Vegan Shepard’s Pie

In college, I studied abroad in Ireland and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I talked about my time there so much that when I got married, my husband wanted to go too! So, I found myself back in Ireland for the second time, but this time, I was vegan. We found some great places and definitely did not go hungry.

For this Saint Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take us back to our honeymoon, and to Ireland. I love hearty dishes like this that are great right out of the oven and even better as leftovers.

Don’t skip the step of making the mashed potatoes from scratch, literally just as easy as the boxed stuff but a million times better!

I always top my Shepard’s pie with way too much gravy. I actually found a powdered brown gravy in my local Irish goods shop; it’s perfect. I add mushrooms and some liquid smoke and it’s delish!

Vegan Shepard’s Pie

  • 1 cup dried black lentils
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 ounce mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can peas, drained
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup plant milk
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  1. Cook 1 cup lentils according to package directions, adding 1/2 yellow onion to the water for flavor while cooking.
  2. While lentils are cooking, add potatoes to large pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until smooth. Add in plant milk, salt, and 1 tbsp butter and continue mashing. It takes a couple minutes, but it’s worth it!
  3. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  4. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp vegan butter until melted and sizzling. Add in carrots, 1/2 yellow onion, and celery with a pinch or two of salt. Saute until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Add in mushrooms and garlic. Saute until mushrooms cook down and start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add in cooked lentils and can of peas. Turn off heat and stir through.
  5. In a large casserole dish, pour the vegetables and spread evenly in dish. Add the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables, using a large spoon or spatula to spread in an even layer on top. Use a fork to create a design on top of the potatoes.
  6. Place the casserole dish in the oven for 20 minutes. Then, turn the broiler on and broil for 8-10 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes brown on top. Serve with your favorite vegan gravy!

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Want to impress your significant other with a dinner that looks super fancy but is actually mostly hands off and super easy to make? Of course you do!

Most of the work in this dish is the prep work- peeling, soaking, roasting. Then, while it’s20190207_175005 all in the oven, you can spend more time chatting and drinking wine. My favorite kinds of meals!

I made this meal with some farro I had in my pantry- I just cooked it according to the package directions and added in some salt and pepper and washed and dried beet leaves to wilt. You could make rice, barley, quinoa, whatever you have on hand will be perfect! 

What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You could also use sliced acorn squash, sliced sweet potatoes, or any other root vegetable that you like!

So, get the peeler out, crank the oven, and pop open that bottle of wine.

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Cashew Cheese Sauce

  • 4 red beets, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 4 golden beets, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 6 large carrots, peeled, and sliced into equal size pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • pinch each of salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cup cooked grain (rice, farro, barley, quinoa) seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups washed and dried beet leaves, chopped 
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place golden beets and carrots onto 2/3 of large baking sheet. Arrange red beets on the remaining edge of the baking sheet so they don’t turn the other vegetables red while baking. Drizzle oil over the vegetables and sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, flipping once after 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put cashews, parsley, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper into a high powered blender. Blitz until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Once the grain of choice is cooked and seasoned, add in the chopped beet leaves so they can wilt in the warm grains.
  4. Once the vegetables are finished, spread the cashew cheese sauce on the bottom of the plate, then add the grains and beet leaves in the center. Place the roasted veggies around the grains to make an instagram worthy plate! 20190210_181410

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

It’s freezing and below zero across most of the country today, so I needed a dinner that was going to warm us up! It also helped that I had a snow day today!

Snow days are just as exciting for teachers as you remember they were when you were a kid. Except, maybe even more because coffee and daytime TV! This meal reminds me of a meal my mom used to make too, so it was definitely appropriate for a snow day.

Stuffed cabbages are easy, tasty, and with the addition of tempeh, so filling too. It does take a minute to get it all set up and ready to go, but I list some tricks to make it a little faster and easier throughout the process.

However, if you are short on time, or just a little lazy (that’s okay!) there’s a great shortcut to this meal. Skip steaming the cabbage leaves and finely chop the cabbage instead. Add the cabbage to the pot when you add the onion, then following the recipe as stated. Put the entire mixture into the baking pan, pouring the tomato sauce all over the pan before baking. Call it a “stuffed” cabbage casserole!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, 4 servings

  • 1 large green head cabbage
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 package tempeh 
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomato, no salt added, drained 
  • 3 cups cooked barley
  • 3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 large can (28 ounce) crushed tomato 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Carefully remove the largest layers of cabbage leaves in whole pieces, I got 9 from my 3-ish pound head of cabbage. Steam the leaves in a large covered pot with a steamer rack for about 10 minutes. When the leaves are soft, remove and use the same steamer pot and rack to steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Steaming tempeh allows flavors to soak in better later in the recipe. Remove tempeh, allow to cool for a minute or two, and chop finely.
  2. Saute onion with a little water over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tempeh, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Stir and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the drained diced tomatoes, stir, and turn off heat.
  3. Mix together tempeh mixture and barley in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  4. Place all of the cabbage leaves on flat area with rib side down. I put all the cabbage leaves out at one time so I can get an equal amount of filling in each one without wasting any of that delicious filling. Fill the cabbage leaves with an equal amount (about 1/3 cup) of filling in each one. Roll up each leaf around the stuffing, tucking in the sides as you roll. I don’t stress about perfection here, this is a dish best served a little messy, so just go for it! Place the stuffed cabbage rolls into a glass baking pan, seam side down. Repeat the process until all leaves are stuffed and rolled.
  5. In a bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, and cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cook for an hour, or until soft and tender. Serve immediately.