Six Weeks of Vegan Dinners….starting with Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

So I’ve set myself a challenge to make a vegan dinner every night for the next six weeks. Sure, I’ve done the vegan thing for more than six weeks in the past, but that often means I’m eating hummus and vegetables for dinner, or a jar of tomato sauce on brown-rice pasta. I’m not saying that the dinner has to be fancy or anything, but it should involve some kind of recipe. I also want to include some of the produce from the deck garden every day.

IMG_0448

We’ll see how it goes!

Today, I’m making vegan shepherd’s pie, which I’ve tried to make low-fat as well. Now, the odd thing here is that before I became vegetarian twenty-five years or so ago, you could not have paid me to eat Shepherd’s Pie. I found that kind of mishmash of meat and vegetables completely unappealing, and topping it with mashed potatoes just made it even grosser in my deluded mind. Now I LOVE a nice vegetarian version of the dish. In the past, I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I would just brown up some Yves’ Meatless Ground Round with some peas and carrots and add a packet of Lowry’s “Shepherd’s Pie Seasoning,” but I decided to expand my horizons and do my own “seasoning” (okay, I didn’t have any of the Lowry’s, but whatever). I also wanted to add more vegetables.

I’ve adapted it from this recipe and used the Post-Punk Kitchen recipe for mashed potatoes (though I left out the olive oil…with no discernible difference)

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced (from the garden–yay!!!)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups cooking greens, chopped (I used kale and Swiss chard from the garden)
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg. Yves Meatless Ground Round
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional, but it gives it a bit of a “meaty” taste)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (I used frozen)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered (about four)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.

Spray a large skillet with cooking oil. Saute (on medium heat) onions, carrots, and garlic until tender for about 7 to 10 minutes, then add the zucchini, mushrooms, greens for a few more minutes. Once the vegetables have softened and start to brown a little add the tomato sauce and mix evenly. Add the meatless ground round and cook for a few more minutes. Add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

IMG_0460
Cook and simmer for another 10 minutes. Mix in peas. Transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and spread evenly. Place potato on top of mixture and spread out evenly, once the top surface has been covered, rake through with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned about 20 minutes. Spoon out the shepherd’s pie and serve.

IMG_0461

For the mashed potatoes: Fill a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Add potatoes to the water and bring to a boil. Let potatoes cook until soft about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are at a desired density, drain the potatoes and place them back into the saucepan for mashing. Add almond milk and begin to mash potatoes into a semi smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

And….here’s the finished product (gnarly casserole dish and all!).
IMG_0466
Yum–it turned out VERY well–really, really tasty. 10/10: would do again!
IMG_0468

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s