06 February 2014

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

I've been absent from here for over a month. As I indicated, we visited my family over the holidays and shared in wonderful traditions. When we came back, the semester started up for me, which is always a busy time. Then my mother died. We were there with her when she died, peacefully and painlessly, for which I will be forever grateful.

Needless to say, the rest of my life was put on hold. Our wonderful colleagues covered for our duties at both our schools. Family and friends near and far made/sent meals to keep us going. Meanwhile, we planned a beautiful burial and memorial. Her burial was attended by 19 of her family members and her memorial was attended by 400+ of her family and friends, and streamed online by more than 50 others.

We've been back from Minnesota now for not quite a week; I am playing catch-up as best I can and we are living life as normally as possible. Most of the time it's very possible; some times it's not. One of my normal life events is cooking, so we've cooked every night since we've been back. I've even cooked a couple new things, including this roasted vegetable shepherd's pie.

This is comfort food to the core. It uses the oven, is soft and creamy, and has a subtle blend of savory flavors. It also uses a fun new product (though see Helpful Hints) called Soy Curls. Soy Curls are nothing more than whole soybeans, so they are a great protein source. Speaking of products, there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but nothing is particularly difficult. Finally, as a "casserole" dish, shepherd's pie is not the prettiest of all the foods I make, but the taste more than makes up for the appearance.

Roasted Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
This recipe is heavily based on a recipe by Robin Robinson.

1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, stew cut
1 zucchini, in thick half moons
1 c. frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
3-4 large russet potatoes
vegan "butter"
unsweetened soymilk
1/2 bag soy curls, re-hydrated
1 T. oil
3 1/2 T. flour
2 1/2 c. "no chicken" broth
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 425.
1. Roast onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, and zucchini for 25 minutes in a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish with a little bit of oil and salt. Add the green beans and peas and roast for another 5 minutes.
2. While the veggies are roasting, boil the potatoes in water. When they are soft, mash them, adding "butter," unsweetened soymilk, and salt as desired. You want these to be on the thin side.
3. In a pan, mix the oil and flour together until hot. Add the broth, soy sauce, thyme, and salt and pepper, whisking until mixture thickens.
4. Add soy curls and gravy to the roasted veggies, stirring gently to combine.

5. Layer the potatoes on the top as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with a bit of paprika and nutritional yeast (and a spritz of oil, if you can).

6. Reduce oven heat to 375 and bake another 30 minutes (until hot and bubbly).

Helpful Hints
  • I said it above, but I'll say it again. This does have a long ingredient list, but it is so worth it. It also uses a lot of pots and pans and takes a while to cook, so perhaps this is best done as a weekend dinner. 
  • If you don't want to use (or can't find) soy curls, you can substitute seitan (home made or store bought) or lentils. But honestly, go crazy! Want chickpeas? Use them!
  • The veggies in here are ones we like. If you would rather swap something else out (mushrooms or corn maybe), feel free.
The post "Vegan Roasted Vegetable Shepherd's Pie" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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