Vegan Comfort Food

When the cold winter winds are whirling around outside, sitting inside with a steaming bowl of Shepard’s pie seems like heaven on earth! This meal is not gluten free, but sure to please our Vegan readers. One things is for sure   . . .  your belly will be warm.

We suggest you cook the *Filling first and store in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to really meld. Remove the next day and allow it to come to room temperature while you prepare the crust and potato topping. Put together, bake and warm up!

 

 Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

*Filling Ingredients:

Try to use organic ingredients and filtered water whenever possible!

3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (warmed)

1/4 cup dried porcine mushrooms

2 medium carrots diced

2 medium potatoes diced

2 small stalks celery chopped

1/4 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

1 large Portobello mushroom or 2.5 cups sliced Crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 medium onion chopped

5 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 Tbs. canola or olive oil

1 Tbs. dried rosemary

1 tsp sea salt (can use less if using salted broth)

1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbs. organic flour (you can also use oats ground finely in the coffee grinder or organic white flour)

Filling Cooking Instructions: Pour the hot vegetable broth over the dried porcini mushrooms in your main large pot. Let steep for five minutes.  Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes and bring to a boil with medium heat.  Add a few tablespoons of temperate water to the flour, and stir to make a paste.  Then add to the pot, stirring until dissolved.  Turn heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions and garlic cloves in oil in a medium pan on medium heat for approximately ten minutes.

Add the Portobello and black pepper.

Add the rosemary (crush it with your fingers as you drop it into the pan).

Stir frequently and continue sautéing until the onions are soft and transparent.

Add the onion/mushroom mixture to the vegetable stock pot.

Add peas, corn and salt. Simmer for fifteen minutes or until the broth is thick. If you like the texture of the dried mushrooms, cut them up into smaller pieces and put them back in. Otherwise you can remove and discard them.

Crust:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp sea salt  (gray sea salt for extra minerals!)

1/3 cup canola oil left in freezer for at least an hour

3 Tbs. ice cold water

2 sheets of wax or parchment paper

Rolling pin

For the crust: Measure out the water and add a few ice cubes to keep it really cold.  Mix flour & salt in a medium sized bowl.  Pour the oil (fresh from the freezer) in and use a fork to roughly blend.  Do not blend too much; you want more of a crumbly mixture.  Add a tablespoon of ice water and blend with fork.  Continue adding the rest of the water by tablespoons and blending. Form a ball with the dough.  If it doesn’t hold together add a bit more ice water.  Knead the dough a few times.  Place your ball on one of the pieces of wax paper.  Put the other piece of wax paper on top and then use the rolling pin to roll it between the sheets of paper.  Work quickly and don’t overdo it. You want the fats to stay solid and not melt until they make it into the oven.  This is what produces a flaky pie crust!

Make a 9″ circle, approximately 1″ bigger circumference than your pie pan. Carefully peel off the top piece of wax, flip the crust onto the pie pan and press inside.  Now carefully peel off the remaining piece of wax.

Fill the pie crust with the filling.  Cover and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Put another cookie sheet underneath just in case it spills over.

Potato Topping Ingredients:

2 large potatoes whole, boiled until soft

1 large clove garlic pressed (or finely chopped)

2 Tbs. coconut oil (odorless)

1/2 cup organic almond milk

1/8 tsp. sea salt (Gray or Himalayan for minerals)

Potato Topping Instructions:

Take your large potatoes and mash them in a bowl with a mixer, potato masher or a fork.  Add butter, plain almond milk, garlic, and a pinch of salt and mix to a creamy consistency.

After thirty minutes take the pie out of the oven.  Remove the foil and carefully cover the top of your pie with the mashed potatoes.  Distribute it evenly over the pie.  Place the pie in the broiler part of the oven for ten minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.  Let cool for ten minutes and serve!

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