Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday PIE Day + St. Patrick's Day + Veggie Style

Happy Friday!  On this Friday Pie Day, I decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making a shepherd's pie.  Since I'm not a big red meat person, I went vegetarian.

Side note - Today is especially a "pie day" because it's Pi Day.  3/14... 3.14... Get it?

I really just winged this recipe, but I was pretty pleased with it, so I thought I'd share!

Here's what you'll need if you want to try this lighter, meatless version of a traditional St. Patrick's Day favorite (sorry about Hank's nose, he was trying to sneak a carrot):

Half a stick of butter, 1/2 cup diced onion, 12 ounces vegetarian/vegan imitation ground beef (I used Lightlife Smart Ground Original Protein Crumbles), 1/2 cup light cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, salt and pepper to taste, one can (15 ounces) of your favorite brand of green peas - drained, 1/2 cup sliced or diced carrots (I admit to buying the pre-cut crinkles to save myself some prep time), 3 cups of mashed potatoes (however you like them!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large skillet over medium heat, melt a pat of butter.  Add the onions and allow them to heat up for a moment.  Then, add the protein crumbles.  Do not heat the crumbles for long, just a minute or two - long enough to break the pieces up and mingle the "meat" with the onion.

Once the meat is broken up into crumbles, lower the heat to simmer.  Add the cream, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and salt and pepper.  Stir until the cream covers all the crumbles.

Lightly grease a pie pan and pour the crumbles into the pan.

Wipe out your skillet, add another pat of butter, and return to medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the carrots into the skillet.  Heat the carrots until they reach the amount of tenderness you prefer.  (I like my carrots with a little bite in them.  If you like your carrots soft then you can boil and prepare them before you begin the other steps.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the carrots are cooking, add your pea layer on top of the crumble layer.  Add as much salt and pepper as you'd like to the peas as well (since the ingredients are in layers they have to be seasoned separately).

Once the carrots are as tender as you prefer, pour them on top of the peas.

I added some butter on top of the carrots at this point.

Scoop the mashed potatoes on top of the carrots and spread over the whole pie (disturbing the veggies as little as possible).  I put some butter on top of the mashed potatoes as well.  Just call me Paula Deen.

Cover the pie with aluminum foil, but leave a little space between the foil and the potatoes so they don't stick.  Cook for 20 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes.

I enjoyed mine with a slice of toasted soft oatmeal bread and a "pint."

Happy Friday!  Happy Pi Day!  And happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!

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