Shepherd's pie doesn't need meat—in fact, it doesn't even need white potatoes! This hearty, vegan version gets protein from a winning combo of quinoa and chickpeas, while better-for-you sweet potatoes stand in for the usual white. Curry powder, cinnamon, and dried cranberries add an unexpected sweetness kids are sure to love.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch cubes
- 1⅓ cups water
- ⅔ cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 vegetarian sausage links, cooked according to package directions and cut into bite-size chunks (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Sugar, to taste (optional)
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (or butter)
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a smaller pot, bring the water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, sauté onion, carrots, and chickpeas until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and briefly sauté for 1 minute. Add sausage (if using), broth, curry, coriander, and salt, and allow to simmer until the next step.
- When quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, add it to the pan with the vegetables and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and the grain to absorb some of the sauce.
- Sweeten sauce to taste with sugar, if desired. Toss in spinach and cranberries and stir until combined.
- When potatoes are fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add margarine or butter, milk, and cinnamon, and whip until smooth and fluffy.
- Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and add quinoa vegetable mixture to the dish. Top with the mashed squash and potatoes and spread to evenly cover the filling.
- Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.
Per serving: 375 calories, fat 11 g, protein 18 g, carbohydrates 12 g, dietary fiber 12