Vegan MoFo 8 – Tempeh Shepherdess Pie

This recipe hails from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.  Like every other recipe in this book, it is divine.  The authors’ description:  “winning combo of tempeh, peas, and corn, in a zesty mushroom gravy instead of a tomato-based one, because we prefer to dream that way.”  So do I.  This is my favorite shepherds pie-type dish, and I’ve taken it to enough potlucks to know that everyone else loves it, too.

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This recipe takes a little longer than some of the ones I’ve posted so far, but the payoff is big, both from a flavor standpoint and as far as quantity goes.  The good news about that:  the leftovers are fantastic.  It may even be better the next day.

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I’m not going to demo this recipe, because all of you should own this book.  Seriously.  It’s on pages 167-168.  And if you don’t have the book yet, get it!!

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You won’t regret adding it to your collection, where it will undoubtedly come to look like mine, with every single page dog-eared and food splattered, like a favorite cookbook should be.

Enjoy!  xo

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14 thoughts on “Vegan MoFo 8 – Tempeh Shepherdess Pie

    • Hmmm, interesting question Sundry. The thing that’s giving me pause is the question of consistency. With that nice, squishy layer of mashed potatoes on top, it’s nice to have something with a little firmer bite below, and the tempeh delivers that. If you were going to try tofu, I would go for an extra firm tofu and then do the freezer trick (freeze it, then thaw it out, then crumble it). Makes the consistency a bit more likely to work here.

      As for the tempeh shyness, this might be just the recipe to break you out of it. With tempeh, it’s really important to do some form of treatment to it before using it in a recipe/eating it, either steaming, boiling, something to soften it a bit. With this recipe, that step is combined with a seasoning step (you’re basically liquid sauteing it in a water/soy sauce mixture), so you’re both easing it texture and mellowing it’s distinctive taste. When you’re feeling bold, give it a try! And let me know how the tofu goes.

      • Ahhhh…. This explains a lot. I have bought it a couple of times at Trader Joe’s and then just chickened out. The cashier even looked at it and asked if it was okay last time. I said, “I think it’s supposed to look like that.” 😀

      • Don’t feel bad. The first time I bought tempeh, some time in the mid-90s, I think I tried to eat it virtually straight out of the package. I probably heated it up or something. It was awful, and I didn’t feel particularly great after! Didn’t touch the stuff for years after that. Wasn’t until I ate it in a restaurant, where I loved it, that I tackled it again. You may also want to experiment with brands. My favorite is the Lightlife Flax variety, but I also like their soy one, too. Not sure what TJs is offering. Final tip: for the most basic prep, just put some water in a sauce pan, break your tempeh block into halves or quarters, put in the water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 mins. That really should do the trick. Then, to use, I recommend either crumbling or thinly slicing. I personally don’t like huge chunks of the stuff. Once you get the hang, I’m confident you will love! Two words: tempeh bacon!!!! xoxo

  1. I was having a hard time deciding which vegan shepherds pie to try but was eying Tempeh Shepherdess Pie, have you offered it to many omnies? My husband is on board with weaning to vegan but I don’t want to scare him off and shepherds pie is one of his favorite meals.

    • Hi Nicole. I have offered this dish to many an omni. I used to bring it to my daughter’s school potlucks from time to time, always to critical acclaim, and my husband is inching toward veganism but still not there, and he really likes it. So I’ve had good results, but I share your concern about scaring him off! I sure wouldn’t want to do that, and I just can’t say what his reaction will be. What I can say is that it tastes delicious, has a wonderful, autumnal flavor profile, and that my family and I gobble it up! Good luck. My fingers are crossed.

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