On Food

I haven't posted in quite a while- not since October- but given that much of this year's work was a running narrative on inner work and life had begun to spin a bit out of orbit- I decided in the last part of the year to, well, actually live life and take a break from writing about it. 

I'm not big on resolutions. Just deepening my own continuing work seemed to be the calling for 2017 (that, and making connections, I guess: both inwardly, and outwardly, in relationships). The obligatory post on intention setting is coming soon, though. 

Until then, I just have to share this recipe from 101 Cookbooks (Heidi, you're a magician!)- it's so good. The mixture of mildly spicy/savory and sweet makes it a sensory treat and it's filling without being too rich (even despite the full-fat coconut milk). 

Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

Note: I made just a few edits. I decided to make this last- minute for our New Year's Eve dinner and had no mushrooms, but the cooked quinoa I had on hand stood in just fine, especially when mixed with some thickened-in-the-fridge green split-pea soup I'd made a day or two before as the main filling for the pie. So, quinoa and split pea mush instead of mushrooms and cooked lentils worked just fine. I used frozen green peas, which also worked well. 

Lastly, I had no fancy micro-greens but toasted some raw pumpkin seeds instead for the top. 

1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potatoes
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
fine grain sea salt, to taste

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 cups cooked yellow or green split peas
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

To serve: a drizzle of melted coconut oil with chopped serrano chiles, micro greens, scallions

Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.

Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, salt as you would pasta water, and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute or so to dry out a bit. Add the coconut milk, and the salt, and mash together. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, and then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir well, then add the cooked split peas and peas. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more garam masala or salt if needed.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, run the tines of a fork across the top if you like a bit of texture.

Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler to add a bit of extra color and texture to the top. Serve as-is, or sprinkled with any (or all) of the suggested toppings.

Serves 6.


I really wish this blog had smell-a-vision. Pictured in the background is my version of Hoppin' John- black eyed peas, celery, tomatoes, a little butter, and a pinch of allspice. 

I really wish this blog had smell-a-vision. Pictured in the background is my version of Hoppin' John- black eyed peas, celery, tomatoes, a little butter, and a pinch of allspice.