I Heart Sheep

20 Mar

I dedicate this post to my friend Mel… she eats more Shepherd’s Pie than anyone I have ever (and will ever) met in life… EVER!

The reason why is not important, what is important is that I am amused by this fact – which I am 🙂

I’ve never had Shepherd’s Pie before so this is a whole new experience for me. I looked at the ingredients in the recipe and it sounded like a manly dinner made prissy by tossing it into a casserole dish.

I’m sold.

This is an artist's rendition of me dressed as Little Bo Peep 😉 Get it? She lost her sheep.... shepherd's pie... a person who tends to sheep?

No sheep were harmed in the making of this recipe, but plenty of dishes were dirtied because of my disorganization and lack of preparation. This meal will become a weekend make ahead meal from now on (if it tastes good).

Shepherd’s Pie (recipe adapted from The Engine 2 Diet)

6 small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (unsweetened)

16 oz green beans or peas, fresh or frozen

2 small onions, diced

1 pkg (10 oz) mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced whoops – I knew I forgot something

1 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups beef flavored tvp crumbles (recipe follows)

  • Preheat oven to 400*F.
  • Steam potatoes until soft, approximately 15 minutes. Drain and mash along with milk and pepper.
  • Steam green beans or peas for 7 minutes or until bright green and firm.
  • Saute onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms begin to release their juices.Add Bragg Liquid Aminos, tomato paste, and pepper.
  • Add onions to beef crumbles and combine thoroughly. Spread along the bottom of a casserole dish.
  • Top beef crumbles with green beans. Spread potatoes over top.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until potatoes begin to brown.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Well Wheatgrass and Sassafras isn’t supposed to be about my cooking triumphs it is  supposed to be chronicling my vegan journey but I haven’t posted any of the hiccups I’ve experience along the way – what kind of chronicle is that?

In the spirit of honesty I must tell you that some things I make sound really gross, look really gross, or taste really gross.

Mostly, even the gross sounding or looking meals I’ve made have been really tasty.

I bring you… Beef Flavored TVP Crumbles.

They sound gross and look gross.

Do you even know what TVP is? It is textured vegetable protein… YUCK! It is a meat analogue made from reduced-fat soy flour… EEWWWW! It is a good source of protein and essential amino acids… YAY!

This is what it looks like once liquid has been added.

Why would anyone voluntarily eat this? I have no clue, I guess some people just love Shepherd’s Pie.

The fact of the matter is that although TVP looks and sounds nasty it actually tastes pretty good. I’ve used it to make bacon bits that are seriously addictive and taco meat for tacos of course and nachos and taco salad.

My favorite part of my vegan journey is trying to recreate omnivore foods without the use of animal product. It’s simply amazing how many recipes there are for everyday “omni” foods like chicken, yogurt, scrambled eggs, ice cream, etc.

Sometimes I really hate what I’ve made (i.e. grilled cheese) but more often than no I am completely surprised over how delicious a recipe can be (i.e. vegan crab cakes).

So if you are scared to try this recipe because you are unfamiliar with TVP just try it… chances are there is TVP (aka TSP – textured soy protein) in that veggie burger you are chowing down on right now.

Beef Flavored TVP Crumbles (adapted from The Happy Herbivore)

2 cups water

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp + 2 Tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, divided

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

2 cups TVP

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp steak sauce

  • Combine water, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and spices; bring  to a boil.  Once boiling combine with TVP. Once reconstituted stir in 2 Tbsp Worcestershire and steak sauce.
  • Use with Shepherd’s pie recipe above.

I was writing this post while the Shepherd’s Pie was cooking. I couldn’t wait for it to be done so I could gobble it up.

This was the expected outcome

Photo Courtesy of Engine 2 Diet

This was the actual outcome

Oh well, I guess I wasn’t meant to like Shepherd’s Pie or maybe I jinked myself by letting you know I’ve had some kitchen disasters. Either way, I would  guess that the recipe is just fine (or it wouldn’t have been published and served to E2 Immersion participants) so my experience shouldn’t discourage you. In fact, try it and let me know how it comes out.

~ Happy & Healthy Eating

Note: If you don’t want to make your own beef crumbles you can by them in the grocery store or substitute lentils.


2 Responses to “I Heart Sheep”

  1. Catherine March 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

    I Heart the actual over the expected. It looks yummy. Is it?

    • Wheatgrass & Sassafras March 20, 2012 at 9:26 PM #

      I didn’t really like it but it wasn’t bad, just not my cup of tea… Like oatmeal 🙂

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