Warm up from the cold with a hot and healthy meal. This shepherd’s pie stuffed with veggies will warm your insides and make you forget it’s freezing outside.
By Kirsten Johnson
With the recent frigid temperatures, the struggle to stay warm is real. This vegetarian shepherd’s pie will warm you from the inside out. It’s easy to make, will make your house smell amazing and will be hot and on the table in an hour or less.
You can take some help from the store and use all frozen vegetables or mix and match with what you already have on hand. This time I used frozen mixed veggies and fresh mushrooms, onion and garlic. Some people panic when they hear the word “vegan,” a diet that excludes animal products of any kind, versus “vegetarian,” a diet that includes dairy and eggs but no meat or fish. Never fear! This recipe can easily be made vegan and will taste just as delicious.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
½ cup plain Greek yogurt or nondairy Greek yogurt
¼ cup butter or olive oil + 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup diced onion
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme, or other herbs you have on hand
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, or 4 cups fresh diced vegetables
16 ounce sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour (use gluten-free all-purpose flour if necessarily)
½ cup red wine, optional
2 cup vegetarian broth
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes, place in a pot and fill with water until the potatoes are covered by 1-2 inches. Boil them until you can easily pierce with a fork and they crumble a bit. You can get started on the filling while they boil away. When they are ready, drain, mash and mix in yogurt and butter or oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a skillet, make the veggie mixture. I use my cast iron skillet because it can go directly into the oven. One less dish!
Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until they begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking until it becomes fragrant. Add frozen vegetables and cook for a few minutes, until they seem thawed. Add whole sprigs of herbs and mushrooms and cook down until water from the vegetables or mushrooms is cooked off.
Add tomato paste and flour and stir. Pour in the wine, if using, and scrape off any browned bits that may be on the bottom of the skillet. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes so the alcohol can cook off. Slowly add the broth, stirring until a gravy starts to form, and season with salt and pepper. Continue stirring and letting it bubble over low heat until it is thickened to your liking.
Remove the herbs. If not using an oven-safe skillet or pan, pour into a casserole dish. Spread the mashed potatoes on the top. Optional: Brush a little melted butter or oil on top. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, then broil on high for a few minutes to brown the top a bit.
Keep a close eye on it – you don’t want to burn your masterpiece now!
Kirsten Johnson moved to Metro Detroit 10 years ago and launched her personal chef business, Fresh Chef Detroit, three years later. She cooks for individuals and families throughout the metro area, including weekly personal chef services, dinner parties, small events and private dinner services. She also is available as a chef for those in Detroit for work, including business travelers, actors and other performers, as well as accompanying clients on their travels. While she cooks anything and everything from around the globe, she specializes in vegetarian, vegan and restricted diets. Find her on Facebook or Instagram @freshchefdetroit to check out what she’s cooking up for people this week.
See more recipes from Kirsten: