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Vegetarian shepherd's pie is hearty springtime comfort food

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Looking for some healthy comfort food or just wondering what to do with all those leftover mashed potatoes? Either way, shepherd's pie fits the bill. You can use whatever leftover vegetables you have in the refrigerator, or just pick up some fresh veggies at the 2nd Street Market. All sorts of vegetables would work in this recipe - you could substitute cooked garbanzo beans for the mushrooms and add frozen peas instead of the carrot. Some black olives would be a nice addition!

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The shepherd's pie reheats beautifully and makes a lovely presentation for a casual lunch but is hearty enough to be the main course at dinnertime.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 carrot, cut into toothpicks
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½# mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar

Place the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low, and boil the potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes; drain.

Stir the milk, butter and cream cheese into the potatoes and whip with a blender until smooth and fluffy. Set the potatoes aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and tomato and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and oregano.

Press a layer of half of the mashed potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading the potatoes slightly up the side of the dish. Spread the vegetables from the skillet on top of this, and then top with the remaining mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 20 minutes.

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