Archive for March, 2012

Veg Shepard’s Pie

I did some experimenting this weekend. I attempted a vegetarian shepard’s pie, with out fake meat. I’m not against fake meat entirely, but in baked or long cooking dishes, it never seems to hold up, texture wise. So to substitute I used lentils and mushrooms to give this dish the hearty quality that is sometimes missing in a dinner made only of mashed potatoes and veg.

This was a full on experiment, no measuring, no timing, no over thinking. I have to say it’s pretty good. In the future I would maybe pre-cook the lentils.  I was worried about them getting to mushy in the oven and ended up with lentils that had a pretty substantial bite to them… not necessarily in a good way, but other than that i think it was a good first try.

Sort-of recipe:

Parsley Mashed potatoes:

  • 4 red skinned potatoes
  • minced garlic
  • margerine
  • fat-free half and half
  • lots of parsley
  • pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender,  mash with a small pat of the margerine, a splash of the half and half, one clove of minced garlic and LOTS of parsley. Add pepper to taste. Set aside

Filling (amounts are estimates):

  •  1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • teaspoon tomato paste
  • Veg. broth
  • fresh thyme
  • cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, garlic and carrot in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes to get soft, add the mushrooms and lentils. once the mushrooms cook down add the tomato paste, broth and a few springs of thyme and simmer until lentils are soft, add more liquid if needed.  once lentils are cooked, use corn starch to thicken sauce if needed and add peas. Assemble pie in oven safe dish filling first them add potatoes on top. Store, or bake in a 350 oven for about 20minutes or until top is golden brown.

When I make dishes like this is usually assemble them into single serve disposable mini-loaf pans then freeze a few for days when I don’t want to cook… not the most “green” thing, but i do what I can



Good Morning Muffins

I have a crazy week ahead of me. Not as crazy as last week, but crazy none the less. In an attempt to make it less crazy, today I made banana corn muffins that I could have for an easy breakfast this week.

The original recipe called for apple sauce, but I had some bananas that needed to be used to that was my first substitution, also I used maple syrup instead of agave, again because I didn’t have agave and added some dried cherries and walnuts that I had around and used less oil then the recipe called for.

I ended up cooking them for an extra 7 minutes, but that’s standard with the stove in my apartment.

Over all they came out quite nice, much less dense than other vegan baking I’ve experimented with, not overly sweet like a store bought muffin, though i think they might be bland if I had not added the cherries and nuts.

Ingredients for 12 muffins:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (actually used less)
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup walnuts

Pre-heat Oven to 325. gearse a muffin tin.
Combine all dry ingredients, then add wet. Stir until combined.

Transfer to muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes (original recipe said 15-20, but my oven tends to wary on the slow side)

Successful experiment!