I love shepherd's pie! Nothing says home cooked comfort like tender cooked veggies and mashed potatoes. Yummy! I know there are many varying recipes for shepherd's pie, but here's one that I "veganized" from a magazine. I think you'll enjoy it and plus it gives you the option to be creative and add any veggies you love. I know the ingredients look like a lot but it's not I promise. Feel free to however edit things out that you don't like or don't have on hand. You can really be creative with this comfort food classic. Try it for a nice Sunday dinner!
Two Sisters' Shepherd's Pie
- 4 small Russet potatoes (feel free to use another potato if you prefer)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and green parts thinly sliced (if you're not a leek fan feel free to you a nice onion or a bunch of chives)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped bite size
- 2 turnips or daikon radishes, whichever you prefer
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 lb of fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped bite size
- 5 cloves of garlic (or more if you're like me and love garlic)
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (I like Central Market Organics)
- 3 large Swiss chard leaves, torn into small pieces (feel free to change this up with spinach or kale if you prefer)
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can easily use canned beans too, just be sure to read the label, Central Market Organics has a great line of beans and the only ingredients are beans and sea salt)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp non-dairy sour cream (Tofutti makes a great one)
- chopped fresh chives
1. Preheat oven for 400 degrees. Place potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover all of them. Bring water to a boil and then cover and reduce heat. Simmer potatoes for approximately 15 minutes or until they fork tender. Once the potatoes are done boiling drain and place aside. We will be back for them.
2. While potatoes are boiling add oil to a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots, turnips, peas, green beans, and garlic and saute for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies begin to soften and brown bits form on the bottom of the pot. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and begin scrapping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan as the broth begins to evaporate.
3. Next add chard and thyme and saute until the chard wilts. Add beans, the remaining broth, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. This is an important part, taste the veggie mix. It's always important to taste your food while you cook. It may need more salt for you or maybe more pepper, or maybe you have a go to seasoning that you think it's missing, add and simmer for another minute or two.
4. While the veggies are cooking, start mashing the potatoes with a masher. Add non-dairy milk and continue to mash and whip until potatoes are almost smooth. Next add the non-dairy sour cream and chives. I like to add a little bit of salt and pepper to taste, but you don't have too.
5. Place veggie mixture in a 10-in pie dish. spread mashed potatoes over the top of the vegetables covering the entire pie dish. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until vegetable mix bubbles and the potatoes star to turn brown, approximately 20 minutes.
6. Once done, allow to cool about 10 minutes and then spoon full into shallow bowls. Feel free to top it with some non-dairy cheese like Follow Your Heart or Daiya.
*Want a fun twist? Try roasting the garlic first or try adding a little horseradish to the mashed potatoes for a little kick. Or for a more buttery taste to the mashed potatoes feel free to add a little non-dairy butter like Earth Balance. Go crazy! There's no wrong way to do it!
Earth Day is almost here! In fact, it's tomorrow! How will you be celebrating? We only have one Earth and every little bit helps. You already do your part by being vegan! Way to go you! Just by being vegan you do not pay into the industry that abuses animals, poisons our environment, and cuts down thousands of trees every year. Good for you! But how will you celebrate Earth Day this year? For those of you drawing blanks, the Two Vegan Sisters are here to the rescue. We have compiled a list of great ideas that can help you do just one more little thing to help celebrate our Earth and improve our environment while having fun. Enjoy!
21 Fun Things To Do on Earth Day:
Plant a tree
Plant a garden (if you live an apartment, plant an herb garden)
Bike or walk to work
Start a compost
Recycled Crafts – do a craft project with the kids using only things found in your house. Like turn that plastic bottle into a paper mache piggy bank! Be creative with it!
For all you Shopoholics – go to your local thrift store instead of buying new
Go for a hike or a nature walk with the whole family
Take your dog on a walk or a run at TownLake
Check out a Farmers’ Market (we have a whole page dedicated to them, find the one nearest you)
Recycle all the plastic bags in your house and replace them with new reusable ones from your favorite grocery store.
Recycle all of the plastic bottles in your house and replace them with a Brita filter for inside the fridge or right on your faucet
Have a picnic with the kids or a romantic picnic with your honey
Make a nature craft with the kids like a bird feeder or a bird house
Do some spring cleaning and get the kids involved. Encourage your kids to recycle old toys, games, and clothes. Teach your kids the benefits of recycling their toys and how paying it forward benefits everyone!
Wear Green! Or better yet, make a t-shirt with the kiddos as a fun arts and craft project. You can make a statement or wear a funny slogan like “No trees were harmed in the making of this shirt” or “Tree Hugger”
Make a fun scavenger hunt with the kids where it’s all about the environment, recycling, or all things green
Change all the light bulbs in your house to energy efficient light bulbs
Change all of your bills to paperless
Get outside and play! Go play ball, tag, or even hide and go seek!
Remember, although Earth day comes once a year, you can celebrate the Earth all year long. Try extending your Earth day to the whole weekend. Do one item from the list each day!
Although, this is a reference to one of my favorite books growing up, I'm not talking about those Wild Things. I'm talking about Olivia Wilde's website, Wilde Things. For those of you who don't know her, Olivia Wilde is the actress who plays "Thirteen" on House. And guess what?!? She's a vegan. Just one of the many beautiful women of the world that proves that you don't need meat to be stunning. This vegan activist actress also has a great website dedicated to her thoughts, feelings, and of course being vegan. It's great insight to a pretty cool lady. Check it out and let us know what you think!
I came across the coolest thing yesterday. On down time at work, I like to cruise the Internet for new things and all things vegan. I was stoked to find on VegNews.com a vegan bucket list. How cool, I thought. So I of course had to check it out. I was enthralled with all of the fun things to do on the list that ranged all over the United States. Things like visiting the Mini Vegan Mall in Portland, Oregon. Or taking a vegan tour of Los Angeles. Along with cool destinations, I also found on the list great places to order vegan items, like jewelry, clothing, and of course food. I also found Chicago Soydairy. This is a cool company out of, you guessed it, Chicago. They make "cheese," marshmallows, and even vegan mozzarella sticks! And the best part, you can order their stuff online. As I was drooling over all of their products I realized that I had heard the name before, and that's when I remembered... Hoboken Pies, right here is ATX. That's right, we have a pizza place right here in town that, by request, can make your specially designed pizza with Chicago Soydairy Cheese! Check out Hoboken Pies here.
Although I loved the list on VegNews, which by the way check it out here, I was sad not see anything for Austin, although there was a shout out for Texas. So how about it? What would your vegan bucket list include? Anything from our great city of Austin? Maybe Hoboken Pies could make the list. Or better yet maybe make a day of trying all the pizza places in town that serve vegan cheese and see which one you like best. Sounds Yummy to me :) But then, I'm one of those give me pizza or give me death kinda gals :)
When I think of Easter, I think of candy. It doesn't help that whenever I go into any store right now there are aisles and aisles full of every sweet confection you can think of. But what's a vegan to do? Make my own of course! For Christmas this last year, I made vegan treats for my family and one recipe that I thought turned out especially well was my vegan peanut butter cups. They are super easy to make, they just take a little bit of time, but trust me they are totally worth it!
No Bunny Harmed Peanut Butter Cups
1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I like Sunspire)
1 cup natural peanut butter (creamy is best but if you're feeling adventurous try crunchy)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar
1. To make big peanut butter cups, cut the top half of the muffin cups to where they are about half the original height for 12 paper muffin cups or you can buy the candy cups that look like tiny muffin cups. Whichever you prefer.
2. Melt the chocolate chips by microwaving them for about 2 minutes at 50% power in a glass or microwaveable bowl. Stir until creamy, you might need to microwave them a little more. Make sure you do not overcook them. Using a spoon, spread a layer of the chocolate evenly within the muffin cups making sure you fill the crevices on the sides. Place the coated muffin cups in the freezer until the chocolate hardens.
3. In another bowl, combine the peanut butter and salt, and then fold in the powdered sugar. Microwave the mixture for about 1 minute. Stir until well mixed and then allow to cool.
4. Once the peanut butter mixture is cooled but still soft, spoon the peanut butter into the chocolate cups leaving a little room for the top layer of chocolate. You have the option of putting the top layer of chocolate on now or after the peanut butter has hardened in the freezer. I highly suggest waiting for the peanut butter to harden, it works a little easier, but it's up to you.
5. Then you will top the the peanut butter with the rest of the chocolate mixture until the peanut butter is all covered.
6. Place the cups in the freezer and wait about an hour.
*Just a side note, these cups don't have to be pretty. Trust me they will be so yummy that your friends and family won't care. Feel free to spice it up by using decorative muffin cups or you can put handfuls of the smaller ones in fun little Easter bags. Just have fun with it!