Fork Over Knives is written by Del Sroufe; with desserts by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and with receipe contributions by Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright and Darshana Thacker. Photography is by Cara Howe. Released in 2012 and published by Monica Beach Enterprises LLC.
Like so many around our globe, the traditional meat-based Shepherd’s Pie was a family favourite. It’s a perfect dish to enjoy once summer’s heat has backed off and autumn is winking hello.
But Now, It’s Time For Something New
My friends, if you’re looking for a delicious plant-based Shepherd’s Pie then I think this recipe could be the one for you.
Historically, I do my large meal cooking on Sundays after I’ve spent some weekend time purchasing any recipe specific ingredients. This week I decided I would do the cooking Friday evening, making good use of some excess work-week energy. Shortly after I began, I found myself gently relaxing into the mincing, chopping, and stirring. Friday night cooking may become a thing in my home.
Cost. Appeal. Accessibility.
Given the increased cost of living these days we need to be more conscious than ever of how much every thing costs, including our food purchases.
For me, recipes need to appeal to my personal taste, be easily understood, and the ingredients must be readily accessible from any standard grocery store.
Found on pages 260-261, this recipe has a The Potato Layer, The Mushroom and Gravy Layer, and The Tomato Layer.
The mashed Potato Layer is the starting point. Unsweetened plain almond milk replaces regular cow milk, and rather than boiling the potatoes in plain water, the potatoes are boiled in vegetable stock and minced garlic. The combination of vegetable stock and minced garlic is important because this potato liquid will be used for the mushroom and gravy.
The Mushroom and Gravy Layer was my favourite to make. Ingredients include cremini mushrooms, thyme, tarragon, low-sodium soy sauce, and 100% pure maple syrup.
I made two substitutions in this layer. The first was 3 tbsps of red grape juice (no sugar added). I wasn’t able to find red grape juice so I used white wine. The other ingredient was a 1/4 cup of rice flour. Due to time restraints I wasn’t able to get to the store I needed to in order to purchase the rice flour. I used flour I already had in my pantry, Sprouted Buckwheat Flour.
The third layer, which will be the bottom layer is named the Tomato Layer. I’m inclined to call it the vegetable layer as the recipe calls for crushed canned tomatoes blended with more minced garlic, chopping carrots, cauliflower and green beans.
Due to the high cost of fresh cauliflower (which is my preference for cauliflower) and the fact that we do not like green beans, I opted to use a combination of frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans. The price of a head of cauliflower was C$4.99. The bag of frozen veggies, C$2.00. The mixed veggies were heated up in the microwave for a few minutes and then spread out over paper towels to absorb any excess liquid.
The author provides tips at the end of the recipe, one of which advises us that the tomato layer must be thick, or the potato layer will sink into the dish. My potato layer didn’t sink into the dish. But, my mushroom and gravy layer did overflow into the potato layer. The recipe called for 4 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. After spreading out the potato layer I immediately thought that maybe a bit more potato was needed. I don’t think it would have hurt, and perhaps then the mushroom and gravy layer wouldn’t have overflowed.
I taste tested the finished pie during the cool down. I thought it tasted okay. We enjoyed it for Sunday lunch and I am very happy to tell you that the dish is flipping fantastic.
Would I make this dish again? DEFINITELY!
Happy Cooking My Friends!