Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with meat, but this version is kinder to the animals and to your health. Rustic and satisfying, with a flavorful vegetable filling topped with creamy potatoes mashed with heart-healthy olive oil, Good Shepherd’s Pie is a nourishing one-dish meal that will stick to your ribs but not your arteries.
8 cups chopped potatoes
3 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut butter or olive oil
Freshly-ground black pepper
8 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/4 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups crumbled tempeh (a fermented soy product)
2 teaspoons good-quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 1/4 tablespoons dried
1/3 cup filtered water
4 cups sliced button or cremini mushrooms
2 cups peas (thaw, if using frozen)
1 1/2 cups carrots, quartered lengthwise, then cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with a few inches of filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soft enough to mash with the back of a fork (about 20 minutes).
3. Drain off the hot water. Mash potatoes and add 3 tablespoons of coconut butter or olive oil. Blend with a food processor or mixer until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the onions and stir occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add the tempeh and a pinch or two of sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until browning nicely. Add soy sauce, thyme, and a pinch of black pepper and continue to stir and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until well browned. Remove from heat, transfer to a glass casserole dish, and set aside.
5. Pour 1/3 cup filtered water into the skillet and return to the heat to deglaze by rubbing the good stuff off of the pan and into the cooking water with a wooden spoon or spatula.
6. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining 2 1/4 cups of onion. Cook for about 7 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are soft.
7. Add the mushrooms and stir, seasoning with some salt. Cook for 8 minutes, until the mushrooms are savory and soft. Add mushroom mixture to tempeh mixture, then add the peas and carrots and stir to thoroughly mix. Dollop the mashed potatoes evenly over the vegetables and smooth to cover.
8. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the mashed potatoes are golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Adapted from The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Renee Loux. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006).