**Side Note: I know some of you are eagerly awaiting an update about the new job. I don’t have much of one yet. I will be completely honest and let you know that it did not go as smoothly as I had imagined it would… but hopefully it will get better and I’ll fill you in more when it does =)
This deep-dish casserole is a little less time consuming than the traditional version. Aside from the baking time, you can prep it in about 45 minutes or less, which is great for a fancy pants meal to impress guests. Not only is it full of flavour, but is vegan, gluten free and soy free and can bring you back to a childhood favourite in no time!
I originally made this bad boy for St. Patrick’s Day. We had a couple over for dinner and I wasn’t sure what to make. We’ve had them over several times before and I had exhausted all of my fancy pants meals. AND one of them is Irish (like me!). I settled on making this as I have fond memories of my father making it for me as a kiddo. I used to love how it combined so many different tastes and textures all in one big dish. I also liked how warm and comforting it was. My mom and sister never liked it, so it was just me and dad enjoying our pies.
I glanced at a few recipes and found a few ideas. I kept it traditional for the most part, but added some Kimmy flair as my husband likes to say. I am not able to have soy much and Terry can’t have beans, so Beyond Meat saves the day in this dish! I’ve made it a few times since St. Patrick’s Day and am excited to make it again for Easter. Now that I’ve made it a few times, I have the prep time down to 30 minutes! Easy peasy 😉
Shepherd’s Pie (should probably serve 6-8… might only serve 4 haha)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mashed Potato Topping
4 medium-sized potatoes (I used yellow), scrubbed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup of soy-free earth balance (use less margarine and more milk to make it healthier)
a splash of almond milk
salt & pepper to taste
Chop your potatoes. I left the peels on for texture. Throw the chopped potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil, lower to medium heat and simmer 10-12 minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted into the potatoes. Drain the potatoes, saving a bit of the potato cooking water (something my dad taught me). Add the earth balance and milk, salt & pepper and roughly mash with a masher or fork.
Once you have your potatoes on the stove, you can prep your filling while they cook.
4 medium carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
4 stalks of celery, ends trimmed & roughly chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, roughly chopped
3/4 cup of peas
1 cup of Beyond Beef Crumbles (or protein of choice)
1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp of coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you can tolerate soy)
1/4 tsp each of dried oregano, garlic, onion & thyme
1 cup of vegetable broth + 2 tbsp of brown rice flour
Heat a large cast iron pan (or any large pan) on the stove. Add a bit of oil and sautée the carrots for 5 minutes. Add the celery and sautée another few minutes. Then the mushrooms and cook them until they start to soften. Add the peas, beef crumbles, parsley, coconut aminos & spices and stir it to combine. While this cooks, put the vegetable broth in a bowl and add the 2 tbsp of brown rice flour and whisk until it is smooth and thick. Add this to the veggies on the stove and allow it to cook until it becomes a thick mixture (just a few minutes – add more rice flour if it doesn’t thicken).
When the veggies are done, add them to a lightly greased 1.5 qt casserole dish (or lasagna pan). Scoop the mashed potatoes on top and use a spoon to even the topping out. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.
We served ours with vegan gravy.
We don’t really celebrate Easter, but I enjoy making a big meal for it. What are you making?