So far, the only dish on which Rob the Husband has bestowed the elusive 5 Happy Tongues honour has been Alicia's Caesar Salad.
The Caesar Salad (with a very minor adjustment on our part...using half the dijon the recipe calls for and subbing in the rest with Vegenaise) has been a 5 Happy Tongue staple in our house that we always look forward to busting out, whether we have company over or whether we just want to enjoy a really stellar dinner for two.
While a few dishes have made it to 4.5 Happy Tongues, nothing other than the Caesar Salad has been earth shatteringly- mind blowingly- can't shovel it into my nouth fast enough- holy crap I hear the cherubim singing- Bono/Natalie Portman/Chuck Norris roundhouse kick hybrid level of awesomeness amazing.
I present to you, with some minor tweaks to the recipe to veganize it (as the original contained dairy), what I am now officially referring to as Bono/Natalie Portman/Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick Vegan Shepherd's Pie.
And it's not even from The Kind Diet. We found the recipe in a Mountain Burger package.
I don't ask Rob for a Happy Tongue rating unless we're trying out a Kind Diet recipe. This time around, though, he just offered it up. As he got up from the kitchen table to get his second helping he announced, "That's a five."
This has all the awesome comfort food flavour one would expect from traditional Shepherd's Pie without the ground up animal carcass. I think what really gives this dish the edge is the layer of creamed corn under the potatoes. It's just sweet and goes so perfectly with the tomato sauce in the veggie ground round.
So here's the recipe with my veganizing tweaks in place, if you are so inclined to hear the cherubim singing, as Rob the Husband did...
- 2 packages (340g each) Yves Veggie Ground Round...I used one package Italian and one package Original (the recipe actually calls for 6 crumbled veggie patties, and considering it's from a Mountain Burger package, I assume they want you to use Mountain Burger veggie patties)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil (the recipe actually calls for 6 tbsp but I thought that was wayyyyy too much oil...3 worked just fine for me)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 can of your favourite tomato sauce
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 can creamed corn (the recipe actually calls for 2 cans creamed corn, but 1 was enough for me)
- mashed potato topping
- 6 large potatoes, cooked
- 2 tbsp. Earth Balance butter (I used 2 heaping tbsp), plus a bit more to top the dish
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or rice milk or soy milk or any milk that doesn't come from something with tits)
- 2 tbsp Tofutti sour cream
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450F.
Boil potatoes and mash together with butter, milk, sour cream and salt.
Heat olive oil in frying pan and saute garlic.
Add celery, onion, and tomato sauce, cooking for 10 minutes.
Add veggie ground round (or crumbled veggie patties) to the sauce and mix together.
Place on bottom of a pan or casserole dish (I used my slightly larger oval Corningware...the recipe says to use an 8x8 pan).
Spread the creamed corn over the veggie mixture.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the creamed corn.
Spread some butter over the mashed potatoes and bake at 450F until browned.
The recipe didn't say what to do with the oregano. I ended up sprinkling it over the mashed potatoes before putting the dish into the oven because I didn't realize I didn't use the oregano until the end. I assume it would work well sprinkled into the veggie ground round mixture, but it was good just sprinkled on the potatoes as well.
The recipe also suggested layering one can of creamed corn on top of the veggie mixture, followed by half the potatoes, followed by a second can of creamed corn, followed by the rest of the potatoes...but I found that the pie was teetering dangerously close to the top of my casserole dish, and couldn't handle the extra can of creamed corn, hence my decision to only use one. If you have a really high dish, and it can handle the extra layer, and you love creamed corn, go for it. Be crazy. Live your dreams.
I'm still in a state of shock at the absurd level of earth shatteringly- mind blowingly- can't shovel it into my nouth fast enough- holy crap I hear the cherubim singing- Bono/Natalie Portman/Chuck Norris roundhouse kick hybrid level of awesomeness going on in this Shepherd's Pie.
You will notice that the Chuck Norris kick in the above video, while indeed epic, is not a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick. This blog is not built to contain the extreme awesomeness of a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick, and would likely implode if I attempted to post a video of a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick on here, in addition to the awesomeness of Bono, Natalie Portman, and my Vegan Shepherd's Pie.
Safety first people. Safety first.