Monday, September 14, 2009

Meatless Shepherd's Pie

Leftovers always taste better in pie crust.

You'd never know that spinach was two days old.
Makw a cheddar pie crust...
Fill it with leftovers and top with roasted tomatoes...
...and some mashed potatoes, of course. Bake it and you have a no-waste dinner, which is great when you just sunk $700.00 dollars into a fifteen year old car with 200,000 miles on it.

Shepherd's pie is a bit of an exaggeration as it contains no mutton and as we know, chickpeas ain't exactly traditional British fare. Still, it is topped with mashed potatoes and has a layer of tomatoes, so there you are.

I did not think the cheddar crust was anything special. Not horrible, but not wonderful either. I think you could find a better recipe for one, so I'll leave the crust to your own devising.

This is really more of a way to use up odds and ends in the fridge than a true recipe. I had potatoes, cooked spinach, and roasted tomatoes. You might have mushrooms and red peppers, or celery or...well, you get the idea.

My mother used to mix strong mustard into her "second day" mashed potatoes and I liked that quite a bit as a child, but I didn't think Danny would go for it. If I were making this with lamb, I think that would be a fantastic addition.

You Will Need:

1 single pie crust, pressed into a pan and chilled
1 tin chickpeas, skins removed
1 block frozen spinach, cooked, drained and squeezed dry
4-5 carrots, finely diced
2 onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
4-5 large tomatoes, roasted with olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme, skins removed and drained of liquid
4-5 cups fluffy mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large pan, cook the carrots, onions and garlic in a bit of oil until softened. Add the chickpeas, cumin and any salt and pepper you think it needs. Add the spinach and cook until spinach is broken-up throughout. Remove from heat.

Fill the pie crust with the chickpea filling, then layer on the tomatoes and then top with mashed potatoes. I sprinkled mine with paprika for colour, but obviously you don't need to do that. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and cook about 45 minutes longer or until done.

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