According to Wikipedia, a Shepherdess Pie is the vegetarian version of the Shepherd’s Pie. The meat free version of this well known pie uses beans or soy crumbles to replace the meat, then encases the filling in a crust of mashed potato.
Now that you know what a Shepherdess Pie is, I’ll tell you how I came to make one. When my daughter asked me to make dinner for her grad school cohorts, I was more than happy to honor her request. Students are always on a tight budget, so I wanted a hearty meal that would stick to their ribs – Shepherd’s pie. While Lauren isn’t a strict vegetarian, she rarely eats meat, so I make sure there’s a dish on the table that pleases her palate. This recipe was perfect because I could easily add chicken to another casserole dish and turn it into a meat-eaters meal.
I decided to use kidney beans and mushrooms for Lauren’s pie. Then I topped it with mashed sweet potatoes to add a boost of flavor to compensate for the missing roasted meat. (I made a chicken and mashed Russet potato version for the meat eaters at the table, but since the vegetarian version is the star of this blog post, it’s not pictured.)
I would love to say that I took pictures of these amazing young people, but I was so interested in their lively conversation that disturbing the moment just didn’t seem right. However, so you can picture my amazing and beautiful daughter, below is one of my favorite pictures taken at a local library. I’m not in the least bit biased, am I!
Thank you for allowing me to share my fun evening with you, and the next time you’re in the mood for Shepherd’s Pie, give this version a try. It’s so hearty, you won’t miss the meat. Happy cooking!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 large carrot , chopped
- 2 cups green beans , cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 10 ounces mushroom , sliced
- 1 can low sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups sweet potato , cubed
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add oil.
- Add onion, celery and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender. Add water as needed to keep from scorching.
- In a large pan over medium heat, use a vegetable steamer to steam sweet potatoes until very tender. Mash with a fork and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add flour to vegetable broth and whisk to combine. Then add broth and remaining ingredients, EXCEPT mashed sweet potatoes to the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes to thicken broth.
- Pour vegetable mixture into a large square baking dish and spread mashed potatoes on top.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes to heat through.