Category Archives: potato

Shepherd’s Pie with a Gluten-free, Vegetarian Twist

I admit it…I have never had shepherd’s pie with meat in it. It never really looked that appealing to me. But once I became a vegetarian, I loved the idea of veggies with mashed potatoes in a pie form. We used to use vegetarian burger crumbles for the bottom, you know the ones I’m talking about. It looks somewhat like hamburger and tastes meaty and chewy. But since those are made of wheat gluten, that was put on the do-not-eat list years ago. What now? I make it frequently with Quorn tenders and it is quite good, but still not what I remember.

Shepherd’s Pie right out of the oven, yum!

Enter Amy’s Bistro Burgers, which are gluten free and vegetarian. Crumble them up and it’s the closest you can get to the texture of meat on the bottom. And before I get letters and comments, let me just say that I am not a big fan of trying to recreate meat in a vegetarian way. I just love the texture of something firm and chewy on the bottom of this type of pie and veggies just don’t get it. This seems to do the trick, and the entire pie was gone in two days (Mom came over and had dinner) including breakfast. Yum. Try it with your favorite veggies, although these work just fine for us. Use fresh veggies as much as you can, it’s just so much better.

Chock full of veggies, crumbles and potatoes
Veggie, GF Shepherd’s Pie

4 Amy’s Bistro Burger Patties, thawed and crumbled
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
salt/pepper
pinch of cumin

2 cups of fresh green beans, cleaned and chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 TBS wheat-free tamari

2 cups mashed potatoes (homemade or store-bought)
1 TBS butter
salt/pepper/olive oil

1. Heat oven to 375
2. Saute onion till soft in a small bit of olive oil and salt.
3. Add burger crumbles, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Cook till browned.
4. Pour burger mixture into the bottom of a sprayed 9×9 glass baking dish.
5. Add green beans and 4 TBS water to the same pan (no need to clean it) and cover for about 5 minutes or until the water is steamed and beans are cooked slightly.
6. Add 1 Tbs olive oil and corn. (if corn is frozen, let it cook for a bit before going on to next step)
7. Add Tamari and let cook without stirring for a few minutes to let the veggies caramelize.
8. Spread veggie layer over burger layer in baking dish.
9. Prepare mashed potatoes the way you usually do. I used a fresh kind from Costco and just microwave it for a few minutes, then add a TBS of butter, salt and pepper.
10. Cover top of pie evenly with mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.
11. Broil for 10 minutes under low to brown the top. Watch carefully, all ovens are different.
12. Let sit for a minute and serve.

Enjoy!

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Filed under corn, gluten free, green beans, potato, shepherd's pie, vegan

Sweet African Veggies


This recipe comes from my good friend, Ross. He brought it to a geography class and I fell in love with it. I hope I’ve followed his recipe. If not, it’s still great either way. This takes a little time to make, but most of the time is spent simmering and it’s not hands-on, leaving you to do other things… read, watch TV, play a game of backgammon, clean the kitchen, etc. I’ll leave it up to you. But be warned, you won’t be able to stop eating it when it’s done. But it’s low in calories, so eat up!

Sweet African Veggies
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ head large cauliflower, chopped
½ head large cabbage, chopped
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 Tbs olive oil
salt/pepper
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground paprika
¼ cup water

1. Cook onions in a large sauté pan in 1 Tbs olive oil until soft.
2. Add cabbage and stir. The pan will be full, but the cabbage will cook down. Cover and let the cabbage cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Add all other ingredients to pan, stir, and cover. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes and cauliflower are soft.

It’s that simple, but oh so delish! You can serve this alongside a main dish. For instance, we had a Moroccan Chickpea Stew with this the first time and it was wonderful. If you eat meat, it works with that too.
Enjoy!

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Filed under cabbage, cauliflower, gluten free, potato, vegetarian

Moroccan Chickpea Stew


It’s time to study Africa during our World Geography class. I’ve been having a blast researching and teaching the class, and this week we’re in Africa. I decided to try and cook something for class tomorrow and this is what I came up with after research on the Internet. Of course, I’ve been making something like this for years, but I’m trying to be authentic and use the spices and ingredients that are most prevalent in Africa. Of course, Africa is a huge place and there are many cultures and dishes. It’s not easy trying to find something to represent a continent-sort of like trying to find a food to represent Asia. Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian….you get the point.

But I decided to go with the Moroccan Chickpea Stew I found, and believe it or not I’m trying to make injera, which is the answer to bread using teff flour (which happens to be gluten free, but we’ll get into that later.) I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow (it has to ferment overnight). First-the stew.

Rather than cook slowly most of the day on the stove, I opted for the crockpot, although I know that is probably not an ancient cooking process for Morrocans. But let’s assume it is now, OK? Ingredients are all optional, add or replace anything you are not fond of. It tastes great and I’m not sure I can wait until tomorrow to eat it. I hope the kids like it…

Moroccan Chickpea Stew
3 cans chickpeas
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 medium potato, diced
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chopped garlic

1. Saute onion for a few minutes with a little olive oil to soften.

2. Pour all ingredients into the crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours (6-8 on medium).

3. Test for doneness of the potatoes and then make sure you don’t need more salt. Done.

4. Since peanuts are popular and often-used, I’ve garnished mine with a few warm peanuts.

It’s that simple. The crunchiness of the garbanzos gives it so much depth, yet the sweetness of the yams is just heavenly. Go easy on the spices until you know for sure how much you like (and since I’m making this for the class, I want to be sure not to blow away the kids with too much spice.) I prefer to let the vegetables take over, rather than the spices anyway. I love the tartness of the tomatoes and the firmness of the white potatoes (which were not in the original recipe, but I had one around).

I don’t drain the beans and that, along with the tomatoes, should be enough liquid. You should have enough to cover all ingredients, but if you don’t-use a little veggie broth or water.

I’m making the injera tomorrow and that is typically used to scoop up the stew and soak in the food, instead of using a spoon. That’s why you want the stew to be thick, not soupy. But if you like yours soupy, by all means add more broth. The best part of all this is that the entire stew is gluten free. And much of the food that I found for this lesson was gluten free. Wheat is not common on the continent, as far as I can see (we’ll talk about htat tomorrow). And luckily, there are many vegetarian dishes to make.

Variations-add chopped kale, spinach or chard for color and texture. I’ve also heard that okra is a common veggie used so give that a try if you can find it. You can also add some cayenne pepper to give it a little kick, or add more of the spices to make it stronger. It’s all up to you, Dear Chef.

Enjoy!

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Filed under garbanzos, lentils, potato, stew, sweet potato, tomatoes

A New Twist on an Old Classic

After a great visit to New Orleans, it’s nice to be home again. I made the spaghetti frittata while I was there, and it was yummy. Everyone ate it all up. There was one piece left the next morning and Daughter and I decided to share it. But we mistakenly took the cocktail sauce instead of the marinara sauce from my sister’s fridge and smothered it before noticing. Hmmm, not a great combo. But luckily there wasn’t that much left, although I hated not to eat it. I just couldn’t.

So now that we’re back, Daughter and I are making the most of the Quorn Chicken Tenders. It’s basically like the Quorn roast, but small chicken-like chunks. They are wonderful. We found them in the Whole Foods in New Orleans and ate them for lunch twice. Tonight, we decided to try a Shepard’s pie with them. What a great idea! For this one, I used cauliflower, baby zucchini and Quorn tenders, topped off with mashed potatoes of course. We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole pie, it was that good. This picture doesn’t do it justice. We took a quick shot before devouring it. But trust me, it rocks. Give it a try.

Shepard’s Pie with a Quorn Twist
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 bag of Quorn Tenders
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried basil
salt/pepper to taste
4-5 baby zucchini, sliced
1 cup chopped cauliflower
2 cups mashed potatoes

This one is easy and quick, but the flavors are so great.
1. Add frozen Quorn to a hot pan with olive oil. Add garlic powder, basil, pinch of salt and pepper to tenders and let them brown slightly.
2. Place zucchini and cauliflower in a separate glass bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes until tender.
3. Add veggies to the tenders in the saute pan and mix.

4. Spray a tart pan with nonstick olive oil spray. Add Quorn mixture to bottom of pan and spread out to cover.
5. Add mashed potatoes on top of Quorn mixture and spread out evenly to the edges. You can use leftover mashed potatoes, make your own, or even use pre-made. For a quick dinner, I don’t mind pre-made mashed potatoes.
6. Since everything is already cooked, you really don’t need to heat for long. If the potatoes are cold, put into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. You may need to put it on broil for a few minutes to brown up the top. If the potatoes are warm, just place your pie under the broiler for about five minutes to brown up the top.
7. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool, then serve.

Enjoy!

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Filed under cauliflower, gluten free, potato, Quorn, shepherd's pie, zucchini

Skillet Breakfast for Two


Daughter and I love going out for breakfast, but that can get a little expensive after too many. U.S. Egg in Scottsdale has a great skillet breakfast with potatoes, veggies, cheese and scrambled eggs. This morning I realized I had a baked potato left over and thought, why not make our own? Well, it was awesome, and way better than the restaurant version. Of course, Daughter likes the yellow carrots in the restaurant version, and I had no yellow or orange carrots, so I almost made it perfect in her eyes. Well, can’t win them all. It was still great and she ate most of it.

Skillet Breakfast for Two
1 cold baked potato, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup cheese (we like a lot, but you could easily do this with half that much)
1 egg
1 eggwhite

1. Put 1/2 the olive oil into a saute pan and cook potatoes until crispy brown. Add a little salt if desired.
2. When potatoes are done, place them on a plate and add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and add the veggies.
3. Stir fry for a few minutes, then cover and cook until broccoli is desired consistency and mushrooms are browned.
4. Add potatoes back into pan with veggies and mix.
5. Whisk egg and eggwhite in a small bowl with salt and pepper.
6. In a separate small pan, scramble egg until desired doneness (as you can see, we like ours well done)
7. Turn off the heat and add 1/3 cheese to the top of the eggs and cover to melt.
8. Add 2/3 cheese to the top of the potato mixture, then add the egg on top. Viola! Breakfast.


This is a photo of the mixture before the cheese and egg. At this point, you could add a little cumin, red pepper flakes and paprika and have a wonderful, spicy breakfast. I just love doing this, but Daughter doesn’t like spicy food, so we made the less intimidating version today. Try them both.

Enjoy! This is definitely enough for two people, or even three, but we were very hungry.

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Filed under breakfast, broccoli, cheese, eggs, gluten free, potato, spinach, vegetarian