Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vegan Shepherd's Pie


I never made a SHEPHERD'S PIE before, vegan or otherwise, but somehow I got it into my head yesterday that I wanted some. I consulted my Fannie Farmer cookbook to see what was in it normally, and then I just substituted what I wanted to use instead. One member of the family remembered it from cafeteria lunches as having a layer of corn under the potatoes, so you could do that if you wanted to, but it's not what I did. This didn't take long to make, but I had all the required ingredients on hand.

Most problematic for those of you without a constant supply of soy pulp from making soy milk every few days would be the soysage, which is made with the left over soy pulp. I was thinking it could also be made with partially cooked beans, though I haven't tried that yet. I was picturing soaking and cooking some beans for about half an hour, then grinding them in a food processor, before using them in the soysage recipe.

The recipe for soysage is in The Farm Cookbook. If I make it with beans someday, I will post it here. After seasoning and adding filler to the soy pulp, you stuff it in oiled cans, cover them with foil, and pressure cook them for thirty minutes, or steam them for an hour and a half. The soysages slide right out of the can and can be sliced and fried, or used in the following recipe.Perhaps a commercial substitute could be found for the ground up protein layer of this meal, but I will leave that to you to figure out.

To make VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scrub, partially peel, and cut up five medium potatoes. I peeled off the particularly dirty areas or where there were bad spots, but I left some of the skin on for its nutritional value. You can do what you like. I used a mixture of white, red and gold potatoes. Cook them for about twenty minutes or so, or until soft, in four cups of water with a sprinkle of salt.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop up one medium onion and five cloves of garlic. In a large bowl mash up three cups of soysage and one half pound of tempeh with a potato masher, and add in a large teaspoon of ground up rosemary, as I don't think anyone wants any twigs in their mouth. I used my small nut and coffee grinder to do that.

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil, and add four tablespoons of whole wheat flour, though any kind of flour would probably work. Let the flour cook a minute until it loses its raw taste, and then slowly mix in a cup of water to which is added a tablespoon of tamari, using a whisk to stir the forming gravy. It doesn't take long to thicken up. If you are using a base that isn't already seasoned, like the soysage is, then you will want to add more salt and pepper to taste.

Throw in the onion, the garlic, and then the soysage mix. Fannie Farmer would have you grinding all these ingredients together through a food mill, but just mix it together in the pan, cooking it for a few minutes.

Oil a casserole and press the soysage mix down flat in one layer.

Mash the potatoes while they are still hot, reserving the water for future soup stock or bread baking. I used some Smart Balance organic butter substitute, some soymilk, tamari and nutritional yeast in mine. Press the mashed potatoes over the soysage layer, using a fork to leave a pattern on top.

Bake for forty-five minutes. Bake some sweet potatoes at the same time. Serve with dark greens. The family all seemed to like this vegan shepherd's pie pretty well, though Harry objected to the tempeh.

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