This recipe was a hit with the whole family (mostly) so I wanted to share it here, ladies and gentlemen! I say "mostly" because Rosie took four or five bites of it happily, then went to picking the peas out and eating them. She's in this picky toddler phase where food textures are EVERYTHING. If you have a little one, I'm sure you know what I mean.
This recipe comes from Michele Olivier's book, Little Foodie. It's designed for toddlers and their parents so that they can share meals. I simply swapped the ground turkey out for some Beyond Meat crumbles and used purple sweet potatoes on top. We don't typically use a lot of meat substitutes in our house because we'd prefer to eat whole foods, but every now and again, it's something different. I chose Beyond Meat because I don't want something soy-based; I don't want something that has tons of flour and gluten in it (filler); and I want something that gives you some protein. I think Beyond Meat products often taste better than their competitors too. My husband even raved that this shepherd's pie was the best shepherd's pie he'd had in a while! I'll take that compliment :-)
As far as the purple sweet potatoes go, we got them from our local farmer's market; I'd never used them before in cooking. I don't think they are as sweet as your typical sweet potato, but it was a nice cross between sweet potato and regular potato -- a little earthy and nutty, but not overpowering.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Purple Sweet Potatoes
Lightly adapted from Michele Olivier
2 large purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 garlic cloves (2 whole, one minced)
2 T. olive oil
1 package of Beyond Meat Crumbles
I package of pre-diced onion, celery, and green pepper from the grocery store (to save time!)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c. peas, frozen then thawed
1 c. water
2 tsp. tomato paste
a pinch of dried thyme
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 c. non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 400°
Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 2" pieces and put into medium-sized pot. Fill with water until the potatoes are just covered. Add two cloves of garlic to water. Bring to boil and let cook for 20-25 or until potatoes are easily pricked with fork. Drain and let cool.
In large skillet over medium heat, add 1 T. of oil and cook the crumbles until browned, roughly 10 minutes. (I've heard that browning "fake meat" is good for the flavor of your dish -- don't just mix it in cold.) Remove crumbles from skillet and let them cool on separate plate.
Add the rest of the olive oil to skillet and cook onion mixture for 3 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add in carrots and cook for another 10 minutes. Add peas, water, and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper, allspice, chili powder, and thyme. Simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes on low heat.
In medium bowl, take the sweet potato chunks and mix them well with milk.
Using individual ramekins or pie dish, layer the crumble/veggie mixture on the bottom followed by the mashed sweet potatoes on top.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Enjoy, my loves! Cheers!