Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I swear I have perfectly good reasons for neglecting my blog, namely midterms and a trip to San Diego, which I promise to blog about once I catch up.

I had been eyeing various Shepherd's Pie recipes for a little while when I found this vegetarian one. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with my stomach, and I made this on the day that a front blew through, bringing with it a sharp temperature drop and rain. My one aversion to vegetarian dishes is that they often don't seem to stick to your ribs quite as much as meals with meat do, but this is a major exception. This had a great earthy flavor from the eggplant, and the cumin and curry flavors were a hit with Joe. It also made delicious leftovers.

Also, I have now been convinced of the wonder of the eggplant. I usually avoided it due to too many bad experiences with greasy, floppy eggplant parmesan, but now I think I'll use it more often as a substitute for meat in meals like this. Next time, depending on what I have in the refrigerator, I may add mushrooms to this. They would go perfectly.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
source: Cheap Healthy Good

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 small red or green bell peppers, chopped
3 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (This turned out to be about 3/4 of an eggplant for me.)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water (I used some chicken broth I had on hand, making this not vegetarian.)
1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes, halved
1/2 cup fat-free half and half (or skim milk)
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used some various assorted cheeses.)
1 pinch Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 Tb. oil; add onions, garlic, curry and cumin. Saute until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

2) Heat remaining oil in skillet; add peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Saute until soft, about 20 minutes. (It's a good idea to let a lot of the extra moisture evaporate - Kris.) Stir in onions. Place in a shallow 8-by-8- inch baking dish.

3) In a saucepan, boil potatoes until done. Drain and smash. Stir in half and half, peas, salt and pepper. Spread over vegetables and top with Parmesan.

4) Bake 15 minutes. Brown in broiler. Serve.


Cate said...

YUM. I've been making more and more vegetarian meals lately, so this is just my style!

That Girl said...

Don't tell anyone, but I've never had Shepherd's Pie before!

Lisa said...

That Girl - neither have I! Looks pretty good though. My husband is such a meat eater though I'd have to make the traditional version. I love the addition of the eggplant! It's similar to my twist on this week's Barefoot Bloggers.

Colleen said...

This looks like a great twist! I can see serving this as a side dish too, since my husband requests meat at every meal - lol.