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