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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

December 2, 2010

What do you do when you accidentally make too many mashed potatoes? Last Thanksgiving, I felt that 5 lbs just wasn’t enough for our dinner of 6. Oops! Did you know that mashed potatoes freeze really well? No we aren’t still eating last years leftovers but this got me thinking. I always cook too many potatoes and then am stuck with leftovers for days if not weeks. After a while, I can’t stand to see another potato.

Enter the vegetarian shepherd’s pie. Ok, I admit it, I don’t like traditional shepherd’s pie. I think it’s the creamed corn because I love hamburgers and I love mashed potatoes so maybe with peas I’d be happy but they always seem to have corn and it’s just not my thing. But this year, not only did I have leftover mashed potatoes, I also made a quart extra of gravy! Clearly I need help with portion control. Well, Jody at work brings these amazing roast vegetables for lunch that I am always eying. I had seen recipes for veggie shepherd’s pie but they were always very time consuming. I decided to try mixing these easy veggies with my potatoes and gravy to make a shepherd’s pie with my own flare.

Ingredients Roasted Vegetables:
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
4 carrots
1 yellow squash

Ingredients Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
2 lbs of mashed potatoes. (See garlic mashed potatoes for recipe)
2 plum tomatoes diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
tbl dried marjoram
cheddar cheese (optional)
4 oz baby bella mushrooms – chopped
1 clove of garlic minced

Ingredients Vegetarian Gravy (or use 2 cups of gravy on hand):
2 cups of vegetable broth (either store bought or simmer for 1 hour, 3 cups of water with stems of 1 bunch of parsley, 1 onion (whole), 1 carrot (whole). Strain)
2 tbl of potato starch
salt and pepper to taste

Prep:

If you don’t have vegetable broth, start your broth first. While the broth is cooking, prepare the roasted vegetables. Preheat oven to 400. Line 2 jelly role pans (cookie sheet with edges) or broiler pans with parchment paper. Quarter and slice the eggplant, zucchini and squash. Toss them in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt. Mark sure that the veggies are mixed really well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in and mix them all around. Dump the veggies out on the 2 pans. Spray the carrots with olive oil and place them on the pan. Shake them around so the veggies aren’t on top of each other. Place the pans in the oven. I check on mine every 15 minutes, shake the pans to loosen the veggies and turn them. After 30 min. switch the pans so that the bottom is now on the top. This way they get browned evenly. I cook mine for about 1.5 hours but this will depend on your oven and how dark you like your veggies. While the veggies roast,  make 2 lbs of mashed potatoes. Spray a casserole dish with olive oil. Spread half of the mashed potatoes in the bottom of the dish and top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese if you like.

When the broth is ready pour it into a liquid measuring cup so that you have 2 cups of broth ready to use. Then place 1 tbl of potato starch into a bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of broth. The broth will begin to thicken. Pour this mixture back into the pan over low heat. Repeat with 2nd tbl of potato starch and remaining 1 cup of broth. Whisk and pour thickened broth into the pan. Simmer. The gravy will begin to thicken. If it doesn’t whisk in a little potato starch at a time. Once the gravy is thick, add in the veggies, chopped parsly, marjoram and tomatoes. Simmer, stirring often, until the veggies and gravy are thick and pulpy (about 10 min).

Saute the baby bella mushrooms in a little olive oil on the stove with the garlic. spread them over the potatoes in the casserole dish when done.

Pour the veggies and broth into the casserole dish. Spread the remaining mashed potatoes over the veggies. Bake the pie uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy. This meal heats really well so it makes great leftovers and an easy lunch the next day.

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