Monday, November 26, 2012

Vegan Shepherd's Pie, Take Two

I was supposed to work at the hospital on Saturday, but with it being a holiday week, the patient census was low on the surgical unit and the charge nurse called early in the morning to say I could stay home.  Yay for not having to work on Saturday! 

With nine hours of time on hand that I did not expect to have, I shopped for lights and ornaments, decorated the Christmas (er, non-denominational holiday) tree, chopped veggies for a shepherd's pie and then cozied up with Steve to continue the Twin Peaks marathon that's been happening here since Steve brought home the complete series on DVD from the library on Monday or Tuesday.  After three episodes from season two, I was finally able to break away from the TV and start putting together the layers of the shepherd's pie. 

We had an unopened package of mushrooms, about a third of a pound of haricots verts that I didn't throw in the oven on Thursday and a cup or so of chopped carrots that I ended up leaving out of the stuffing, plus about four cups of leftover mashed potatoes.  With everything chopped ahead of time (I had some time on my hands earlier this afternoon when Steve made a trip to the store), putting this together was as simple as:

Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup diced haricots verts
1 cup diced carrots
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper
8 oz package of mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1-2 tsp sage
4 cups mashed potatoes
1 tbsp Earth Balance, shaved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat vegetable broth in a wide saucepan over medium heat.  Add green beans, carrots, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and cook until vegetables have softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease an 8x8" or 9x9" casserole dish and set aside.  Add salt, pepper and sage to mushrooms and stir well to combine.  Add breadcrumbs and stir well. 

Pour mushroom mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish and smooth out into an even layer.  Add green bean and carrot mixture and smooth out into another even layer.  Top with an even layer of mashed potatoes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, remove from oven.  Smooth shaved Earth Balance over the top until it melts.  Place back in the oven and bake 10 more minutes or until a crust has begun to form on top of the mashed potatoes.
Delicious.  Like with the stuffing, the sage made all the difference in the layer of mushrooms.  To my surprise, Steve ate more of this than I did!  No words of praise say as much as him eating more than me of anything!

Enjoy (or endure) your first day back to work if you had a nice, long weekend.  Spend judiciously online if you must.  Maybe I'll see some of you this evening at 701 Whaley?

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