Friday, September 2, 2011

From Cherie's Kitchen: E2 Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Here we are in September.  Back to school, back to work and back to the kitchen for hearty dishes we enjoy as the weather turns cooler and the leaves turn color.

Here is a dish that will persuade even the most ardent carnivore that vegan food can be tasty and satisfying, courtesy of "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn, a vegan version of the classic Shepherd's Pie.  And the best part is -- Nobody gets killed!  Here's my slightly modified version:

Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4-6


3 Yukon Gold potatoes (or your favorite potatoes,) quartered
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 teaspoons dried, chopped rosemary
Cracked pepper to taste (optional)
16 oz. fresh or frozen green beans (or 1 15 oz. can, drained)
2 onions, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package soy meat crumbles (I like Morningstar Farms)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce ( I like Wizard's)
1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Boil the potatoes until soft.  Drain and mash them with the soy milk and a teaspoon of the rosemary.  Add pepper if desired and set aside.

If using fresh or frozen green beans, steam them for about seven minutes, or until bright green and still firm.  If using canned beans (they work just fine,) drain and set aside.

Saute the onions on medium heat in a large nonstick skillet until translucent.  Add mushrooms, if desired, garlic and the remaining teaspoon of rosemary to the onions.  Cook another few minutes.  If using mushrooms, cook about five minutes until they release their juices.

Add the meat crumbles, pepper and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.  Add a small amount of water as necessary to combine the ingredients.  The mixture should be moist, but not runny.

Spray a medium casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Place the vegetable/meat crumble mixture in the casserole dish.  Spread the green beans on top of the mixture.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove top and bake five minutes longer, or until potatoes begin to brown lightly.

Because this dish completely free of animal products -- even milk or eggs  that are allowed on a vegetarian diet -- it is considered vegan.

I had most of the ingredients stocked in my pantry, fridge and freezer and had to pick up only a few items.

I usually keep a couple of bags of Morningstar Farms Meal Starter soy crumbles in my freezer where they are available for soup, chili or spaghetti sauce.  These are easy enough to find in the frozen foods section of Meijer, Target or Kroger.

My first question was, "Why do I need vegan Worcestershire sauce?"  I was not aware that this popular flavoring contains Anchoives -- fish!  So, pitch any old Worcestershire sauce in your fridge and replace it with the Wizard's brand, available at Whole Foods Market for just a few dollars.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos is a substitute for high-sodium soy sauce.  In addition to its nutritional value, Bragg's contains only a small amount of naturally occurring sodium, with no additional salt added.  It's also available at Whole Foods Market for only a few dollars.  So, throw out any old soy sauce in your fridge, too.

The fall is a wonderful time to set goals.  Why not strive for one meatless meal a week?  With delicious food like this, you'll never miss the meat. More great recipes are available on the Engine 2 Diet  website.

And, best of all -- NOBODY GETS KILLED!

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