Vegan Planet: Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

I’m often asked “how can you stand to give up meat since it adds so much flavor to food rather than just life on rabbit food?” and the truth is.. I never eat bland, boring food. Vegetarian living is much more than just salads and tofu. You can make every recipe vegetarian if not vegan, you just need to know a few basics and tweak the recipe to taste and viola! you have a fantastic animal friendly recipe.

The newest addition to my home has been Vegan Planet. Words cannot even begin to express how much I love this book. I have now made 4 or 5 recipes and all were absolutely fantastic. I was blown away by how easy, healthy, and amazing these recipes were. I am super calorie/fat conscious and these recipes fall within my dinner guidelines and all were satisfying. I never left the table hungry nor was I starving just an hour or two later. Portions are decently sized, the food is sooooo delicious, and I never made a single thing so far that I wouldn’t serve to a meat eater in fear that they would choke and snub the dish. I’d proudly serve each and every single dish.. in fact, I plan to.

The most recent for me was the Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie. I used my own recipe for the mashed potatoes and added only a single green pepper and then just prepared the recipe as is. AMAZING. My recipe ended up bing 418 calories, 11g of fat, 17g of fiber, and 16g of protein per serving. I was thrilled when I ran to Robin’s website and found that she listed the recipe!! so I can share it with you!

Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

Since leftover mashed potatoes are often the inspiration for making a Shepherd’s Pie, I thought that the ultimate version should feature filling ingredients that are readily available and easy to use — hence the use of veggie burgers. Simply thaw them long enough so that you can chop them and they work like a charm, adding great taste and texture, enhanced by the ground walnuts. If you prefer, chopped seitan or tempeh may be used instead of the veggie burgers, just be sure to sauté them first in a little olive oil. Use the extra-rich “Mashed Potatoes and Company” on page 204, or your favorite mashed potato recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup Basic Vegetable Stock (page 000)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3 vegetarian burgers, thawed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, tamari, vegetable stock, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer to thicken slightly, about 1 minute.

3. Spoon the filling mixture into a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish. Stir in the chopped burgers, the peas, and the walnuts. Taste to adjust seasonings.

4. Spread the mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake until hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

If you only own one Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook.. this one should be the one.

vegan jello that you can mold!

For a long time I have been looking for a fool proof, great tasting jello recipe that is Vegan. No folks, regular jello is derived from the collagen inside animals bones.. which means it’s neither Vegetarian or Vegan. Well, there are plenty of Vegan jello recipes floating around on the internet but none of them have given me the texture that I was looking for… until now.

Vegan Jello Recipe:

  • 2c juice
  • 2tsp Agar

Bring 1/2 juice to a boil on stove over medium heat. Add agar as it begins to boil and stir until melted/blended. Remove from heat and add remaining juice and blend well. Transfer to dish or jello mold and chill until firm.

Note: I found the 2/2 equivalent to be a bit too firm for my taste making a very gelaitanized result (think a little thicker than canned cranberry sauce) so next time I intend to use much less agar.

(Vegan) Asparagus & Avacado Cream Soup - CORE

1 1/2 cups asparagus, ends trimmed, stems peeled, and sliced
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, ends trimmed, and sliced
1/2 cup shallots, diced
1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. freshly chopped parsley
3/4 cup water
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 T. vegtable stock
1 T. tamari soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced


In a food processor, place the asparagus, mushrooms, shallots, green onion, and parsley, and pulse for 30 seconds to roughly process the mixture. Add the water and process for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process the mixture for an additional 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately or chill, if desired.


Yield: 4 1/2 Cups (4.5 Servings)
CORE - 5pts

(Vegan) Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. water
1 T. Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
2/3 cup vegan margarine
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. peppermint extract
2 - 85 g. Tropical Source Mint Candy Crunch Dairy Free Chocolate Bars, roughly chopped
1/3 cup vegan peppermint candies (or candy canes), roughly chopped
safflower oil, for oiling cookie sheets


In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and egg replacer for 1 minute or until very frothy. Add the sugar, margarine, vanilla, and peppermint extract, and stir the mixture until smooth and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Add the chopped chocolate bars and peppermint candy and fold gently to incorporate them into the dough. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets. Working in batches, drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on to the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes for a soft-batch type of cookie (they will be just set but soft to the touch) or 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges for a crisp cookie. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the portioning and baking procedure for the remaining cookie dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container.


Yield: 4 Dozen
1pt per Cookie

(Vegan) Sweet Onion & Mushroom Soup

5 medium to large onion (mix of red, sweet, etc)
175 grams of mushrooms, any kind (about 8 regular mushrooms)
1 tablespoon oil (I happened to use Truffle oil)
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cube veggie bouillion
1 tablespoon sun dried tomato tapenade (optional)


First heat the oil in a pot and add the chopped onions until they are slightly soft and brown. Then add the 2 teaspoon of brown sugar and caramelize them just a little bit.


Add the mushrooms and enough water until onions & mushrooms are just covered, and then add the veggie bouillion.


Leave on a low boil for about 10 minutes. Take out half of the mixture, put in a blender, and pulse quickly. I only do this to mix the texture up a bit, so its half smooth and half chunky. Then add the tapenade and leave on the low heat for another 5 or 8 minutes.


3pts - Serves: 3

(Vegan) Pumpkin Tart with Pecan Crust

3/4 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup canola oil (save calories and fat by using applesauce instead)
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch pie plate. Spread nuts over a baking pan. Toast for 7-10 minutes on middle shelf, or until the smell of nuts fills the kitchen. Set aside 16 pecan halves for garnish.


2. Combine oats, flour, remaining pecans, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Whisk together oil and 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and mix into dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Press mixture into pie plate. Crimp edges. Bake for 10 minutes, and set aside to cool.


3. Blend soymilk and arrowroot in the food processor until the arrowroot is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 15 seconds. Add pumpkin, 1/2 cup maple syrup, ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and cloves; blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust, and smooth the top.


4. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the outside inch of the filling is set. Don’t worry if the center is still soft; it firms up as the pie cools. Transfer pie to a wire the rack. Gently press toasted pecan halves into hot filling in 2 circles. Cool to room temperature, and then chill until set, about 3 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


7.5pts - Serves: 8

Garden Vegetable Soup aka. 0pt Soup - CORE

2/3 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloved, minced
3 cups fat-free broth
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini


in large saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray saute the carrot onion and garlic over low heat until doftened about 5 minutes add broth cabbage beans tomato paste basil oregano and salt bring to boil lower heat and simmer covered about 15 minutes or until beans are tender stir in zucchini and heat 3-4 minutes


0pts - CORE

Banana Bread

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp canola oil
1 large egg(s), beaten
2 medium egg white(s), beaten
3 large banana(s), ripe
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add oil and eggs; mix thoroughly. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add bananas and oatmeal to batter. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Servings - 10.



Linguine with Clam Sauce - CORE

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup clam juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 dozen littleneck clams
8 cups hot cooked whole-wheat linguine (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Stir in clam juice and next 5 ingredients (clam juice through clams). Cover and cook 10 minutes or until clams open.


Place pasta in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil; toss well to coat. Add clam mixture to pasta; toss well. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups pasta mixture and 6 clams)


8pts - CORE

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole

1 pound 96% lean ground beef
2tsp. onion powder or 1 onion, chopped
16 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp. Italian seasoning
Veggie Toppings (mushrooms, peppers, olives, etc.)
17 slices Turkey Pepperoni (optional)
15oz. refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 1/4c. part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (or FF)


Preheat oven to 350 F. In skillet, brown meat over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in onion powder or onion, tomato sauce, basil, garlic and Italian seasoning. Add veggies (mushrooms, peppers, black olives, etc…whatever you like) and pepperoni. Add quartered biscuits; stir gently until biscuits are covered with sauce. Spoon mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until biscuits are done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


8 SERVINGS: 5.5pts or 6 SERVINGS: 7.3pts

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