Monday, December 2, 2013

Cold Weather Comfort Food: Veggie Shepherd's Pie

The weather recently has decided that it should probably give this winter thing a proper crack, since it is Canada and all.  This sort of weather change always makes me crave casseroles, stews and soups - comfort foods, in other words.
I've talked at least three times about squash on this blog, so I won't give you my squash soup slow cooker variation (unless you really want me to).

However, I will tell you how to make my vegetarian shepherd's pie (sadly, a bit of a misnomer since it contains no shepherd, nor mock shepherd - or sheep for that matter).
I also have no photos for you, since we ate it all.  What little leftovers we had went to work with partner & I in our lunches.

To make my vegetarian shepherd's pie, you will need the following:
2 packets of vegetarian ground round (we use the Yves brand, original flavour)
1 tin of mushroom gravy
2 medium or one large carrot, sliced
1-2 stalks of celery, sliced
4-6 white mushrooms, sliced
half a medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
4-6 potatoes, diced (most recently I used three yellow potatoes and four small red potatoes)
butter or margarine and/or oil for frying
thyme to taste
pepper to taste

Put your turnip & potatoes in a pot of water, and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat, and let simmer until cooked soft.
While the potatoes & turnips are cooking, saute the carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion, garlic & zucchini in a frying pan with the thyme and some pepper until they start to soften.
Put the veggies in your lasagna pan, and add the corn and vegetarian ground round.  Stir everything so it is all mixed up and fairly evenly distributed.  Then add the mushroom gravy & give it another stir.
By this point, the potato-turnip mixture should be ready.  Drain the potato mix, and then mash with butter/margarine and milk until you have your preferred mash potato consistency.  Spread over the top of the other ingredients in your casserole dish in an even layer.
Cover, and bake in a 350F oven for half an hour.  Uncover and cook for a further 15 minutes.

I usually serve this with a salad, and maybe some crusty bread, because salad and some sort of bread bun goes with almost everything!
When we had this last, I made a Greek inspired salad with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green bell pepper, and mozzarella (we were out of feta) in a Greek salad dressing.  It was really good!

Have you been making comfort foods lately?  I'm sure my partner is going to get sick of casseroles and stews sooner or later, so feel free to shoot me some suggestions.

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