I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie. It was not my favorite, to be honest I have never had a Shepherd’s pie I could say was my friend. LOL. But I had leftover Vegan Quinoa Chili and was trying to do something with it instead of eating leftover chili. Well honey, I think I put my foot in this, because this version of Shepherd’s pie I am totally feeling. I took my leftover chili, put it in one of my little cask iron skillets and took some sautéed mushrooms, creamy polenta, added a little mozzarella, baked it on 450 until golden brown and BAM, you have Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie. I am eating this skillet as I am typing, so bear with me. LOL.
First things First:
The Quinoa Chili
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup water ( the 1/2 cup will be added at the need, based on your preference of thickness of the chili)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion,chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce ) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water.Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, poblano peppers and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables are tender.
3. Add kidney beans, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water, a little at a time based on your preference of thickness. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 20 -30 minutes. Serve warm.
For the Shepherd’s Pie, set aside enough chili to coat the bottom of a mini skillet. I used about 1 cup. If you are making more, set aside enough chili for each skillet.
1 1/2 cups of polenta
4 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cup of mozzarella cheese, ( leave 1 cup of topping the pies, especially if you are making 2 or more Shepherd’s Pie skillets)*
Dash of black pepper and salt to taste
Bring water to a boil. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. Add the cheese, black pepper and sea salt. Stir throughly. It should come away from sides of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
Shepherd’s Pie Skillets
What you will need: Mini skillets or you can use a Medium size skillet if you are using more of the chili to make a family size portion.
1 – 1 1/2 cup Quinoa Chili per skillet ( you can use more or less, if you desire. The idea is to cover the bottom of the skillets.) 1/2 cup Vegetarian Polenta
1cup of organic baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
In a sauté pan add the olive oil . Saute the diced baby bella mushrooms on medium heat until they are tender. In your desired skillet, first add the chili. Top the chili with your Vegetarian Polenta. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. I like to serve these in the mini skillets. They make a wonderful presentation.
* This can easily be a Vegan dish, just do not add the cheese, but still back the polenta in the oven until it is golden brown on top.