Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

  Shepherd's Pie

   This is an entrée I love serving to meat-loving friends.  It’s fun to watch them try to figure out where the beef is!  It tastes like it’s there, but in reality it’s not.  Invariably, they have to admit this is a great version of the fat-laden Shepherd’s Pie they’re used to.  All the flavor, minus the artery-clogging cholesterol…what’s not to love?

As always, cook once but eat twice.  This recipe is easy to throw together if you have leftover Vegetarian Taco “Meat” https://vegtutor.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/recipe-vegetarian-taco-meat and cooked brown rice in the freezer.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. Vegetarian Taco “Meat”

1 1/2 cooked brown rice

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. dried basil

2 tsp. dried parsley

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 c. dry bread crumbs

Bottom Layer:  Place Taco “Meat” and brown rice in a large bowl. Saute vegetables in oil for 4 – 5 minutes, then add to bowl with Taco “Meat” and rice.  Add spices, Dijon mustard, and bread crumbs. Stir with a large spoon to mix ingredients. Season with sea salt and pepper if desired. Spread mixture in an oil-sprayed glass casserole dish.

  Top Layer:  If you’re smart, you have leftover mashed potatoes on hand to make this recipe as simple as can be. If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes, here is a recipe:

Mashed Potatoes

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 qt. water

1/3 c. unsweetened rice, soy, or almond milk

1 – 2 Tbs. organic butter or substitute

salt and pepper to taste

   Bring water to a boil and add potatoes.  Reduce heat and cook 15 – 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain and place in a mixing bowl. Add seasonings and use an electric mixer or hand masher to mash potatoes.  Add milk a little at a time as you mash until potatoes are thick and creamy with no lumps. Adjust seasonings to taste.

   Spread thick layer of mashed potatoes on top of the bottom layer of Shepherd’s Pie. Top with vegan parmesan cheese or Gomasio if desired.

   Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 -45 minutes

   Cut into thick slices and serve with vegan gravy.

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Miracle Fat-Burner Stew

I found this recipe about five years ago in a magazine, and have used it many times since. It makes A LOT. (I had to buy a large stock pot just to accommodate this recipe — a traditional dutch oven will not do). It is great for when you are cooking for a crowd, but if you are cooking for just one or two you can use one of the variations on different nights so you don’t get bored. It also freezes well. Serve with a crusty wholegrain bread.

Makes 10 (2-cup) servings: 258 cals.; 18 g. protein; 4 g. fat; 45 g. carbs.; 1.54 mg. sodium; 0 mg. chol.; 12 g. fiber

1 1/2 bags (1 lb. ea.) dried lentils

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 c. chopped onions (1 12 oz. bag frozen)

2 Tbsp chopped garlic (6 cloves)

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

10 c. vegetable broth

1 can (28 oz.) stewed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 bags (1 lb. ea.) assorted frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, & red pepper work well)

3 Tbsp. wine or balsamic vinegar

Sort and rinse lentils. In a very large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 4 – 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute stirring. Add broth and spices. Break up tomatoes into pieces with back of spoon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are very soft (ab. one hour).

About 10 minutes before serving add frozen vegetables and vinegar. Heat through.

MIRACLE FAT-BURNER STEW VARIATIONS:

To one (2-cup) serving of stew, stir in any of the following and simmer 3 – 5 mins.

CHINESE:

1/2 c. cubed firm tofu

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. peanut butter (reduced fat)

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1 sliced scallion

MEXICAN:

1/2 c. salsa

Heat through and top with 1/4 c. shredded veggie cheese

HARVEST STEW:

1/4 c. frozen baby carrots

1/4 c. orange juice

1/4 c. canned pumpkin

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

INDIAN:

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. tumeric

1 Tbsp. golden raisins

2 Tbsp plain soy yogurt

1 Tbsp cashews

1 tsp. chopped cilantro

Recipe: Vegetarian Taco “Meat”

This is an easy meat substitute our family prefers when we have tacos. (Of course, you could always use the frozen veggie crumbles from the supermarket, but this is so much cheaper. You can make it for less than 1/3 the cost!) Just use this in place of the normal taco meat, add lettuce, tomatoes, veggie cheese, and whatever else you desire, and you will have a fun, everyone-makes-his-own meal.

I usually triple this recipe so that I have leftovers to freeze. Then I always have some ready to use in other recipes. I will post some recipes which include this Taco “Meat”, and you will see just how versatile it is.

1 c. dry lentils (sort and rinse)

2 c. water, add more if needed

1/4 c. chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pkg. dry taco seasoning

Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids to taste

Cook lentils in water until tender (30-45 minutes). Meanwhile, steam saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes and add to lentils. When lentils are almost done add dry taco seasoning and Sazon or Bragg’s to taste. Serve in place of meat filling in tacos.

Recipe: Lentil Loaf

   I must applaud my husband, who has been a real sport about sampling, and even learning to like, all the “bunny food” and tofu I have served him over the last 9 years when he joined me in this vegetarian lifestyle. Once upon a time my husband told me that his favorite meal was meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and peas. Let me assure you it has been A LONG TIME since he’s had that meal! So he was more than pleased when I served this Lentil Loaf last night with, you guessed it, mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas.

   I found this recipe on-line. It was listed as an adaptation of a recipe in Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking vegetarian cookbook. I made a couple of changes myself, and think it is a wonderful meatless loaf recipe. I found that it is best to make it ahead of time (the day before is good) because that gives the loaf time to firm up in the pan. After it is completely cooled you can easily slice and reheat individual portions to serve.

1 1/2 c. lentils

1 c. grated veggie cheddar cheese

1 onion chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried herbs (I used poultry seasoning)

1 c. Italian breadcrumbs

1 egg replacer (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)

3 Tbs. organic butter

   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 1 lb. loaf pan with PAM or equivalent.

   Wash lentils and drain. Cover lentils with 3 – 3 1/2 c. water in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer 20-30 minutes until fairly soft.

   Mix in veggie cheese, onions, salt, pepper, and herbs.

   Add breadcrumbs, egg replacer, and butter to the lentil mixture. (Add more breadcrumbs if it seems too wet and sloppy).

   Press mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan.

   Serve with vegetarian gravy.

Miracle Fat-Burner Stew

      I found this recipe about five years ago in a magazine, and have used it many times since. It makes A LOT. (I had to buy a large stock pot just to accommodate this recipe — a traditional dutch oven will not do). It is great for when you are cooking for a crowd, but if you are cooking for just one or two you can use one of the variations on different nights so you don’t get bored. It also freezes well. Serve with a crusty wholegrain bread.

Makes 10 (2-cup) servings: 258 cals.; 18 g. protein; 4 g. fat; 45 g. carbs.; 1.54 mg. sodium; 0 mg. chol.; 12 g. fiber

1 1/2 bags (1 lb. ea.) dried lentils

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 c. chopped onions (1 12 oz. bag frozen)

2 Tbsp chopped garlic (6 cloves)

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

10 c. vegetable broth

1 can (28 oz.) stewed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 bags (1 lb. ea.) assorted frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, & red pepper work well)

3 Tbsp. wine or balsamic vinegar

Sort and rinse lentils. In a very large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 4 – 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute stirring. Add broth and spices. Break up tomatoes into pieces with back of spoon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are very soft (ab. one hour).

About 10 minutes before serving add frozen vegetables and vinegar. Heat through.

MIRACLE FAT-BURNER STEW VARIATIONS:

To one (2-cup) serving of stew, stir in any of the following and simmer 3 – 5 mins.

CHINESE:

   1/2 c. cubed firm tofu

   1 tsp. soy sauce

   1 tsp. peanut butter (reduced fat)

   1/2 tsp. sesame oil

   1 sliced scallion

MEXICAN:

1/2 c. salsa

Heat through and top with 1/4 c. shredded veggie cheese

HARVEST STEW:

1/4 c. frozen baby carrots

1/4 c. orange juice

1/4 c. canned pumpkin

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

INDIAN:

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. tumeric

1 Tbsp. golden raisins

2 Tbsp plain soy yogurt

1 Tbsp cashews

1 tsp. chopped cilantro