No meat, No wheat

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Shepherd’s Pie

 

Shepherd's pie

 

This is a dish my children really enjoy. The original with meat and potatoes, that is. They’d be happy to eat mashed potatoes any day!  Who wouldn’t?!  As I was preparing the family’s meal before our recent Yom Kippur fast, my husband asked his usual question: “what are you going to eat?” I blurted out the answer-Shepherd’s Pie before I even stopped to consider that I had no idea how to make a vegan version nor had I ever seen or eaten one. I just imagined it would be hearty and satisfying. Turns out I was right. Searching online, I found several varieties, but nothing I wanted to make.  Rather than rely on lentils-which seemed to be fairly standard in the recipes I surveyed, I decided to use mashed beans-a variety of them-to form the typical meat layer. I also combined the beans with veggie broth, seasonings, chopped sautéed portobello mushrooms, and a bag of thawed mixed veggies, making the bottom layer especially hearty.  You only need one can of beans per pie, but since I decided to use a mixture of beans, I wound up with enough filling for three delicious shepherd’s pies. The top layer, the mashed potatoes are made all the more yummy with the addition of sautéed onions and thinly sliced garlic cloves, but if you’re not a fan of these, feel free to leave them out. Your pie will be delicious anyway. My kids loved this dish. I’m very glad I made and froze extra for Sukkot. I made it happily through 25 hours of fasting, and credit the fact that I ate half of one of these very delicious, very filling and nutritious shepherd’s pies for not being starved.  Looking forward to eating this again for Sukkot! Have a good Yuntif! Betayavon!

Ingredients

  • canned beans, drained, rinsed and mashed -I used a can of pinto beans, a can of light red kidney beans, and a can of black eyed peas, which is why I wound up with three of these beauties!
  • mushrooms, portobello or regular button mushrooms, chopped small
  • olive oil, 1 teaspoon
  • veggie broth, 1/8 to 1/4 cup, depending on how thick the mixture is
  • no stick spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bag of frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • other seasonings of your choice-a dash of thyme, chili powder, whatever you like
  • potatoes-five medium, peeled, cubed, boiled, drained, and mashed
  • Smart Balance Margarine, 1 Tablespoon, optional
  • Coconut, almond, or cashew milk, 1-2 Tablespoons, optional
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped fine

Shepherd's pie

Supplies

  • pie plate, square, or oval glass or ceramic pan
  • potato peeler
  • pot and lid for boiling potatoes
  • pan for sautéing mushrooms, beans, and veggie combo
  • knife and cutting board
  • colander for draining and rinsing beans and for draining boiled potatoes
  • measuring cup
  • potato masher for beans and potatoes
  • spoon for stirring
  • bowls for potatoes and beans

Instructions

Peel potatoes, cube and place in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover potatoes halfway with water, cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower light and simmer until fork pierces the potatoes easily. Remove from heat and drain in colander. Mash them immediately, adding salt and pepper to taste. You may add some vegan margarine-I used a tablespoon of Smart Balance to make them a little creamier. You can opt to add some coconut, almond, or cashew milk if you want, but I didn’t bother. If you like mashed potatoes with something extra, try sautéing onions and garlic and adding them to the potatoes as you mash them.                                                                                                                                     Time now to spray your glass or ceramic pie plates, open the can of beans, drain and rinse beans with cold water. Mash the beans, mixing them all together with any seasonings you’d like, whether using one type or using multiple varieties of beans, as I did. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir. Add the bag of thawed mixed vegetables. Finally, when the mushrooms have released their liquid, add the mashed beans into the pan with the mushrooms and mixed veggies. Add the veggie broth. If this mixture seems too stiff to stir, thin with a bit more veggie broth, but add that slowly, so you don’t thin the bean layer too much. No need for cooking here, as you will place in the oven later, you just want to combine the mushrooms, veggies, beans, seasonings you want, and veggie broth. Time to press the bean mixture into the bottom of your sprayed pie plate or pan. Top with the mashed potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven 25-35 mins, just until potatoes start to brown. Looks and smells wonderful

shep pie bean veggie layer

Press the beans, veggies, and mushrooms into the pie plate

shep pie, mashed pot

Top with mashed potatoes

shep pie

A real winner

sheps pie

Enjoy!

Bread Again; makes one very dense loaf

Bread for Shabbos Gluten free bread runs a wide gamut. I buy one of the popular commercially prepared brand in my supermarket’s frozen food section for an occasional sandwich or when I’m craving stuffing.  But delicious full flavored whole grain bread doesn’t really seem to exist for gluten free bread lovers like me. So I admit I was in intrigued by a recipe for a Life Changing Loaf of Bread that I read online, published by Sarah Britton under the title, mynewroots.org.  How could a loaf of bread change your life? Other than giving me back bread I can really enjoy, that is.  So while the title alone hooked me, more importantly, I had the ingredients on hand, and many times that’s all I need to create something new. This turns out to be an easy bread to prepare. I made only minor alterations, and found using the food processor cut down on the amount of preparation and clean up.  A word of caution: similar to making traditional yeasted bread, this loaf requires time for rising, or in this case, resting. I allowed two hours but you could allow more time if you’ve got it.  So if pressed for time, consider starting the bread the night before and then baking the next day.  I found this recipe was definitely worth making, as it yielded  a hearty multi grain loaf that encapsulates everything  I’ve ever enjoyed about bread: heavy, light, sweet, salty, and every manner of goodness and whole grain chewiness.  This is what I’d been missing since going wheat free-an explosion of nuts and seeds in each bite, a bread with texture and flavor. So for now, I have my favorite bread, at least until something else comes along to take it’s place. Bread should not be something that we have to do without just because we can’t eat gluten, and this bread is living proof. Finally, I’ve found bread worth making and bread worth eating.  A very dense loaf that requires flipping halfway through the baking process in order to cook thoroughly, this loaf is equal parts moist and dry, nutty and sweet, chewy and multi-textured, satisfying and filling. It was an incredible Shabbos treat this week that I enjoyed again and again: with a thin smear of avocado; a dollop of humous; a layer of almond butter, thin apple slices, and cinnamon.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found this.  I’m sure I’ll refer to this recipe often. I’m just sorry I forgot to snap a picture. Thank God: Bread Again, makes one big loaf Ingredients

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed meal                                         making bread
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
  • 1+ 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 T  chia seeds
  • 4 T psyllium seek husks
  • 1 t  grain sea salt
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 3 T  melted coconut oil
  • 1+1/2 cup water

Supplies

  • Food Processor
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spoon for stirring and spatula
  • Loaf pan

Directions Using the bottom blade of your food processor,  grind whole almonds into small pieces, but not uniform in size. Add sunflower, flax, psyllium and chia seeds. Add the salt, and oats.  Remove food processor from base, remove bottom blade, and add the maple syrup that has been whisked together with the water and coconut oil.  Mix until very thick, adding water by teaspoonfuls if too thick to stir. Put mixture into loaf pan and pat down the top until it is smooth. Allow the loaf to sit for at least 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat the over to 350 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes, then remove bread from pan and place it upside down directly on oven rack, baking for another 30-40 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped. You should cool it completely before slicing.

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