Twist On A Classic: Vegan Shepherds Pie

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I’ve got Delia’s Classic Christmas special playing on T.V.  Christmas cooking is taken seriously in the U.K.  Hers and Nigella are my favourite Holiday cooking specials to watch.  It’s been grey and rainy all day.  Today is Saturday, my husband woke at 4:15 am and went fishing at a river 1 hour and 1/2 hours away from our home. The Coho (salmon) are heading upstream at this time of year, back to their birthplace where they will die after 4 years in the Pacific Ocean, they find their way back home. Nature is fascinating.

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4:30pm came. I turned the fairy lights on. I have them in the kitchen, living room, the bar and studio and I started to prep dinner.  This is a twist on regular Shepherd’s Pie, a Vegan twist,  but the flavours are not compromised in the least.  You won’t even notice you’re eating plant based ground “beef”, I promise.

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You Will Need:

1 pack plant based Ground Round – I used Yves brand today

1 zucchini cubed small

1 carrot chopped

2 celery stalks chopped

1 onion chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

1/2 red pepper chopped small

1 cup frozen peas

2 large yams (mashed)

1 sweet potato (mashed)

2 Tblsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of your preference)

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 can mushroom gravy

Spices:  salt, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and dried basil, 1 Tblsp low sodium soy sauce.

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (don’t add for Vegans)

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Add chopped yams and sweet potato to a pot with boiling water and cook until soft.  Strain and add salt and pepper to taste + 1/4 cup of almond milk and mash.  Set aside.

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Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

To a deep pan on medium/high heat, add coconut oil then the onion.  Cook onion until soft then add garlic.  Stir for a few moments and slowly add each veggie one by one (carrots, celery, zuicchini, red pepper),  sauteeing for a few minutes in between to build flavour.  De-glaze the pan with veggie broth if veggies start to stick to the pan.

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Once the vegetables are soft and fragrant, add the ground round, breaking it up with a spoon.  Add the peas and mix in with all your spices and soy sauce.  Remember the ground round doesn’t need to be “cooked” like meat so its just a matter of mixing it with the spices and basically heating it up.

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I was heating the mushroom gravy in a small pot next to  the pie filling and added a couple of tablespoons of the gravy to the mix for extra flavour.

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Transfer the mix to a baking dish and top with yam mash. I really wanted a little cheese but if you want to keep this recipe 100% Vegan, skip it.  I sprinkled a little parmesan overtop and into the oven it went for 10 minutes.  I then set the oven on broil and pulled the pie out once the cheese was crispy.

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As an appie, I set warm olives in oil and pickled onions on the table and we enjoyed a glass of white wine before indulging.  I assure you, even the biggest meat eater will enjoy this recipe.

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Top with mushroom gravy and dig in!

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This is the special I was watching while I cooked.  I’m holding off on watching Christmas movies just yet because it’s still a little early, even for me.

Thanks for joining me today.  Stay warm.

Love,

Jennifer

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