Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Black Bean Shepherd's Pie and a New Addition to the J&B Household

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Black Bean Shepherd's Pie and a New Addition to the J&B Household

Yes, um, I actually made this quite some time ago, but seeing as I've been afflicted with that horrible Lazy Syndrome, I'm only getting around to it now. Many, many moons ago, Jessy from the oh so awesome blog, Happy Vegan Face, posted about a Shepherd's Pie recipe she had made.

I'd never had Shepherd's Pie before vegetarian or otherwise, but who doesn't like mashed potatoes, veggies, and beans? Why not put them together? I know! Great idea! So I decided to make up my own recipe based on what I had around and it was pretty darn good. I think I'm going to try using green lentils in place of beans next time I make this.

Black Bean Shepherd's Pie

The Taters:
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (leave the skins on for some excellent fiber!)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup milk
2-3 tbsp butter or Earth Balance
1/2 cup gouda or non-dairy cheese shreds

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes and garlic. Boil until potatoes are tender and drain.

Combine all the ingredients with a mixer or potato masher, seasoning with salt to taste.

Rest of the Stuff:
2 tbsp safflower oil
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup sweet corn
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups black beans

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the veggies and cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Add the tomato sauce and black beans and cook until heated through.

In an 8x8 pan, spread the bean/veggie mixture and top with the potatoes.

Place, uncovered, in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until top is nice and golden.


Yum, just posting about it makes me want this again, it was hearty, filling, and super tasty. I just wish I had had some green beans or peas to add to the mix. Or broccoli like Jessy used. Mmmmmm, green veggies...

So, in some exciting but completely off topic news - Brett and I are getting ready to welcome a new addition to our home.

A couple of weeks ago, Brett and I went to St. Louis for the weekend to celebrate (belatedly) the holidays with my parents and brothers. I met my first little nephew - Gabriel - and he seemed as scared of me as I was of him. Perhaps when he is older we will both be more comfortable...

Anyway, while we were up there, my parents took our Cocker Spaniel, Sadie, to the vet to have something checked out. While there, they discovered that a kitty had been found very sick in a trash can and was brought to the vet by a daughter of one of the nurses who found him. He was this tiny little orange puff ball who was scared, thin, malnourished, and in need of love and food. Stacey fell in love but was torn - she might have an infant in the house soon and a little kitty and babies don't usually mix. But the kitty was so sweet and unless someone took him, he would be taken to an animal shelter and likely put down because he was a runt and they couldn't guarantee his long-term health. So she asked Brett and I if we might want to take him.

Now, as a little aside, I would love to take ALL animals in need of a home. But we cannot. We live in an apartment and are limited in both funds and space, so we can only have so many critters and still be able to provide a good home with plenty of love. There is a shelter here in Columbia called Second Chance. They don't have a facility, rather, all the animals are put in "foster homes" where they live until they are either adopted or, well, they've lived out their days. They are no-kill. I think this is one of the most amazing organizations I've heard of and I would love to be able to help foster one days.

Anyway, back on topic. While we can't have all the animals that need a home, the more I got to thinking about it, the more it seemed like we had more than enough room for another kitty. I spoke to Brett about it and he agreed that we could go see the kitty at the vet. He knew (as I did) that as soon as he agreed to go see it, we were going to be adopting the cat, whether it had three legs and one eye, it didn't matter, we were going to give this unwanted kitty a home.

So we went to the vet and the nurse brought out this tiny orange fluff ball. He is so cute! He was very shy but took to me instantly. He let me love on him and didn't cower as he usually did. He was just the sweetest little thing. We decided we would call him Peanut Butter (we will call him Butters for short, like South Park :-)) and that he would definitely be welcome in our home.

Since he was so thin and was having some problems with his kidneys, they kept him at the vet to fatten him up and get his insides working a little better. Oh, and they are also going to fix him. EEEEEEK! Word from the vet is that he is really coming out of his shell and is starting to play a lot. They think he is 10-11 months old. He will be ready to come home on Saturday and my parents will be bringing him down. We can't wait!

Except...we have to introduce a new cat into our home and though I've only had to do it once before, it was not fun and was quite a stressful time. So while we are looking forward to him coming home, we are not looking forward to the introduction process. Yuk.

Anyway, that's about all the news I have for now. I'll get some pictures of Butters this weekend and post them for all to see.

'Til next time.


SusanB said...

Hi, Happy New Year. This recipe looks good. I've never made or been too attracted to regular shepherd's pie but this one I think I'll try.
I thought of you this holiday while we were in Illinois stocking up on spicy mexican peppers.

Anonymous said...

Yum--I am glad that shepherd's pie was not another teaser...that photo looks amazingly delicious!

Awwww...good luck with Peanut Butter. I am sure he will thrive and do great with you and Brett :-)


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

that's great that you decided to adopt Butters! And I love the name. Good luck with the intros!

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Anonymous said...

Most of the comments didn't seem to be about the pie, but I made it and wanted to say it's awesome, and here are some modifications I made:

- too much filling for my pie pans, so I had to mash up some sweet potatoes to make extra topping. I kid you not: I liked them better! A lovely discovery. Used the same method as the white potatoes, with softened garlic and some cheese shreds.

- For sauce I used a small jar of something by Goya called Sofrito that had been sitting in my cabinet for months. It was SO tasty! It's a tomato cooking base for lots of Dominican and Puerto Rican dishes. I get the impression you could use any kind of tomato sauce and get interesting results with all of them.

Awesome recipe, loving it.

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