduced fat Velveeta processed cheese, grated or cut into ½ inch cubes or smaller
¾             cup         Milk, warmed
                             Salt and pepper to taste

1.        In a 3 quart sauce pan, cover the potatoes with water by at least an inch.  Cook over high heat until the water comes to a boil, add a little salt to the water and turn the heat down and maintain a low boil.  Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes).
2.       Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot.
3.       Mash the potatoes.
4.       Add the butter, cheese, milk, salt and pepper to the pan; stir just to combine (do not over work the potatoes).  If the cheese isn’t melting, put lid on the pot and cook over medium low for just a couple of minutes, stirring a couple of times until the ingredients are combined.

Serve over shepherd’s pie, or as a side dish. 



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