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Friday, May 30, 2008

Gardener's Skillet - aka Vegetarian Shepherd Pie

I am 100% addicted to this site

Utterly, completely, totally love. The site may scare you, as it's "Vegan" but it has fantastic recipes that are really easy to customize. I live with a non-Vegan and not once has he ever complained about the food from this site. We do customize - often times we'll use beef bullion instead of vegetable broth (because it's what we have), regular milk instead of dairy, eggs instead of egg substitutes. Still. it's good.

Anyway, to get to the point. I'm currently do the CORE plan on Weight-Watchers and therefore eating has gotten slightly more tricky. I found this recipe, decided to make it...and it was good. Beyond good. Delicious. Yummy. Fantastic. And I present for you. :-D

Skillet Gardener's Pie
(printer-friendly version)

I used kidney beans here because I like their flavor and texture in this dish. But feel free to substitute about 1- 1/2 cups of any cooked beans or lentils. Or, if faux meats are your thing, rehydrate some TVP, crumble up a couple of Boca burgers, or chop up some seitan and use it instead.

2 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes
1/2 cup soy milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced, leaves minced and reserved
8 ounces mushrooms, diced
2 cups fat-free vegetable broth
16 ounces kidney beans, cooked
2 cups green beans, cut in 1" pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/4 teaspoon sage
2 cups baby spinach leaves, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water (or veg. broth)
extra rosemary for garnish

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into cubes. (I leave mine unpeeled, but if you want you can peel them before dicing.) Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender. Reserve a cup of their cooking water, if possible, and drain. Place in a large bowl, add the soymilk, and mash until smooth, adding a little of the potato-cooking water if they seem too dry. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set aside in a warm place.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the "pie" filling. Spray a large non-stick or cast iron skillet with canola oil. Heat it on a medium-high burner and add the onions. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, and sauté for 3 more minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, kidney beans, green beans, and herbs. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes and all vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added a little hickory smoke salt). There should still be some liquid in the pan, but if it has become too dry, add a little of the potato-cooking water. Add the spinach and stir until it's completely wilted. Mix the corn starch with the water until smooth, and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring, until mixture has thickened.

Spoon the potatoes evenly over the top of the filling and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. If potatoes have cooled, put the skillet under the broiler for a minute or two. Serve immediately while hot.

Things to keep in mind:
- Keep the heat lower to keep the juices in there
- Celery Leaves go in with the herbs (and make a huge difference. Don't forget them)


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