I rarely make meat dishes, since I live alone and they require so much time (and money!). I also try to limit my meat consumption in general, since it's the eco-friendly (and animal-friendly) thing to do. Sometimes, though, I'm in the mood for comfort food - and a lot of comfort food is meat-based. What's a girl to do when she craves something warm and hearty, but there's no meat in the freezer?
Enter Veggie Shepherd's Pie. For me, it was a dish inspired by what was around the house....but it's totally flexible, and can incorporate anything you have in the pantry or freezer. I had a sweet potato that was a bit past it's prime, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, and a Gardenburger. You may have a regular old Idaho potato, corn on the cob, and some ground turkey instead - but go without fear, for the recipe will accommodate you!
(excuse the terrible picture - apartment lighting late at night doesn't make for a good shot!)
Veggie Shepherd's Pie
1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter or Smart Balance
1/2 cup mixed vegetables
1 Gardenburger (Boca crumbles or ground meat of any sort work)
salt & pepper to taste, plus cayenne or garlic if you'd like
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place peeled, cubed sweet potato into a pot filled with cold water. Bring water to a boil, and boil until the potato cubes fall off the fork when you pierce them. Drain, and put potatoes into a mixing bowl with milk and Smart Balance. Mix with hand mixer on low speed, or with potato masher or fork, until you have mashed sweet potatoes of your desired consistency. Set aside.
Heat mixed vegetables in microwave as directed on package, and cook Gardenburger in skillet as directed. Crumble Gardenburger, and mix in vegetables.
Fill two ramekins halfway with mixed vegetable/Gardenburger mixture. Top with mashed sweet potatoes.
Place ramekins into oven and bake for 20 minutes, until potato starts to brown on top. Allow to cool a bit, then serve!
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