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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Last night, I decided to try and turn one of our favorite dinners into a "Fat Free Vegan" dinner!

Kevin and I love Shepherd's Pie on a chilly afternoon...and yesterday it was chilly! It turned out rather good; so I thought I'd share the recipe and technique.

I started by chopping vegetables: 1 cup each of carrots, celery, mushrooms, and pearl onions. I also chopped up 4 cloves of garlic, and defrosted 1/2 cup of petit peas and corn.

I also scrubbed 7 Yukon Gold potatoes and covered them with water in a pot to boil.

I added the garlic, onions, celery and carrots to a large Le Creuset enamel lined cast iron dutch oven over medium heat. No oil! You have to watch this carefully so it won't burn and stir it occasionally, but you CAN dry-fry vegetables for some color.

After about 5 minutes, I added 1 teaspoon of marjoram and thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

When I could smell the fragrant spices, I added 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. I learned this technique a couple of years ago when making beef stew. It adds color and a depth of flavor you can't get from flour! I stirred it around and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Then, I added the corn and peas and sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of whole wheat flour over the vegetable mixture.

I let this cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Then, I added 1 cup of vegetable stock (I used Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable Stock since it has no oil) and 1 cup of red wine and continued to stir as it thickened.

When it had reduced by 1/3, I removed it from the heat. This took about 15 minutes.

Then, I removed the potatoes from the water, peeled them, and mashed them.  I didn't want 'glue' potatoes, so I added some almond milk to help them to fluff up a bit. Kevin and I like the mashed potatoes pretty smooth!

I poured the vegetable mixture into a casserole dish, and covered it with mashed potatoes.

I baked this at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

It was DELICIOUS!!!!  Kevin grudgingly said it was good....but he suggested that I add some ground beef or ground turkey next time. I guess Fridays are the only day of the week he's willing to not eat meat....Oh well. Maybe he'll see the leftovers on Friday!

Sliced tomatoes and a glass of wine rounded out this dinner! And yes, it bubbled over a bit...unfortunately, I forgot to put a tray under the casserole until it already made a mess in the oven. I guess I'll be cleaning the oven this week....but it was worth it!

This will easily serve four people. Hope you enjoy it!

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