Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie

I discovered another amazing thing about organic produce….the variance in size! I feel like when I go to the grocery store everything is of “average” size. Nothing is particularly large or small. Not so much when you get organic produce through CSAs! I was breaking off a garlic clove and this guy was F-A-T, at least twice the width of a normal clove. And my carrots, oh my adorable little carrots–with the length halfway between that of a traditional carrot and a baby carrot. So cute. However, it does take some thinking when you are following or giving a recipe….

I didn’t post on Monday, because we has so many leftovers from our belated Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve been eating posole for a couple of days, luckily it gets better with age. I had a lot of fun cooking the big meal, and it was good practice for Christmas Eve, when I will attempt to make a seven course dinner–The Feast of Seven Fishes! If figure I will capitalize on my Italian roots a little bit. More about the dinner later….

It’s getting cold here in NM, not midwest cold, but cold enough. I wanted something hearty, as well as something that used items from my CSA box. I was able to use potatoes, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and carrots from this week’s CSA box, supplemented with frozen peas, frozen corn, and stewed tomatoes. I made vegetarian Shepard’s Pie!

Ingredients:

6 potatoes, skinned and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 onion chopped

3 celery stalks chopped

3 carrots chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of peas

1/2 cup of corn

Italian seasoning

2 garlic cloves, minced

pepper

1 cup(ish) of chopped mushrooms

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup of half & half

dollop of mayo

2 tablespoons of butter

3/4 cup of cheese

Instructions:

1. Boil the potatoes in water until soft, boiling + 10 or so minutes. I suggest salting the water, but it’s up to you.

2. In a large frying pan, coat with olive oil and add onions, celery, carrots, peas, corn, and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes

stir frying veggies

3. Add the spices and the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes.

Chopped Mushrooms!

4. Drain the water from the potatoes. Add the half & half, olive oil, mayo, and butter. Mash with a potato masher. Whip with a fork, and mash any remaining chunks.

5. Add the mushroom mixture to a buttered casserole dish (I used the smaller, square sized), and spread the mashed potatoes over it. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes.

6. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and slightly browned.

I know that the idea of mayo in mashed potatoes sounds gross, but I noticed it when I was researching recipes. As I thought about it, I decided it would add a little zip. Turns out I was right. However, if the mayo totally grosses you out, cream cheese or sour cream could easily be substituted.

This dish was exactly what I was looking for–piping hot, hearty, and full of fresh, local produce. I think I added a bit too much cheese, and when I make it again, I will make more potatoes, because it’s my favorite part….mmmmmmm

P.S. My AMAZING family sent us Christmas gifts, which we opened today. A big box was delivered from Target. I did not recall ordering anything, and for a moment I was worried I had a closet internet shopping addiction. Alas, it was from my parents and siblings! I got an awesome cast iron cookbook holder, a huge measuring cup (which is perfect, because our current measuring cup lost its handle about 2 years ago), and Mark got grilling tools. Thanks family, I love you!

Cook Book Holder with a Cook Book!

HUGE Measuring Cup

I cannot stop eating this Shepard’s Pie. It is so good. Make it. Immediately!

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