Angela Liddon's Shepherd's Pie


One of my friends gave me the cookbook Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon for my last birthday. Oh how I love cookbooks. It's been years since I've bought one, I was a little addicted to collecting them at one time. I'm going to make the exception this year and buy Lauren Toyota's Cookbook Vegan Comfort ClassicsMany of her recipes I use on a regular basis. The very first recipe I decided to try from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook was her Shepherds Pie because I just didn't have a real good recipe for Shepherds Pie. I've tried many recipes on line and they weren't that good but this one is defiantly a winner!!!!  I did make some changes.....for the seasonings I used 1/2 tsp less of the dry seasonings and I use 2 seasonings she did not use. I also added more green beans to the frozen vegetables. The important change I made was making instead mashed potatoes rather than making mashed potatoes from scratch next following paragraph  explains why.....

The first time I made this recipe it turned out perfect, I used instant mashed potatoes instead of using her recipe to make mashed potatoes from scratch.  The second time I made it I was out of instant mashed potato mix so I made it from scratch using Angela's recipe and it was a disaster. Once the Sheppard's Pie was cooked the mashed potato topping was so dry, it ruined the whole dish...grrr. The liquid measurements were WAY too low. So please just use instant, this recipe does take extra time to make, so take some short cuts and its not only quicker you will end up with prefect mashed potatoes every time. 

She does suggest making her own Cozy Gravy to go with it but seriously who has the time. Mashed potatoes by hand, the Sheppard pie filling and making homemade gravy wow I'm retired and even I don't have time to do all of that.. I don't even think I like anyone enough to do that much work...lol. 

The following was written by Angela  Liddon........"This is one of those special occasion recipes that requires a bit more prep time than usual. But its so worth it when you are feeding a crowd or just want a special Sunday night dinner with your family. It's bursting wit bursting with the rustic and comforting flavors of rosemary and thyme. The red wine give it a sophisticated flavor but feel free to swap out the wine with more broth if you like to avoid adding alcohol. Using Using bags of frozen veggies is my little secret here, it saves a ton of time and prep work!"  



Mash Potato Topping:

instant mash potato mix
vegan milk

Final Topping (optional)

ketchup
vegan gravy

Filling:

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
2 heaping Tbsp garlic, grated
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups frozen, mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas & green beans)*
2 Tbsp potato starch
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup red wine 
1/4 tsp red pepper chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils*

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a casserole dish. Cook mashed potatoes as directed on package. Once cooked put aside. Cook the lentils. Meanwhile in a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and a couple pinches of salt. Stir to combine and saute until onions are softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic the last minute. Add the mushrooms, stir and increase the heat to medium high. Saute until much of the liquid released by the mushrooms has cooked off 10 to 13 minutes. (This is important, as it ensure the filling won't be too watery.)

Add the bag of frozen vegetables (no need to thaw beforehand) and saute for a few minutes, until heated through. Stir in the potato starch until combined. Add broth and wine and stir to combine. Simmer the mixture over medium to high heat until it thickens slightly. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, marjoram, thyme, basil and lentils. Saute for a couple of minutes longer. 

Spoon the filling into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Using a spoon (and a lightly oiled had, if necessary) spread the potatoes out over the filling in an even layer. Sprinkle some paprika oven the top of the mashed potatoes. 

Bake for about 25 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil for 4 to 7 minutes, until bubbling around the edges. Watch closely to avoid burning. Serve with vegan gravy which is Angela Liddon's choice, ketchup is my husbands and I thinks its just great on its own. Keeps in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

Notes:

*To cooked lentils add 3/4 cup rinsed lentils and 1 1/2 cups water to a pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat to a gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubbles and some slight movement of the lentils. Cook, uncovered for 20 minutes or until tender. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.

* I used 1 cup frozen veggies (carrots, peas & corn) & 1 cup frozen green beans.

*The original recipes seasoning mix was 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried and 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried.

Cranberry Slaw

This would be a great side dish for your Christmas meal.... the red from the cranberries and green from the kale are the perfect colors for the season. You can also bring it to potlucks since it doesn't get soggy. It's no secret that I love crunchy food including coleslaw so I'm always looking for ways to change it up. Recently, I came up this cranberry slaw. It's really quick for me to make, since I always have Fresh's Restaurants House Dressing made and ready to go in my fridge. There are so many great salad/slaw mixes in your product section now! So try them out and see which one you like best. I usually use Mann's Power Blend salad/slaw mix. 

slaw mix (I use store bought)
green kale, chopped 
cranberries

I don't use ingredients amounts, its just made according to taste. Add slaw mix to a large bowl then add some dressing, kale and cranberries

Asian Tempeh





When I was around 19 years (wow that was 35 years ago). I discovered tempeh at my local health food store. My favorite way to have it back then was as follows..... After boiling the tempeh, I would let it cool then I would cut the tempeh in half. Then I'd cut those 2 rectangle shaped pieces in half so I would have 4 pieces. Finally, I would hold steady a piece of tempeh with the palm of my hand and with a knife, slice through it like I was splitting open a bagel. I used to just let those thin pieces of tempeh sit in a soy sauce based marinade, in a seal container, in the fridge. Then whenever I felt like having some I would put a piece or two in a frying pan. Once it was fairly cooked on both sides, I would add a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of it. I was just a vegetarian back then now I would only eat vegan cheese. I'd put a lid on the frying pan and wait till the cheese melted. This dish reminds me of those days. 

This great recipe comes from The Holistic Chef I reduced the ginger to 1/2 teaspoon from 1 teaspoon because I thought that amount would over power the other flavors. Added some chili paste. Even though in my picture of Asian Tempeh the tempeh pieces are fairly large, I now cut them much smaller so they absorb more of the marinade. I didn't bother with putting them on skewers to pan fry them. I served them on rice and garnished it with thinly sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. The morning after trying this recipe I woke up feeling sad because I had no leftovers to look forward to.  


1 package tempeh (250g)*
3 Tbsp olive oil 

Marinade:

1/4 cup tamari
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp garlic, grated
1/2 tsp ginger juice or ginger, grated
1 tsp chili paste (I use sambal oelek, add more to taste to make it spicy)

toasted sesame seeds (garnish)
green onions, chopped (garnish)


Add unwrapped tempeh to a boiling pot of water. Reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Then allow to cool. Meanwhile make marinade.

In a small bowl, mix marinade ingredients together, set aside. Cut cooled tempeh into small 1/4 inch cubes. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side, turning over with tongs.

Pour marinade into frying pan, lower heat and simmer, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning tempeh occasionally so that they soak up the marinade evenly. (The marinade will thicken as it simmers). Remove from heat and plate over rice. Drizzle remaining liquid over tempeh. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Good for 1 1/2 weeks in refrigerator.

* The reason you should steam or boil pre-packaged tempeh before using it is it helps to remove some of its slightly bitter flavor. Secondly, it helps to soften and moisten it. And finally, cooking it first relaxes the tempeh so it accepts more of the flavors you mix it with, especially when marinating.



Variations:


Hawaiian style - Add 1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice to marinade along 

                        with 1/2 tsp lemon zest.  

Thai style -        Add 2 teaspoons chopped lemongrass to marinade. 

Bacon flavor -    Add a little Worcestershire sauce (vegan & gluten free) and                                                    smoky paprika powder.
 
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