Monday, January 18, 2010



As we keep saying -- in our Welcoming Kitchen -- winter means comfort food.
What could be more comforting than a hearty casserole topped with mashed potatoes?

Not much, in my opinion. (Unless you top said casserole with your favorite gravy!)

This shepherd's pie is a little different (and we think a lot better) than your average shepherd's pie that traditionally relies on ground meat -- or soy/wheat veggie burger -- because this one is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and vegan. The combination of kasha and garbanzo beans contributes to a filling, protein-rich base that is good for everyone to enjoy. How's that for comforting!

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup kasha (roasted buckwheat)
1 gluten-free, vegan boullion cube
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (or ground flaxseed)
1/4 cup onion, small diced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 peeled carrots, medium dice
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 medium baking potatoes
1/4 cup rice milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) In a small saucepan, combine kasha, boullion and 2 cups water.
3) Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
4) Simmer 10 minutes then remove from heat. Set aside.
5) Peel and cube potatoes.
6) In a medium saucepan, add potatoes and water to cover.
7) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
8) Simmer uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender (How long this takes depends on how large you cut your potatoes.)
9) In a small bowl, combine flaxseed meal with one cup warm water. Set aside.
10) In a small skillet, heat one teaspoon olive oil over medium flame.
11) Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant and softened -- 2 to 3 minutes.
12) In a 2-quart casserole or baking dish, combine cooked kasha, onion and garlic, carrots, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, and flaxseed slurry.
13) Press down on mixture with the back of a spoon or your hand. Set aside.
14) When potatoes are fork-tender (easily pierced with a fork), drain them and place them in a large bowl.
15) Add rice milk, remaining olive oil and salt.
16) Mash with a potato masher or fork.
17) Spread mashed potatoes over kasha mixture.
18) Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly golden.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Megan

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