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Morrocan Shepherd’s Pie

What to do with ground lamb? Meatballs…maybe. Burgers…another maybe. In the end I came across this pie recipe on Pinterest…not a surprise. It was fantastic! You will never make a traditional shepherds pie after you try this one.

Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie With Sweet Potato (Our Four Forks)

Prep time 30 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour 10 mins Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground lamb or beef (omit for vegan)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15 oz. cans drained) (optional for meat version)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about ¾ 28 oz. can, drained)
  • ½ cup stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) + salt to taste
  • ½ cup currants or raisins
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped

For the mash:

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (use white if you don’t have any sweet potatoes) OR…use the instant Idaho brand potatoes and just add the spices…
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (more if needed)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove meat from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the onion is softened.
  4. Return the meat to the pan (if using) along with the honey, tomatoes and stock.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Add chickpeas (if using), currants, and chopped cilantro, stir and remove from heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the mash:

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain well and add the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, salt and milk.
  3. With a hand blender (or potato masher), blend until they reach a creamy consistency.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Fill a 13 in x 9 in casserole dish with the filling and spread the mash on top.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown.
  4. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.
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Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Curry

A cold night in the Yucatan calls for a nice warm curry! It was 24 degrees C…LOL. One of my favourite chefs, Stefano Faita of Montreal fame created this tasty dish AND its VEGAN for my friend, Jaromey!

Packed with protein and flavour, this vegetarian one pot curry is quick and easy. For a milder flavour, rinse quinoa before using.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. curry paste, or to taste
1 tbsp. garam masala, or to taste
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 cup canned diced tomato
2 small to medium sweet potatoes, small dice
1 (14-ounce) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup quinoa
1 cup packed baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
Add vegetable oil to large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high. Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add quinoa. Stir. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender, adding remaining 1/2 cup stock if curry looks too dry.
OPTIONAL – Right before serving, stir in spinach. Let spinach wilt slightly. Finish with lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve.

For more great recipes from Stefano, check out this CBC link to his TV show –

In the Kitchen With Stefano Faita

June Vance’s Four Bean Salad

It has been so long since I started making this recipe that I do not even remember who June Vance was! If anyone can refresh my memory that would be great…I know for sure she wasn’t a sister of Vivian Vance…LOL (only you old folks will know who that was). Anyways, here is June’s recipe –

Four Bean Salad

4 – 16 ounce cans of beans (I like to use kidneys, cut green or yellow beans and garbanzos (also known as chick peas)

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced onion

Mix them all together in a colander and let the juices drain off.

Mix the following dressing and pour over the beans in a serving dish and then let it chill before serving.

Dressing

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar or less

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon cumin

This makes a great salad for a summer gathering and can easily be doubled. Hope you will try it….