March 16, 2010

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I found myself with a free Monday night on my hands and decided to try a new recipe for dinner. Usually, I'm spinning away at the gym, but I'm currently suffering through a 3-day allergy patch test that can't get wet, so the gym is out. And I really needed something to take my mind off this itching. I don't know why I subjected myself to this! I already know what they are going to find:
"Well, Beth, it looks like you're allergic to everything."
"I know."
"Oh, okay then. Well, just try to avoid everything and you should be fine. That will be $25."

Being super-sensitive isn't good at all. But, you know what's good? This recipe! Yeah, bad segue....I know. Hey, I'm itchy. Be nice!

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
adapted from Vegetarian Times

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/4 lb.)
1/4 cup fat-free milk or plain soymilk
1 Tbs. nonhydrogenated margarine or butter
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used curry powder instead of cinnamon or nutmeg)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 leek, white part thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 turnips, diced (1 cup)
1 carrot, diced (1/2 cup)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (2 tsp.)
1/4 cup white wine or water
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3 Tbs. shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

To make Sweet Potato Topping:
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potato, cover, and boil 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to pot. Mash with milk, margarine, cinnamon, and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.

To make Filling:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and leek, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until leek is soft. Add turnips, carrot, thyme, and rosemary; cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until carrot begins to soften.

Add wine, and cook 30 seconds to deglaze pan. Stir in beans and broth. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes, or until carrots and turnips are soft. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Remove thyme sprigs from Filling, and discard. Pour Filling into 2- or 3-qt. casserole dish. Spread Sweet Potato Topping over Filling. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place casserole on baking pan. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and cheese has melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.