Monday, February 2, 2009

TVP Sheperd’s Pie

I love this one - it is quite heavy, but really filling and so affordable. It is not your standard sheperd’s pie - this one is really the deluxe version nutritionally speaking. A bit elaborate for a week day meal - although you could easily pre-prep all the way to step 9 - and then just pop things in the oven, but I actually see this more as a center of a Sunday meal, when you have friends or family over.
Regarding the TVP ( Texturized Vegetable Protein) - found in your health food store’s bulk bin - or slightly more expensive pre packaged by Bob’s Red Mill. I know some people are a bit hesitant about soy in general and TVP in particular. I think it cannot be ignored as a cheap protein source for vegetarians. I would not make it the only source of protein and I would not eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months on end, but I think it is much smarter to buy soy protein this way rather than plunking down a fortune for meatless crumbles made by Boca Burger and company with a hefty 75% mark up. “Morning Star Crumbles” for instance goes for $3.99 for 12 oz - which means you would have to use at least two packages for this dish, turning it from a $9 into a $16 dollar dish. That is a bit much and the nutritional value does not change either way. Also chances are, you are consuming TVP whether you like it or not - it is found everywhere from burgers to power bars. Every time you read “soy protein” it means TVP.

Sheperd's Pie:

Serves six: Total cost: $8.94

You will need:

¾ pound of potatoes - scrubbed, but not peeled = $0.80
¾ pound of sweet potatoes or yams - scrubbed, but not peeled = $0.80
6 tablespoons vegetable oil of your choice = $ 2.00
1 large onion, chopped= $0.55
2 large carrots, chopped = $0.35
1 other root veggie chopped - parsnips, rutabaga, celery root ( or omit ) = $0.40
1 bunch leafy greens - spinach, kale swiss chard etc cleaned very well and chopped roughly = $1.69
3 cups dry TVP = $1.47

2 tablespoons ketchup - or two tablespoon tomato sauce with a teaspoon sweetener=$0.20
½ teaspoon salt = $0.05
½ teaspoon oregano ( you may omit one of these dried herbs if you are out - but try to use at least two) = $0.05
½ teaspoon marjoram = $0.05
½ teaspoon ground sage = $0.05
½ tablespoon garlic powder or 4 cloves fresh garlic - be generous here, you could even use a whole bulb = $0.18
2 tablespoons soy sauce = $0.20
2 tablespoons milk - any kind will work $0.05
1 tablespoon flour or potato starch $0.05

1. Preheat your oven to 400º. Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile dice your scrubbed potatoes and sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Put your cubes into a steamer basket and suspend over your boiling water - cover with a lid and steam for 10 minutes. Alternately, if you don’t have a steamer basket - just use more water and boil the potato cubes right in the water.

2. Submerge you TVP in twice the volume of boiling water and add the ketchup or tomato sauce - and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Cover and set aside.

3. In a pan saute the onion, carrots, root veggie in about two tablespoons of vegetable oil over a gentle heat. Drain the TVP and reserve the water.

4. Add the drained TVP and the remaining soy sauce to the vegetable saute and use about ½ cup of the TVP soaking water to dissolve all dry spices.

5. Add the spice water to the saute and grate your garlic and add that as well if you are using fresh. Make sure you have a nice simmer going, up the heat to medium if necessary and cover with the lid askew - you don’t want an airtight cover or your saute will dry up.

6. Check on your potatoes, pierce one with a sharp knife - they should be soft. Drain them or simply remove the steamer basket from the pot and put them laid out on a plate to let them cool.

7. Add your green leafy vegetables to your saute. Mash the cooled potatoes with the 4 remaining tablespoons of vegetable oil and the tablespoons milk - season with salt and pepper and set aside.

8. Check on your saute - the veggies should be soft - the greens wilted. Remove the greens from the top. Add a little flour or starch to the saute to thicken the water - stir and turn off heat.

9. In a greased, rectangle baking form arrange the saute veggies then top with the greens and finish with the mashed potatoes. Rake with a fork gently through the top layer of your mashed potatoes to form little peaks and valleys - makes the top look pretty.

10. Bake for 30 minutes until the potatoes have taken on a golden brown color. You can also broil for the last minute for extra browning - just watch it like a hawk.

Ideas for leftovers:

Leftover recipe: Croquets

You’ll need:

Leftover sheperd’s pie
 & oil

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly brush with a high quality vegetable oil.

2. Basically you will shape little bits and pieces from your sheperd’s pie into croquets. Remember you are in charge as to what your croquets look like. There is no wrong shape here - and the taste certainly will not be affected by the shape or your croquets. With a tablespoon take a scoop of sheperd’s pie and with wet hands shape into a round or oblong small shape. Make sure that you have a bit of everything in your little ball - a bit of the veggie bottom and a lot of the mashed potatoes. The outside of your croquet should be mainly potatoes - with the veggies forming the inside. You may have to chop the leafy greens with some scissors - otherwise you may have long, dangly unruly strands. Arrange croquets on your cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown - think Hash Browns for color.

1 comment:

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