Here is a recipe that is typically made with animal products. This is for a hearty main course from our book Vegan Fusion World Cuisine that will satisfy omnivores and vegans alike.

Shepherd’s Pie
45 min prep / 1 hour 10 min cooking / 9″ x 13″ casserole
10-12 medium Potatoes, ½” cubes (approx 12 C)
1 C Coconut, rice or soy milk
2 Tbl Olive oil
¾ C Onion, diced
1 Tbl Garlic, minced
¾ C Carrots, ½” cubes
½ C Celery, sliced thin
½ C Red bell pepper, diced
½ C Mushrooms, sliced thin
2 lbs Tofu, extra firm, crumbled
¾ C Peas
¾ C Corn, fresh or frozen
¼ C Tahini
4 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbl Basil, fresh, minced (1 ½ tsp dry)
2 Tbl Italian parsley, fresh, minced
1 ½ tsp Sea salt, or to taste
1 Tbl Thyme, fresh minced (½ tsp dry)
1 tsp Sage, fresh minced (½ tsp dry)
2 tsp Barley malt syrup
½ tsp Black pepper, ground to taste
½ tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place potatoes in a large pot with filtered water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft, approximately 15 minutes. Drain well, place in a large mixing bowl with coconut milk and mash well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. While potatoes are cooking, place oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add carrots, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms, cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add tofu and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place in a large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients except potatoes and mix well.
3. Place tofu vegetable mixture in a well oiled 9″x13″ casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes, using a spatula to create a smooth surface. Score pretty designs on top with a fork. Bake until slightly golden brown and completely cooked, approximately 25 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
Variations: Potato layer may be placed on the bottom, topped with the tofu layer. Once refrigerated, this creates a more solid foundation, and allows for different sized pieces to be cut and served individually.
Serving suggestion: Serve with Mushroom Gravy (see below).

Mushroom Gravy

10 min prep / 15 min cooking / 3 ½ cups
1 Tbl Olive oil
1 medium Onion, ¼” dice (1 C)
¾ C Shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1½ Tbl Garlic, minced
2 C Filtered water or vegetable stock
¼ C soy sauce, or to taste
Pinch Nutmeg, ground
Pinch Cayenne pepper
2 Tbl Spelt flour
2 Tbl Olive oil
1 Tbl Filtered water
1. Create a Roux by placing spelt flour in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbl olive oil and 1 Tbl filtered water and whisk until a thick paste is created. Set aside.
2. Place 1 Tbl of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients except roux mixture and cook for 5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add roux mixture and cook until gravy has a thick consistency, approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
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Mark Reinfeld is the founding chef of the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant. He is the coauthor of Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, winner of 9 national awards. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw coauthored with Jennifer Murray and Bo Rinaldi is available through booksellers everywhere. Please visit www.veganfusion.com for more information.

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