I was listening to a Smart Passive Income podcast earlier today, so that may or may not be why my references are weird. :)
The weather seems to have finally gotten winter cold here in southern Missouri where I live. This puts me in the mood for pasta, casseroles and all manner of warm, creamy carbs.
But this doesn't mean we can't make a super comforting meal that is also packed with plants and nutrition. :) This meal has both going on, and it's delicious! Not to mention the half and half potato situation makes it pretty cute too.
Simple & Comforting Shepherd's Pie, makes 4 servings, which we'll be dividing in two (freezing one for later).
Adapted from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Shepherd's Pie
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups once peeled and cubed)
3-4 small to medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups once peeled and cubed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic
8 oz. tempeh
1 1/2 cups frozen veggie mix (mine had carrots, peas, green beans and corn)
2 tablespoons vegan butter (or regular if you don't care about being vegan)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (or gluten free if you need)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (I used blood oranges.)
3 tablespoons almond milk
salt + pepper throughout
a few tablespoons chopped parsley for the tops
First, peel and cube the potatoes. Boil in lightly salted water in a medium size pot for 12-15 minutes until very tender.
In the meantime, cook the onion and 4 cloves of minced garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat. Cube the tempeh (it's OK if it crumbles some) and add that to the pan along with the frozen vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat, seasoning with a little salt and pepper, until the vegetables have warmed through.
In a small saucepan or pot, heat the vegan butter over low/medium heat. Whisk in the flour so a paste forms. Whisk in half of the vegetable stock until a thick gravy begins to form (2-4 minutes depending on your heat). Turn off the heat and whisk in the remaining stock. We're making a thin gravy, so adjust your heat or cook time as needed. Season with a little salt and pepper. (Taste first. Most stocks tend to be well salted, but see what you think it needs.)
Once the potatoes are done, drain and transfer each to a separate mixing bowl. Add the orange juice to the sweet potatoes and mash until smooth. Add the almond milk to the russet potatoes and mash until smooth. Taste each and add salt and pepper as needed.
Now you're ready to assemble everything! Combine the tempeh mix with the gravy. Transfer this to two ramekins or small baking dishes and one freezer-friendly, small baking pan. You could also make one big shepherd's pie from this recipe, in which case you could add everything to a pie pan. Top with the mashed potatoes.
If you are baking the two ramekins that day, simply bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes. This won't take long because most of your ingredients are probably still warm from cooking. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
For the freezer version, on the day you plan to enjoy this, transfer from the freezer to the refrigerator 8-10 hours before you plan to bake. Then bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes. Top with fresh parsley before serving. Happy make-ahead dinners! xo. Emma
P.S. If you don't care about keeping it vegan, feel free to top with cheese before baking or add a dollop of sour cream before serving ... in case that hadn't occurred to you already. :)
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.