I’m part of a 7book club, but I think it should really be called an eating club because it’s the food more than the books that make our meetings memorable. Last month we read Gone Girl (I loved it!), and our food theme was pub fare. I knew there would be a lot of deliciously greasy food with a theme like that, so I thought that the ladies would appreciate something healthy to balance it out. I did a spin on the classic pub food, Shepherd’s Pie, with this vegan version.
I figured my own family wouldn’t like this at all, seeing as the boys hate yams/sweet potatoes, so I brought it to book club without giving them a taste of if. The book club women liked it a lot, but there was just so much food to enjoy (like nachos, quesadillas, poutine, chicken wings, baked brie, roasted nuts, bread pudding, slutty brownies, to name a few) that I ended up having a lot left over. I brought it home and heated it up for supper the next day. My boys didn’t like it, which was no surprise, but Tony loved it. I think it surprised him! “Wow, this is actually good,” he said. I thought so too.
Sweet Potato Gardener’s Pie
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
salt and pepper
1½ tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 leek, white part thinly sliced
2 turnips, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
¼ cup white wine
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper
To make the topping, boil a large pot of water, then add the sweet potatoes and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the water, then mash the sweet potatoes and stir in coconut milk, coconut oil, spices and nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavour). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To make the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and leek until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add turnips, carrots, rosemary and thyme. Cook for 3 minutes. Add wine and cook for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan. Add kidney beans and broth, then cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the turnips have softened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour filling into a 3 quart baking dish. Pour topping evenly over the filling. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 375F for 30 minutes until bubbly.