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Quinoa Shepherd’s Pie

The quinoa pilaf at the Rock Inn in Estes Park, CO, got me thinking about whether something like that could form the filling for a shepherd’s pie. This is the result, There’s a PDF of this recipe, if you’d like.

Makes two servings.

For the quinoa filling:

For the top & assembly:

Sauté the carrots, celery and onions in the olive oil over medium heat, about ten minutes, until they begin to soften a bit. Add the chopped tomato and garlic and sauté about 1 minute more.

Add the quinoa, and stir to blend with the sautéed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, add about ½ cup water, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

Uncover, stir in the tomato paste, add a dash of cinnamon, and cook about another minute or so. (If there is still a lot of liquid left, turn up heat and cook a bit longer. The end result should be moist, but not soupy.)

Take the quinoa off the heat, check for salt & pepper. Let cool a bit, then stir in the cubed cheese.

Meanwhile—pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and butter two small casseroles or soufflés—I use two 550 mL Corningware “grab-its”.

You know the rest—put half the quinoa mixture into each casserole, and top each with half the mashed potatoes. I then use a fork to give the tops a bit of texture. Lastly, top each with half the shredded cheese. Bake until golden, bubbly and a bit browned on top—about 15–20 minutes.

Let cool a bit, and enjoy!