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Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Mini Vegetarian Shepard's Pies


 There was a hint of Fall in the air for me today! It was pretty mild this morning as I left for work, and it hadn't reached it's blazing summer heat as I was leaving work. I feel I'm never quite satisfied with the seasons and holidays.
When it gets to this point in the summer I start planning for my fall and Christmas festivities. I'm already planning food! Derek and I discussed our Halloween costumes today! They're going to be great by the way. I just can't wait for the Holidays. However, the day after Christmas I'm usually wishing the icy snow away and looking forward to St. Patrick's Day and Easter, and for sure by the time the Bi-polar spring is in full swing (as in we get all four seasons in one day) I'm praying for Summer weather! It's a vicious cycle.

Well today I wanted to have a little "fall like" comfort food for our dinner, and of course it had to be something mini size for our ABC "M" day! I have become the BIGGEST fan of vegetarian Shepard's pies ever since I made my first one! This is just a fun remake of my original posting. This is not a gluten-free version due to the biscuit crust, however the traditional Shepard's Pie is. So check out that recipe here, oh it was one of the first recipes I posted....ahhh a sentimental moment!

Anyway, I love every single bit of the zesty sauce covering all the delicious vegetables that get crammed into this little baby! If it wouldn't add to my hips so much I'd probably eat all of them! Trust me I've eaten the whole original Shepard's pie by myself over a period of 24 hours, it's ridiculous!!!

These were a fun thing for the kids to see, I think they thought it was fun that their dinner was in a little cup from a muffin tin! From my experience with my two kids, this is an excellent way to sneak in those veggies and have them gobble them up. I think it's the mashed potatoes, if it's covered in fluffy potatoes, whatever is underneath it must be just as amazing right! Well whatever it is it works in this house. This meal is almost pure veggies so I'm happy!

I used a garlic biscuit crust, I really liked the taste. The only issue I had was removing the pies from the muffin tin. They fell apart pretty easily. I didn't grease my tin hardly at all so that could play a part, but I also think the biscuits just crumbled under everything and me trying to pop them out. It obviously didn't effect the taste at all, but if you're looking for a pretty appearance I suggest greasing the pan a little heavier than I did. I was really excited about sharing this recipe since it fits right along with my budgeting tips on eating healthy for less. I used some left over vegetables from  my veggie kabobs from two days ago, which is one of the tips I gave. Plan your left overs so that you can use them in other meals throughout the week! This will save money and make sure you don't waste your food. After I had assembled all the mini pies, I still had mashed potatoes left and the vegetable filling, so what do you do with that. I stuck it in a disposable baking dish, covered it really well and plopped it in the freezer! So now I have an original Vegetarian Shepard's Pie waiting for me to stick in the oven in the coming weeks. The sauce is a little different in this recipe, but it will still be wonderful! Easy peasy! You can view my budget post here, there will be more on budgeting to come since it was so popular!

Mini Vegetarian Shepard's Pies
5 potatoes, peeled
1 C low sodium vegetable broth
1 can tomato paste
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1/2 asparagus bunch
1/2 yellow onion
2-3 carrots chopped, or 1 C shredded carrots
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

For the crust
2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp raw cane sugar
1 T baking powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 C almond milk (or any milk you'd like)
1/3 C margarine or butter (I used vegan margarine and it was perfect)

Wash and peel potatoes. Chop into small pieces and cover with water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Add small amount of margarine or butter and small amount of milk. Use beater to whip potatoes. Beat until frothy. Chop all the vegetables to the desired size and set aside with potatoes. 
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. For the crust add all the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl. Melt margarine and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until crumbly.  Combine egg and milk in a small bowl and beat together until egg is well mixed. Add into the dry ingredients. Beat or stir until well combined. Grease muffin tin and spoon in batter 1/4 full. Pre-bake for  4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Add vegetables to skillet with seasonings, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Simmer covered for 5-7 minutes until just tender. Using a spoon make wells in the biscuits in the muffin tins since the dough should not be baked through.
Add vegetables to the well in the crust and top with mashed potatoes.

Place in oven and bake for another 7-8 minutes, until potatoes are golden and biscuits are baked completely through! Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tins. Enjoy!!!!

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