Tag Archives: potatoes

Guest Post: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

IMG_3122_edit_resize

I’d like you all to say a big hello to Richard! He is Amber’s husband, now a good dude friend to both REB and me, and he also happens to be a fantastic cook.

richard2_crop

Something Amber and I started last year was A&A Night where we would get together once a week because both our hubby’s were busy studying with schoolwork or had class. Sometimes I would cook and sometimes she would, but most of the time Richard would step up and cook for us. And I am grateful that he does! A recipe of his that I have enjoyed on more than one occasion is his vegetarian shepherd’s pie. It’s time the world know the secrets behind his delicious recipe. I asked Richard to share this recipe on my blog in a guest post and he happily agreed to write it. I hope Richard will come back and share more recipes on the blog, but for today here’s his herbivore-friendly shepherd’s pie!

Thanks Aparna! Before I started living with my future wife in 2007, microwaving a burrito or making boxed mac and cheese was the extent of my cooking expertise. This suited me just fine when I was single because I’m very lazy and cooking real food seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. When I moved in with Amber she was a student and since I had no job and wasn’t in school yet, cooking duties defaulted to me and my microwave classics were no longer sufficient. My creations in those early days weren’t always nice to look at or particularly edible, but I slowly learned a thing or two and figured out how to make pretty decent food.

IMG_3093_edit_resize

Fast forward to 2014 and I still do all the cooking. Amber and I have been married for almost six years and she’s been a vegetarian slightly longer than that. I’m not a vegetarian, but making a meat and non-meat version of dinner each night sounded like a bummer so our dinners are straight up vegetarian. This has forced me to be more creative and try new things because it’s easy for me to make an awesome meat dish, but an amazing vegetarian dish takes a bit more effort and finesse.

IMG_3120_edit_resize

I rarely follow a recipe when I cook. I tend to get inspiration from a recipe and then make my own version of it which often leads to multiple variations of a particular dish as I tweak things here and there to perfect it or change certain ingredients. My shepherd’s pie is a good example of this because it’s so easy to change what you use as the filling to keep yourself from getting bored with it. The version posted here uses frozen vegetables because it’s super easy and sometimes you just need a really easy dinner option.

Without further ado, Richard’s vegetarian shepherd’s pie:

IMG_3115_edit_resize

5.0 from 1 reviews

Guest Post: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
 
Simple dinner that’s pretty damn tasty.
Author:
Recipe type: vegetarian, main dish
Cuisine: vegetarian
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 4 medium potatoes (any will do, I used russet)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon sriracha (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • ½ tablespoon fresh garlic diced
  • 2 cups chopped mushroom (any variety)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1½ cup frozen peas
  • 1½ cup frozen carrots
  • 1 pound soy crumbles
Instructions
  1. Cut up potatoes into large chunks, place into a pot, and cover with water. Boil potatoes until soft, about 20 mins.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot over medium-low heat.
  3. Dice white onion and garlic, add to stock pot.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Once, onions begin to turn translucent (about 5 mins), add frozen corn, peas, and carrots.
  6. In a measuring cup or bowl combine vegetable stock, soy sauce, and sriracha. Whisk together and add to stock pot 5 minutes after frozen vegetables, bring to a simmer (don’t worry if it looks a little soupy, the soy crumbles will soak everything up).
  7. Chop mushrooms and add to stock pot along with soy crumbles.
  8. Allow mixture to heat through, add salt and pepper to taste, and then transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (or any suitable dish or dishes).
  9. Drain potatoes and place in large bowl, add butter and mash. Add milk and salt/garlic and mash some more.
  10. Distribute mashed potatoes evenly over filling and put the whole thing into the oven. After 30 minutes in the oven you’re ready to eat.

 

He’s being humble folks – he’s a great cook and this recipe is proof of that. Give it a try, you will love it! He is right though. You can totally alter the ingredients for the filling, or maybe even use mashed sweet potato for the topping if you want to get more fiber in there. But honestly, a bowl of this shepherd’s pie is totally perfect as is, especially during this Michigan Polar Vortext nonsense.

A big thank you to Richard! I hope you will return soon to share another tasty recipe!

 

Happy Birthday America!

Hello hello! I hope everyone had a really fun and safe Independence Day! We had a really fun time with our friends Amber and Richard; we invited them both over for some dinner. It all started with them bringing one of their dogs so Gryff could meet him. The four of us are renting a cottage in Northern Michigan for the last week of summer, so we thought it might be good for our dogs to meet and make sure they get along!

It should come as no surprise that Andy and Gryff got along wonderfully! Now we just need to have him meet Dex, the other pup, and we’ll be all set! Anyway, so we had them over for dinner and we bought a grill so we could grill up black bean burgers and corn! Mmmm grilled corn is probably one of my all time, favorite foods of summer! We ended the night with some vino, beers, sparklers, drunk “golfing” on the golf course, and watching stand up on Netflix!


So anyway, onto the other parts of our dinner. I wanted to make potato salad. I love potato salad, but I hate gloppy, disgusting mayonnaise-based potato salad. REB and I are not a pro-mayo household. It’s unhealthy, tastes like pure salt and has the texture of mucus. Sorry to anyone out there who has the Jones for it. Point blank: it ain’t our cup of tea. So I made my own version with a mustard vinaigrette.


Lookie how patriotic we are! It was REB’s idea to use the red, white and blue potatoes, too. Glad he decided to do that! I was going to be happy with just redskin potatoes.

Perfectly roasted and vinaigretted, this salad turned into a huge hit. We also have leftovers, which is good because any holiday food that is saved for the day after the holiday is always a good thing. Speaking of holidays, how many people thought Thursday felt like Monday again?? I had the hardest time getting my butt to work. It didn’t help that our power went out from a freak thunderstorm at 3 a.m., and I had shower and get ready in the dark thereby making myself look like the world’s hottest bag lady. Keep your hands off. I’m all REB’s! Poor guy.

I hate the humidity that comes with thunderstorms. It makes my cute blow-dried, straightened, Aveda’d hair turn into a frizzy ball of dry nast. Sexy, I know.

Heat and humidity aside, we had a fun July 4 and I hope the rest of you did too!

So, happy birthday America!! Here’s to you and your big 236! Can’t wait to celebrate again next year! :)

Roasted Potato Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: roasted potato salad, rosemary, mustard vinaigrette
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • POTATOES:
  • 2 pounds baby potatoes; half or quarter the bigger ones
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon French’s yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (3 stalks) celery, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, drizzled in
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Half or quarter the baby potatoes, leave the small ones alone, and spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer
  3. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary on the potatoes and coat well
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until slightly browned and fork tender
  5. Once the potatoes are done, let them cool completely for 15-20 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl combine the mustards, vinegar, celery, shallot, salt, pepper and stir. Then whisk in the olive oil until it’s smooth. Taste and add more pepper if you need more oomph.
  7. Transfer the potatoes from baking sheet to bowl and pour enough dressing over the top to coat well without being too heavy. Combine and give a potato a taste. You can add more dressing as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours so the flavors really sit. Enjoy!

How did you spend America’s Birthday?

Baked potato wedges


A very simple recipe and I’m sure most people can figure out how to do it. I thought I’d share how we make ‘em! Sure beats deep frying some potatoes for super oily, greasy french fries.

Here’s what you need:


•3-4 potatoes. We figured about 1 potato per person, but I love potatoes, soooo..really we split up 3-4 potatoes between us ;) Don’t worry, I worked it off after dinner (damn you, Jillian Michaels!)
•Cookie sheet
•Olive oil
•Sea salt

You’ll also need a potato brush.

A what?


This. Really, we just bought a soft-bristle brush to clean the potatoes. Any brush will do.

So first thing is preheat your oven to 350ºF


Clean the potatoes under cold water with the brush. You don’t want to scrub too hard to rub away the skin. Just get the dirt off of ‘em.


All clean! Clearly I rubbed too hard on some of them, but I guess really it’s OK ;-)



Cut the potatoes length-wise and then into wedges or strips.


Drizzle olive oil on them and some sea salt, then toss around. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, they should be fork tender. Turn the broil on and stick them under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until they turn crispy and delicious.

You can add some seasoning salt right when they come out of the oven, or keep it simple with salt and pepper.

The last time we made these, we actually sprinkled rosemary and olive oil on them and baked them off that way. They were soooo good! You could also mince some garlic and do Parmesan cheese and garlic or something. The possibilities are endless! What I do know is that they’re delicious and definitely a better option than deep frying in oil. Enjoy!