So recently I've become what I call a "soft vegetarian," in that I'm no longer cooking meat for myself, though I won't turn away dishes that other people make. Since I cook 90% of my meals for myself, this is part of my continuing quest to become less of a fat, disgusting lump.
I've got a semiregular tradition of posting recipes on this blog, because I don't buy it when people claim they can't cook. Cooking is easy - you just need to follow the instructions...and I'm here to spoon-feed them to you! It's fun, it's relaxing, and it's often more cost-effective than ordering in/eating out. You just have to believe in yourself!
So tonight, spoon on the self-confidence by cooking this delicious and healthy vegetarian shepherd's pie with avocado mashed potato topping (mmmm)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 1 oz flour
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup cream (more if thinner consistency is desired)
- 1 ground bay leaf
- 5 - 6 medium potatoes, more if desires
- 1 fresh avocado
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Whatever vegetables you want! Tonight, I used:
- 1 large stalk celery
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 can of mixed vegetables
- 1 can of mushrooms (a must)
- 1 large stalk celery
Dice the onions and toss it in a pan to sauté, along with the garlic - heat (stirring occasionally with a spoon) until translucent. If you're using raw carrots, like I did, you may want to boil them for a little bit to soften them up.
While the onions are sautéeing (or beforehand, even!), you'll want to get started on the potatoes. If you have your own way of making mashed potatoes, go ahead with that. My method is to cut the potatoes into large chunks and boil them in water for fifteen minutes, then mash them with a large fork or spoon, adding about a tablespoon of butter and enough milk that they're smooth without being liquidy. After you've prepared the potatoes, peel and pit the avocado and mash it in with the potatoes - again, using a large fork or spoon.
While the potatoes are still boiling though, before you've gotten to the mashing stage, the onions will likely have turned translucent, so you'll want to move to the next steps with those. First, fold in flour and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon. Reduce the heat and then slowly add the wine and the cream. Definitely use cream for this, not milk - it'll be very thin if you use milk.
After this, add all the vegetables (chopped up, of course!), the crushed bay leaf, and any other spices you wish to include (I threw in some basil and red pepper flakes). Simmer for a few minutes while you finish preparing the potatoes.
Now that you've got both fronts of this battle all ready, you'll want to great a baking dish and then spoon the vegetable mixture into it. After this, spread the avocado mashed potatoes over top, using a large spoon to smooth them out. You can see from the photos that my potato layer barely covers the whole thing - I clearly should have made more!
Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and stick this sucker inside for about 30 minutes. If you're feeling decadent, pull it out after 25 and sprinkle some cheese on top, then replace for the remaining 5, or until the edges start to brown.
There you go - a fresh new take on an ol' English classic, and it's pretty healthy to boot, for all intents and purposes. Whether you scarf it up with a fork or a spoon is up to you!
Glitter and kisses,
~Princess Grr the Magical Baking Girl~