Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Acorn Squash

Originally posted on Washington’s Green Grocer.

acorn squash

Ingredients: 
1 acorn squash, cut in half and scraped of seeds
1 large butternut squash or 2 small ones, cut in quarters and scraped of seeds
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped*
1 carton mushrooms, chopped*
1 bunch turnips, chopped with greens reserved (cut those up too)
4-5 potatoes (any kind)
1 onion
2+ cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch carrots, scrubbed and with skins on, chopped
1 8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese (I use Organic Valley), grated
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup milk
coconut oil (for roasting the squash and sauteing the greens and mushrooms)
salt/pepper (to taste)

*Note from Allandale: Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with corn, peas and lamb. You can make a lot of substitutes to the vegetables in this recipe and it will still be delicious. For example, you may substitute any greens for the spinach (mustard, swiss chard, radish greens, etc.) and instead of mushrooms, try corn and/or okra. 

Directions: 
1. First, roast your squash.  For this, you can line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Coat the squash with a light layer of coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven on 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender.
2. When squash is cool, peel off squash skin and cut up into chunks. Set aside.
3. While the squash is roasting, boil the potatoes and turnips until tender.
4. Drain water and mash with a potato masher.  Stir in milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
5. Saute the onion in a bit of coconut oil until translucent.  Throw in mushrooms and saute both until browned.  Throw in the carrots and cook covered for a few minutes until carrots are tender.  Lastly add in spinach and turnip greens and cook until greens are wilted.
6. Now it’s time to layer. I used a large casserole dish for this so it was more like a vegetarian shepherd’s lasaga than a pie.  Start with the squash and press into bottom layer. Next layer your greens/mushroom, onion layer.  Top this with a layer of cheese and finish with the mashed potato/turnip layer.  Season well with salt and pepper. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then take off the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

This recipe can easily be made vegan by using coconut oil and coconut milk, or another milk substitute in place of the butter, milk and sour cream. 

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