Influenced by Jenna’s decision to cut meat way down from her diet, I’ve been cooking a lot more meatless meals in the past month. It hasn’t been hard since we were both vegetarians for so long and I probably have a database of recipes, if only in my head. This vegetarian shepherd’s pie, which is also vegan, is super filling, flavorful and makes a nice hearty, well rounded meal served with a salad.
Mushroom & Root Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie (serves 4-6)
1/4 ounce packet of dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks
2 turnips, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, or whatever you have on hand)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup rice flour
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour one cup of boiling water over them. Let the mushrooms rehydrate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the button mushrooms and garlic and cook over medium-high heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring often. The mushrooms should start to shrink and brown lightly. When this happens, add the parsnips, turnips and fresh herbs. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the dried porcini mushrooms from the liquid, squeezing out as much as you can and reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the dried mushrooms roughly and add them to the skillet along with the tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is well distributed, then add the mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a boil, then add the beans and vegetable broth. Return to the boil, then stir in the rice flour, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. Boil for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and the liquid starts to thicken. Add additional rice flour if the liquid appears to need more thickening. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the mixture into a glass pie dish, or another baking dish of similar volume. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top, then bake for at least 25 minutes. The filling should start to bubble until the potatoes, and the potatoes should begin to brown lightly. Serve immediately.