Classic Veggie Shepherd’s Pie
This delicious classic requires 30 to 40 minutes of hands-on time, plus about an equal amount of baking. So, while it may not qualify as a quick dish to make when you come home from work, it’s a comforting weekend meal. It’s substantial and filling, though my family rarely leaves leftovers.
- 4 large or 6 medium potatoes
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 medium head cauliflower, finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup cooked fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, optional
- Seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wheat germ
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
Stir the Earth Balance into the potatoes until melted, then add the milk and mash until fluffy. Set aside until needed.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and carrots and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden. Add the cauliflower and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the peas, corn kernels, parsley, and optional dill. Cook until the mixture is well heated through, then stir in 1/2 cup of the mashed potatoes. Season with seasoned salt and pepper.
Lightly oil a shallow 2-quart round or rectangular casserole dish. Sprinkle the bottom with a generous layer of wheat germ, then pour in the vegetable mixture and pat in evenly. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top and pat down lightly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.
To make this dish even more substantial, add 8 ounces of well-drained, finely diced tofu (or baked tofu) or 1 cup cooked or canned beans of your choice.
Other vegetables can be substituted for the ones listed above. Try broccoli instead of cauliflower; zucchini or green beans in place of the corn and/or peas; and a half cup or so of sliced mushrooms is a welcome addition if everyone present likes them.