Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

What is Shepherd’s Pie anyway- Historically speaking it’s some poor shepherd who apparently was so hungry, he had to eat his little lamb. Joking aside, It’s basically stew that’s topped with Mashed Potatoes. Shepherds Pie is the perfect vehicle for left overs. Whether you make it from a recipe or simply use what is in your refrigerator - it’s bound to come out tasting great. This Vegan version of the classic is a perfect dish on a cool Autumn evening.

I would say the most difficult part of this recipe is the chopping of vegetables. There are some shortcuts you can implement. For instance, you can use frozen peas and carrots. Substitute frozen pearl onions for the sliced ones. You can even purchase pre-cut butternut squash at many local grocery stores.

We’ve been working with our 16 year old teenager to get him ready for life without a live-in cook. We have him cook a recipe each week. His biggest complaint so far has been that chopping vegetables is difficult. For me (Julie) this is true. Obviously not for Stefen. But like many things in life- it’s really about how you look at it. If you decide that something is hard or boring or painful- you’ll be right. Maybe It’s time to change the story that you tell yourself. Chopping vegetables is easy and fun- Are you buying this yet. Maybe, maybe not. But my point is that life is what you make of it. Your attitude will color the experiences that you have.  

When I was in the hospital after my cancer surgery, I was very very unhappy. There were complications and I was very sick. As I lay there, helpless, sad and ill, I decided that I was going to be the best patient on that floor. I was going to walk, even though I didn’t feel good. I was going to suck it up and have a good attitude. It still took 2 weeks in the hospital, another surgery and 10 months of Chemo but my life is amazing.

So whether you choose to buy frozen, pre-cut vegetables or you chop everything by hand- take the time to make some Vegan Shepherd’s Pie this week.

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion - sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Carrots - diced
  • 2 Cups English Peas
  • 2 Cups Butternut Squash, diced
  • 3 lbs. Russet Potatoes, Peeled, cut into large dice
  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Miso Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire
  • 4 Tablespoons Tamari Sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary - Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Corn Starch & 4 Tablespoons Water
  •  
  •  2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Plant Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley - chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. In a Dutch oven (or large pot) caramelized the sliced onion. Remove, then rough chop them. Put the onion back in the Dutch oven and add Vegetable Broth, Granulated Garlic, Onion Powder, Miso Paste, Vegan Worcestershire, Tomato Paste and bring to a low simmer.
  3. In a separate Pot, bring Potatoes and water to a boil. Cook until tender
  4. On a lined (or oiled) baking sheet, roast butternut squash until golden brown.
  5. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add carrots and allow to cook for until just tender (about 3 minutes). Remove and set aside. Do not strain out the water. Add Peas to the boiling water and cook for about 2 minute. Remove and add to the carrots.
  6. Combine the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Add to the Onion mixture.
  7. Add Carrots, Butternut Squash and Garbanzo Beans to the Onion mixture.  Continue to simmer.
  8. For the Mashed Potatoes: Strain Potatoes. Return to pot. Add the Vegan Butter, Nutritional Yeast, Salt, Chopped Parsley & Plant Milk. Mash until smooth. (Add more plant milk if needed).
  9. In a casserole dish. Add the Vegetable mixture. Carefully add the Mashed potatoes on top until completely covered. 
  10. Turn on the Broiler and cook until the Potatoes start to turn Golden Brown on top.