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Simple Shepherd's Pie

February 23, 2008

Living greener, cleaner, more simply is always something I’ve been interested in.  Lately (last few years or so) it has become more important and something I actively work for.  One thing I’ve been doing slowly but consistently is to eat greener, cleaner, more simply.  I suppose that’s why I really do prefer to make most things we eat from “scratch”.  Not only do I enjoy doing it, but if I’m the one putting everything into our food, right down to the most basic ingredients, then that gives me the freedom to oversee exactly what we are putting into our bodies.  It has made a drastic difference in the way I feel and my health.  I used to be sick all the time; I’m rarely ill now. 
All of this may be hard to tell just from reading this blog (hence this post), since mostly only baked goods make it on here.  I don’t post dinners very often because 1.  I would hate to let it get cold while I photograph.  2.  The light in my kitchen at that time of day, especially this time of year is awful or nonexistant.  3.  Some of the dinners we make are so simple they seem too “obvious” to post about…  I’ve decided to try to get more regular meals on the blog and not just decadent baked goods etc…  We’ll see how it goes.

And Finally, the real reason for this post, Shepherd’s Pie.  I would not really say this recipe is entirely from “scratch” but it is meatless and uses left-overs. :)
In the summer when the Farmers’ Market is in full swing, B and I only eat meat 1 or 2 nights a week.  During the winter, this is much more difficult.  The fresh fruits & veggies are not nearly as readily or as cheaply available.  It’s also very very cold and rich, heavy, meat-filled comfort food is much more appealing!  We’ve always eaten a fair amount of tofu but in an effort to further reduce the meat in our diets, we’ve begun to experiment with meat substitutes.  Recently I decided to try Shepherd’s Pie using Smart Ground instead of ground beef.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  It was better than my usual Shepherd’s Pie.  I was worried the Smart Ground would be dry.  Not at all!  It was very flavorful and I found I very much prefer it to ground beef.  It also has a better texture.  It does not get chewy or have any mystery bits in it like ground beef sometimes does.  It was a tad more expensive than ground beef but totally worth it.  I also felt like I got more out of a 12 oz package of the fake stuff than I did out of a pound of real ground beef, perhaps that is because the Smart Ground is tightly packed and does not “shrink” with loss of fat/grease as you cook it.  I also thought that the sodium content of the Smart Ground might be a little high but since we eat so little salt elsewhere, I let it slide.  Please give it a try, I bet your diners won’t even know the difference!

The prep time for this dish is minimal.  The baking takes a little while but I think the lack of prep time make up for it.

Simple Shepherd’s Pie:
serves 6-8
1 pkg Smart Ground (12 oz)
1/2 bag frozen peas
2 cans cream corn
4 C mashed potatoes (approx.)*

1.  Lightly grease 9×13 inch baking pan (mine is glass) so that Smart Ground does not stick to bottom.
Crumble Smart Ground into bottom of pan.
Spread cream corn over top of Smart Ground.
Layer frozen peas over top of cream corn.
Spread mashed potatoes over peas.

2.  Bake in 375°F oven for 45-60 minutes, until top of potatoes are browned and crisp.

3.  Scoop out with a large spoon and eat!  We eat ours with buttered bread.  Mmmm… comfort food!

*  Go ahead and use left-over cold mashed potatoes.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 24, 2008 11:35 am

    I haven’t had Shepherd’s Pie in ages!!!

    You’ve been tagged. :)

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