A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie and Making Others Happy with Food

 Coming back from Breckenridge, CO left us in a sad state since we know it means going back to work. Since we were both fighting off the inevitable and thinking of a way to delay going to work, I decided to seek solace through food. My Sunday was mostly spent in the kitchen because it’s therapeutic to me; prepping our lawn for summer was Kelley’s therapy.

Working off the adage “A happy wife is a happy life,” I wanted to make something for Kelley to make her happy. This, in turn, will unleash my happiness! For breakfast, I made some pretty tasty pumpkin protein crepes in an effort to capture the feeling of eating crepes in Breck. The crepes were a success (or she’s a good liar) and she readily stuffed one with goat cheese just like she had on vacation. Great, happiness level going North!

Now I needed to keep it up and make some good lunches for the work week ahead. I scanned my brain thinking of the food we had and that she likes: goat cheese, check….jersey sweet potatoes, check……green onions, check. I know all of these things alone are cherished by my dear wife, but what if *enter suspenseful noise* I combined them? And that’s exactly what I did….

Since I usually steam a blend of frozen mixed beans and veggies to pair with jersey sweet potatoes, I decided to spruce the meal up a little. I made an easy vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. Here is what you need and what to do with it all:

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 medium jersey sweet potatoes (scrubbed with skin on; you can use your favorite spud or even cauliflower)
3 – 4 ounces plain goat cheese “chevre”
2 cloves crushed and chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onion (chives)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 egg (not necessary but helps hold things together)
1 tsp each of cumin, chili powder, paprika, parsley, dill, and ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne (I used more b/c we like it spicy!)
1/2 cup of your favorite jar of salsa
Ground pepper to taste
1 bag frozen mixed beans and veggies (I used a fiesta blend)
1 bag frozen peas


Turn your oven broiler on.
Wrap scrubbed spuds loosely in paper towels and microwave for 4 – 5 minutes on each side; they will be soft to the touch when ready. Place potatoes in medium bowl, add all ingredients but the frozen foods and 1/2 cup of salsa and mash with a potato masher or large fork.

Microwave steam frozen veggies and peas in microwave-safe container. Season with a little sea salt and ground pepper to taste and add the remaining salsa; I used more of the same spices used in the potato mixture too. Feel free to experiment here, I like to change the herbs and spices used as much as possible.

Transfer veggie mixture into glass baking dish (I used individual dishes so I didn’t have to do anything after broiling) and spread mashed potato mixture evenly across the top. I ran a fork across to help with even cooking and it looked cool to me. Sprinkle with a little more paprika and broil for 5 to 10 minutes until a golden crust appears. Remove from oven, let cool, and store in fridge.

We had this meal today for Meatless Monday and Kelley really liked it. So, I guess I have one more day of a happy life with my happy wife. I only hope tomorrow’s food is good enough for another day of bliss!

Do you try to make your loved one happy with food?

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