Curried Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie
I have been craving shepherd's pie since Christmas, but I just hadn't gotten around to making it. You see, the usual recipes that I make sometimes feel like they require quite a bit of work, and I have been so busy that I just wasn't willing to commit to making something like that lately. I was going to maybe make some for Easter dinner, I had lots of russett potatoes on my counter which I thought would be perfect for it, but we decided on something else. So I figured why not just make it for myself to enjoy for a couple of days. I often do that, because it is nice to have dinner all ready. This shepherd's pie was going to be easier than the other recipes, being that it was a weekday, I was determined to make it easier on myself. I decided to go a little non-traditional with it and make a curried shepherd's pie. Because I had never had one before and I had made a really good curry earlier in the week that I knew would make an awesome filling.
I had bought some lovely asparagus on sale, and I had carrots and cauliflower on hand, and it made a nice colorful and delicious medley for the filling combined with chickpeas for protein. I made a silky coconut curry sauce that came together quick and easy, and it was delicious just as it was, and could have been eaten over rice. But why not add fluffy mashed potatoes to make it another level of comfort food? So I boiled my potatoes to soft perfection, and put them through a ricer. Trust me, it is the easiest way to get really fluffy mashed potatoes and not stand and mash them by hand and still have lumps later. I got one about 15 years ago and I never make potatoes without it! I make my mashed potatoes a little differently than most people, I add coconut butter. That might sound odd, but when you stir it in, with some of the potato cooking liquid and a little sea salt, it makes heavenly mashed potatoes. My Mom told me once when I made them for a holiday that they are even better than my Grandma's were (the ones filled with butter and cream) and that is a huge compliment. They turned out really good this time too!
When I spooned the mashed potatoes onto the curry in the casserole dish, I knew this was going to be good. It all smelled amazing. I baked it until just bubbly and I couldn't wait to try it! It was so good! Two of my favorite comfort foods combined, curry and shepherd's pie with fluffy mashed potatoes! I was so excited for my dinner of leftovers the next day, because I got to enjoy it again. This shepherd's pie took way less time to make than the other ones, because the filling was a quick one pot deal. If you want some yummy warming comfort food, give this a try!
Curried Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
- 4 large russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- filtered water
- sea salt
- 3 Tbsp coconut butter
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp mild curry powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 2 cups cauliflower flowrettes
- 1 cup asparagus
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 15 oz can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp filtered water
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- To make the potatoes, place them in a pot on the stove, cover with water, and add about 1 tsp sea salt to the water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are very tender. Drain the potatoes, reserving about 1/2 cup filtered water.
- Place the potatoes through a ricer, add the coconut butter and 1/4 cup of reserved water*, as well as sea salt to taste, and mix with a spoon until blended and fluffy. You may need to add more of the water if they seem too stiff. Alternatively, if you don't own a ricer, you can mash them with a potato masher, just add in the water, sea salt and coconut butter before mashing. Set aside.
- To make the filling, add the onions, carrots, and coconut oil to a large pan on the stove over medium heat, and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt, stir, and cook until fragrant for about a minute. Add the cauliflower, asparagus, chickpeas and coconut milk, and cook for about 10 minutes until everything is tender.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and stir in, cook for a minute more until thickened, then remove from heat and add the lime juice.
- Spoon the vegetable mixture into two smaller casserole dishes, or one larger one, and top with the mashed potatoes, covering the top evenly.
- Place in a 400F degree oven, and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling (if using the larger pan, it might be more like 25-30). Remove from the oven, let sit for about 10 minutes and serve!
*If you wanted these really rich, you could stir in coconut milk instead of the cooking water. I just like mine a little lighter.