I hope everyone had a happy holiday wearing green yesterday. I had great plans to decorate the house with shamrocks, paint rainbows with Cia, and do a few other small crafts, but none of this actually happened. The funny thing is I thought St Patrick’s Day was this Thursday. Total mom fail! I had this week all mapped out in my head filled with various activities and play dates for each day. Mondays involve toddler time at the library and if the weather is nice we walk and spend a good amount of time outside. It’s a nice way to start each week and Cia has come to love her library time. As I was going through my emails yesterday morning I had one mentioning a Monday sale for St Patrick’s Day. This sparked my curiosity and I realized it was in fact St Patrick’s Day! Ha! I tend to be very organized these days so I have no idea how this happened.
The good news is at least I had a course of action for the meal I planned to prepare, with a partially stocked ingredient list. I grew up on a feast of traditional corned beef with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes for our celebratory dinner. I always enjoy eating this meal but it’s not my style of cooking. So this year I decided to change it up and make a tempeh shepherd’s pie topped with squash instead of potatoes. Along with the tempeh I used fresh peas, rutabaga, green beans, celery, carrot, and pearl onions. This version is much healthier than a traditional shepherd’s pie and still plenty delicious. Due to my like of corned beef I still bought some, cooked from Whole Foods, to have with our meal. I love the flavor of the spices used. And I must admit their corned beef was much more flavorful than the one I made last year! I also decided to make my own Irish soda bread. I researched many different recipes online and ended up deciding to go gluten free. The final result was amazing! I based my recipe off of Elana’s Pantry making a few additions. This will be my yearly recipe to make.
I was so amazed I pulled off our St Patrick’s Day feast, minus the crafts and flare to go with it. My day was jam packed with library time, going for a walk, playground fun, shopping, cooking, and exercising. I was extremely tired at the end of the day but having the meal turn out as a success made it all the worthwhile. Next year I’ll be sure to mark my calendar with a huge clover on the 17th!
Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 package tempeh, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 8oz fresh peas (or frozen defrosted)
- 1 cup fresh green beans, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 small rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup defrosted pearl onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped shredded carrots
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- medium butternut squash
- Half butternut squash and deseed. Roast in a 350° oven until very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile in a saute pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the tempeh over medium high heat. Set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sauté the celery, peas, green beans, rutabagas, onions, garlic, and carrots for 5 minutes until fragrant over medium heat. Season with s&p.
- Stir the tempeh in and turn the heat down to low. Add the thyme, vegetable base, worcestershire sauce, and liquid aminos.
- Dissolve the flour in the cup of water and add to the vegetable mixture. Turn off heat.
- Scoop squash out of skin and place in a medium bowl. Season with s&p and add the egg. Blend using an immersion blender until smooth.
- Place vegetable mixture in a 8×8 pyrex dish and top with squash. You can make little mounds to brown or do as I did and make a clover with the back of a spoon, see picture above.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake for one hour. Remove foil after 30 minutes to lightly brown squash.