Vegan Shepherds Pie with Kale Chips

If you’ve ever read this blog before, you know I’m no stranger to a Shepherds Pie. In fact, I’ve written three (count them 3!) different recipes that I’ve shared here. In my opinion, life doesn’t get much better than a great Shepherds Pie. Perfect for leftovers that need a new life,  and easier than, well, pie to manipulate for what you need, this Irish classic is a big favorite in our house, especially between the months of December and April.

Wilt in kale with vegetables as they cook

Earlier this year, when J and I first began eating a Pescetarian diet, I used my basic recipe and omitted the meat, added some extra vegetarian friendly ingredients, and had what appeared to be a perfect (and healthy) version. If my math is correct, and I did a lot of actual measuring (ha!) in this recipe, there are 167 calories** contained in 1/4 of this recipe (you know, enough for me but you’d need to double that for J.) Add in the kale chips I made as a side and you’re only MAYBE 93 calories. That’s such a low-calorie dinner that you can feel ok having the glass of red wine I did AND an extra square of dark chocolate. I mean…come one come all.

Naked Shepherds Pie bathed in the most delicious (and VEGAN) gravy.

The entire thing took me less than an hour from start to finish, and the real delay was mainly because I was busy trying to take less offensive photos and dilly dallying a bit.

Cooked Kale Chips (made with Lacinato Kale this time.)

You must try this. I insist. Especially all of you that are on or plan to be on the 22 day vegan challenge that Jay and Beyonce are making so au currant.

If you miss the meat, I promise I’ll send you something good. Or Santa will. Not sure how this works…

**These calculations are according to MyFitnessPal and may be only as precise as said app allows.

Vegan Shepherds Pie
1 TBSP olive oil
3 large Portabella caps, stems removed, cut into large chunks
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped into large chunks
1 C kale, stems removed, cut into thin strips
1 TBSP Herbs de Provence (or use a combo of oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme)
2 TBSP gluten free (or All Purpose) flour
1 C vegetable stock, divided
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1/2 TBSP coconut butter
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a very large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil.
Put mushrooms in skillet* and allow to cook down about 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms have darkened in color, and reduced in size. Add salt and pepper.
Add onion and garlic to pan, cook about 1 minute, adjusting heat if necessary.
Add fennel and cauliflower to pan, seasoning each layer as you go, and toss vegetables. Allow to cook about 3-4 minutes. Add kale, begin to wilt.
Season with more salt, pepper (as needed) and Herbs de Provence.

Add flour to pan, sprinkling over vegetables. Allow to cook 1 minute, until flour is just cooked out.
Add balsamic vinegar, cook 1 minute.
Turn heat to high, add 1/2 vegetable stock, and stir mixture constantly. (This will form the gravy.)
Allow mixture and sauce to come together, thickening. Add more stock if mixture gets too dry.

Reduce heat to simmer, and let sit.

While vegetables are cooking, add cubed sweet potato to small sauce pot, cover with cold water and lid. Bring to a boil, remove lid, and cook until potatoes are soft and a fork/knife can easily slip into potato.

Drain potatoes, return to pot, and set on the burner on simmer/low heat. Add remaining vegetable stock, coconut butter, salt and pepper to taste. Mash until well mixed, and then stir vigorously with wooden spoon.
Place vegetable mixture in the bottom of casserole dish. Cover with sweet potatoes, making sure to “seal” all edges with potatoes.
Bake in oven for approximately 12 minutes, then broil 5-6 minutes until top is golden brown and gravy is bubbling. Allow to rest 1-2 minutes then serve (alongside kale chips if desired.)
*When browning mushrooms, allow to brown fully before adding salt and pepper. It will allow the mushrooms to stay more firm and flavorful. Or so I’ve been told and thus do.
Kale Chips
1 1/2 C kale, removed from stem and chopped into large pieces
1 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If you’re making with Shepherd’s Pie, oven will be preheating already.)
Place kale on baking sheet, and toss with olive oil salt, and pepper.
Bake in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY as chips can go from perfect to burned and disintegrated in no time.

Remove from heat. Serve immediately.


Movin’ On Up…to St. Louis

by Jill Sites on December 17, 2013

Well, well, well. Look who’s back.

First things first? Hi and hello! Welcome to winter. Are you braising and making chili and eating all sorts of winter delights? Hope so.

Now, where the heck have I been and what the hell is going on? Well, lots of changes have happened in the Sites household in the last few months. After a hellish hospitalization in the fall, I have finally started to recover and move forward with (my now non-dairy) life. In and around all of that, I left the brewery…long story, and somewhat difficult for me, but luckily I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and started all over…again.

In searching for my “next move” and our (J and my) next #TeamSites journey , I was lucky enough to be offered a great new gig in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ll be working on the only side of the alcohol business I haven’t yet; distributing. I’m super excited to be joining the team at MoBev (Missouri Beverage, which is a new distributor joining forces with Wirtz Beverage.) I’ll be running the new craft beer team, and quite honestly, I’m just stupid excited.

Unfortunately, packing incessantly also means attempting to eat everything in our cupboards and freezer. Which means strange bedfellow meals, with less than fresh ingredients. Did you know that if you take a box of Thai Sweet Potato Soup, mix it with the Soba Noodles that have been hiding in your cupboard, and add some frozen peas, you have a delicious late night meal? (So. Many. Frozen. Peas.)

I do have some great vegan/vegetarian recipes to share…but, um, in my haste of discovering great new dinners, I may have not written anything down. So I’m recreating now, with hopes of getting back to blogging on the regular once we move. I’ll post a few this week, in case you’re looking for one last thing for your holiday table.

Now, you tell me. Who knows who and what in St. Louis?


Sweet Potato Latke (Pancake) Heaven

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Holy Vegetable Stock: Thanks To YumUniverse!

October 21, 2013

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Pesto Pesto

July 7, 2013

I love this time of year. I usually love it more, because usually it translates to my skin being a nice golden brown, but lately mother nature has not been such a fan of me spending time after work running down to the beach to bask in the last few hours of sun and sand. [...]

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Basil Walnut Pesto

June 15, 2013

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Vegetarian Chile Rellenos…They’re That Awesome

June 14, 2013

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You Want Recipes, Finally, Right?

June 13, 2013

I was just about to take a picture of something new and delicious, when I realized, I owe you some recipes. And I figure it’s not exactly fair to keep posting pictures with a promise of “someday” when I know someday isn’t really happening. So here I am. Without promising you hilarious anecdotes of where [...]

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A Poor Excuse for A Working Couple’s Pescatarian Seder.

March 26, 2013

I could lie to you and tell you we totally just forgot it was Passover this week. But we didn’t. We have known for weeks, as before the plague hit us a few weeks ago, we had been planning on going home to my mom’s house. Then after that we had briefly discussed a quiet [...]

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Who Needs Meat Sauce and Noodles?

March 19, 2013

I won’t lie, I’ve hit that point in any diet or “lifestyle change” as we’re referring to this, where you start craving stuff. Pizza and carbs, preferably wearing sausage and ground meats, are two major points of interest for me at this moment. For the most part, I’m doing well, but as our new brew [...]

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