The quickest, coziest dinner in town!
Click here for the full recipe and nutritional information.
The weather is finally getting cooler, and with that comes my busiest time of year. The autumn is just insanely busy for me. It’s cool enough for me to be able to do shows and festivals to sell Molly Rose Balms, and I’m currently in the process of preparing for Christmas. By the time dinner rolls around, I’ve already been working a good ten to twelve hours, and I want something easy, quick, and cozy. That’s where my shepherdess pie comes in. It takes less than a half an hour from prep to table. So let’s not waste any more time and get cookin’!
The first thing you need to do is boil some water. Simple enough, right? This is going to be for your TVP (textured vegetable protein) as well as the mashed potato topping. First, the TVP: available in any health aisle of your grocery store, it’s a delicious, fat-free, high-protein meat substitute. You need about a cup of dry TVP in a bowl with enough room to double in size. Cover with your boiling water and allow to expand while you make the rest of the pie.
For the mashed potatoes, I’m keeping it super quick and easy, so I’m using boxed potato flakes. You can of course prepare freshly made mashed potatoes. Mine are just flakes, boiling water, and black pepper. I don’t feel the need for vegan butter and/or salt because I find the filling flavorful enough, but you can season them however you like. It’s also a great idea to add nutritional yeast for flavor and a hint of color.
Now for the filling. Add a generous tablespoon (probably closer to a tablespoon and a half) of Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base and about a cup of water to a medium saucepan, along with a tablespoon of cornstarch and a teaspoon of dried thyme. Whisk over medium-high heat until the gravy starts to simmer and thicken.
Stir in about a pound of any mixed frozen vegetables you like (I prefer this blend of peas, carrots, corn, green beans, and lima beans) and the TVP, along with any extra soaking liquid. Stir and heat over medium-low heat until the vegetables are heated through.
Pour the filling into the bakeware of your choice. I like to make these individual-sized pies, and this is enough filling and potatoes for three. It’s also enough for one 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
Top with the mashed potatoes, giving them lots of peaks and rough texture to brown in the oven. You can also top this with some vegan cheese, but I’m not really partial to that. At this point, you could eat it as is. Everything’s hot, and you’re hungry. But to get the most enjoyment out of it, I broil mine until the potato gets a little color, about 10 minutes. Since we didn’t add any fat to the potatoes, you might want to give them a quick shot of cooking spray to help the color along.
And that’s it! This is a ridiculously easy and delicious recipe, cozy and filling, perfect for the busy months ahead. I hope you give this one a try, and if you do, please tell me what you think!
Easy Shepherdess Pie | Printable Version
Makes 3 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 c dry textured vegetable protein (TVP)
1 ⅓ c potato flakes (+ 2 c boiling water)
½ t black pepper
1 T nutritional yeast (optional)
1T reduced-sodium Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
2 T cornstarch
1 t dried or 1 T fresh thyme
1 c water
16 oz mixed frozen vegetables
Cooking spray (optional)
- In a medium bowl, cover TVP with boiling water and allow to expand for at least 5 minutes. In a separate medium bowl, combine potato flakes, boiling water, pepper, and nutritional yeast.
- In a medium saucepan, combine vegetable base, cornstarch, thyme, and water. Whisk over medium-high heat until thickened. Stir in vegetables and TVP (including any extra soaking liquid) and heat until simmering.
- Pour filling in a single 8”x8” or individual baking dishes and top with potatoes. Coat potatoes in cooking spray, if desired. Broil for 10 minutes or until potatoes start to brown.