We have been trying to integrate a few vegan meals into our routine each week. It’s surprisingly difficult to find recipes that have ZERO animal products but we enjoy the challenge. This Shepherd’s Pie turned out delicious thanks to cooking prowess of my wife! Nikki created the meal and photographed her cooking journey and I was the taste tester. Rough life.
Topping (acts like a pie crust):
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 cup bulgur (or I used barley as a substitute)
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried rosemary leaves or 1tbsp fresh
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
8 oz cermini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable stock
¼ cup tomato paste
1. Topping: Cook sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. Mash, salt, and set aside.
2. Pie: If using bulgur, add to the boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes until absorbed. I used a cup of barley, added it to a pan of 2 cups boiling water on the stove and let it simmer lightly for roughly 20 minutes.
3. In a skillet, heat pan and oil then soften the onions, carrots, parsnips for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and peppercorns. Stir, toss in mushrooms, add the flour, stir for a minute. Pour in the vegetable stock and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Transfer skillet contents to slow cooker.
4. Stir in soaked bulgur/barley to vegetable mixture. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the pie ingredients. Cover the slow cooker with two folded tea towels to absorb moisture. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3.5-4 hours, until vegetables are tender.
*Option: If you want to add cheese (vegan or regular) you can pour a cup of shredded cheese of choice over the meal at the end. Turn cooker to high for 15 minutes to melt the cheese.