Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shepard(less) Pie for the Family

After dinner with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus, Banana Leaf, I spent the remainder of the evening slaving over a hot stove to prepare for a family gathering today. The omnis of the family (everyone except for me)will have lasagna, bread, and salad, but instead of making a veganized version, I decided to whip up a seasonally appropriate dish. I adapted happyveganface's recipe for shepard's pie to include lentils, broccoli, cauliflower, and cellery. I also used soymilk instead of rice and a completely differnt marinade - spice mustard, soy sauce and garlic - for the tempeh. I must admit it smelled amazing as I put the finishing touches on the dish. I left my camera in Athens for the weekend, but I'll take a picture on my phone or something.

As it is a birthday celebration, there will be cake. I'm trying to cut out a lot of refined sugars and grains, so I opted to make a fruit tart with wheat flour instead - an apple, rasin, walnut tart to be exact. It didn't work the way I wanted it to...I tried to leave it at home but my family is insistant that I bring it. The crust seems tough. The apples didn't let out any juices and just sort of dried up.

I wouldn't be embarassed or anything, but one of my aunts is a professional chef and specializes in amazing deserts. She once had a coniption fit when I was baking cookies at her house because my cousin and I decided to make "free form" cookies instead of perfectly round ones. She's rather judgemental. It's not like I put my heart and soul into the tart - it was an afterthought, really.

I'll just let them know to enter at their own risk and not think less of my cooking ability - or the tastiness of vegan deserts. I'll make something really awesome for Christmas. Any suggestions for a tried-and-true favorite?? I'm willing to go all out. This shepard's pie took me four hours. Not kidding. I cook slowly though.

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