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Easter Dinner 2012

May 7, 2012

Easter was my first major holiday as a vegetarian, and it was a different experience. In previous years I’ve cooked ham and whatnot, so it was difficult to think of something to make that was vegetarian and that was still hearty, delicious, and everyone would like. I decided to go with a Shepherd’s Pie for Easter Dinner, and I’m really glad I did. Shepherd’s pie is a big thing in my house, my dad makes it a lot so it was a bit intense to see if I could create a Shepherd’s pie that out-did his. I used the recipe for the bottom from Appetite for Reduction which was completely vegan, but instead of making an upside down Shepherd’s pie, I made a right-side up one. I also used mashed potatoes for the topping, complete with tons of butter and milk. I then grated some cheese, and browned it under the broiler. It was divine. Lentils made a great base for this Shepherd’s pie, and it tasted so good. I ended up having enough for two pies, so we ate one and froze the other. 🙂

Upside-Down Shepherd’s Pie

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely (I used half an onion)
  • 4 oz shitake mushrooms (I omitted this)
  • 1 zucchini, diced (I omitted this)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (I couldn’t find any so I used a substitution of soy sauce, lemon juice, and tomato paste)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can of corn, rinsed

Directions

  1. Saute the onion on medium heat in a pot until translucent, then add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, salt, pepper, mushrooms and zucchini and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and carrots. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring to a simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Most of the broth should be absorbed by the lentils at this point, if not continue to cook.
  3. Once the lentils are tender, add the Worcestershire sauce, peas, and corn. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the flavours meld.

As I stated, I used this recipe as a base and then just made some delicious mashed potatoes to put on top. I put my lentil mix in a glass pan, covered with mashed potatoes, and then grated some marble cheese on top and broiled it for a minute or so.

For dessert I wanted to do something different. I originally thought of doing cheesecake, but the task seemed rather daunting because I was trying to approach this meal in a simple way. I wanted deliciousness, with minimal effort. I decided to make a peanut butter and chocolate tofu pie, following a recipe from Oh She Glows. The recipe called for making individual sized peanut butter cups, but I just made this in a pie dish and it still turned out great.

Mini Peanut Butter Cups in a Jar

Oh She Glows from Angela Liddon

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 10 squares of graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used canola)
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

For the filling

  • 200 grams of silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 5 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt to taste

For the chocolate top

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp coconut oil (I made a ganache)

Directions

  1. In a food processor, process the crust ingredients until moist. Spread evenly in a pan and flatten with fingers.
  2. Clean the food processor bowl, and then process the filling ingredients together until silky smooth. Pour the filling onto the crust.
  3. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, until it firms up.
  4. Make the chocolate topping by melting the chocolate chips either on top of the stove or in the microwave. Pour onto the filling.
  5. Refrigerate!

This pie recipe was super easy and super tasty, which is what I was looking for. I made the chocolate topping a bit too thick by accident, but it was still pretty tasty. 🙂

Overall I have to say Easter Dinner was a success! It was really tasty, simple, and relatively low maintenance. I’d say I successfully survived my first holiday as a vegetarian, and my family was definitely happy with the dinner.

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