Shepherd’s Pie – #thegirleats

Ah, Shepherd’s Pie. An ultimate hearty, comforting, and easy dish that shines through its simplicity. This is just one version of Shepherd’s Pie. Feel free to use this recipe as a guideline. Make your substitutions based on what you have at home. Season everything just the way you like it. Make it yours and enjoy!

Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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    For mash:
  • 1 medium yam* cleaned and chopped
  • 1-2L water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cream (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • For TVP:
  • 1 cup dry TVP
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • dash of paprika
  • *you can use 4 large yellow potatoes or the equivalent in pumpkin/squash of choice.


  1. Prepare vegetables (wash, peel, chop, etc.) and set aside a deep baking dish.
  2. Cook yam in water until very soft.
  3. While it cooks, add oil to saucepan and sweat onions. Then add the carrots and 1 cup vegetable stock. Let cook.
  4. Add dry TVP to bowl and pour boiling water to cover. Let soak.
  5. To the carrot, add the garlic and red pepper. Let cook until carrots and peppers are tender, adding a second cup of stock if needed.
  6. In the meantime, place cooked yams in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher, leaving no lumps, and season. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F.
  8. Add remaining ingredients to the vegetables: TVP (drained), corn, seasoning, and remaining stock. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Place vegetable and TVP mix at the bottom of a deep baking dish, spread evenly. Top with mashed yams and smoothen.
  10. Sprinkle sesame seeds and paprika for garnish.
  11. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until top begins to brown.

In a hurry? Here are some ideas:

  • Use frozen veggies instead
  • Reserve the water in which you cooked the potatoes to use if you don’t have vegetable stock on hand
  • Use ready-to-go TVP from brands like Yves or Gardein. Use a 312g package.
  • Or substitute TVP for finely diced mushrooms!

If there’s something you don’t like or don’t have, just substitute. Add some celery, a sprig of thyme or rosemary in step 3, or use cauliflower instead of yams/potatoes/pumpkins in the mash. Have fun and happy eating!

Potluck Polenta – #thegirleats

Are you ready for something warm and comforting? For some healthy, guilt-less comfort food? How about some gluten-free goodness?

Well, then. Here we go! Let’s give this homemade polenta with thick, chunky sauce a go.

Potluck Polenta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Momma


    For Polenta:
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2L water
  • 2 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • For Sauce:

  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • salt to taste
  • cumin to taste
  • chili sauce to taste
  • 2 cups TVP (soy protein)*
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (if using homemade, add tomato paste to thicken)


  1. In a tall pan, sauté garlic in oil. Add water.
  2. Add salt and let reach a rolling boil.
  3. Add the cornmeal slowly to avoid clumps, stirring with a wooden spoon. (If small clumps form, smash them against the pan edges with spoon while polenta boils.)
  4. Let boil until thickened (20-25 minutes), stirring periodically. Meantime, make the sauce.
  5. In small saucepan, sauté onion in oil until transluscent.
  6. Add garlic, then the TVP. Stir and season to taste.
  7. Add sauce and let boil fo 3 minutes.
  8. Taste the polenta and add salt if needed. Pour polenta into 28x18cm (11x7in) dish. There should be about half an inch of room to pour the sauce on top!
  9. Let polenta set for at least half an hour before adding the sauce. It should be set enough by then to press a fork through it to allow some sauce through.
  10. Top polenta with sauce (it will finish setting).
  11. Reheat in oven before serving.

My favorite thing about this way of preparing polenta is how easy and fast it is. It’s also filling, creamy, and a warm alternative to soup.

Extra tips:

  • This recipe is for set polenta that you can cut into individual portions, but if you want soup-y polenta (as per photo) don’t overcook and eat it hot. It will likely set once cooled, but you can always thin it back up by re-heating and add water.
  • If you want the polenta to set and be able to cut, it’s better to overcook and boil it for a bit longer to ensure it will set completely than to have a runny mess.
  • Transportation is easier if you take the polenta and sauce separately. Place the sauce over the polenta right before reheating it in the oven.
  • It can take a while to get hot. Put it in the oven early.
  • The salt in the recipe will likely be too little, but it’s best to start with a little and add salt until you’re happy with it.
  • *TVP is textured vegetable protein, a substitute for ground meat. It can be bought dehydrated (soak 1 cup in very hot water for five minutes; squeeze water out and use the two cups of hydrated TVP) or already hydrated and seasoned.
  • Alternatively, use chopped red peppers and mushrooms to add texture in place of TVP.

Friday Eats- an Introduction

Do you cook something special for the weekend? Growing up, my mom always made sure there was something special for Sabbath (Saturday). Whether it was for dinner on Friday (when Sabbath begins) or for potluck lunch at church, every Friday she would decide on something special.

It’s become woven into who I am, and every Friday it’s almost an act of self-care to make something special. But…

I often spend so much time actually deciding on what to make that I lose momentum. Scrolling through Pinterest, my favorite recipes, the ingredients I want/need to use, and the fact that I don’t have much time all narrow down the dishes I can make to, oh, about a hundred or so. I wish there was a Pinterest I could scroll through with recipes I knew would work well for Fridays—a repertoire.

So I decided to create one. And why not share it, right? Every week I will add to my recipe repertoire here, thus building a little list of my tried and true. The photos won’t be perfect as I’d like them to be, but I’m hoping you can give me some grace on that end?

Reform friends: If you also cook something for Sabbath, these will be potluck friendly, quick, vegan(ish), and I will post the recipes on Thursday so you have enough time to pass by the grocery store in order to pick up last minute ingredients if needed. These will amount to a list of ideas to stick to, or to riff off of.

Carnivore friends: These recipes will all be vegetarian, many vegan. So if you’re trying to incorporate more meatless dishes into your meals, hopefully, these will help.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you. I do not use expensive or hard to find ingredients. I cook every day, and I cannot always afford organic, local, unicorn horn shavings, and Jupiter teardrops. None of these recipes will have fancy, expensive, hard to find ingredients. Ingredients should already be in your pantry, or definitely in your grocery store. I will tell you where you can buy them if you need!

These dishes are simple to make, and I will include tips I use to make them easier. Increase your options for meatless meals, conquer these easy sides, and you may find you enjoy them more than your mains! Substitute these for fast meat dishes when you need a quick dinner. It’s that easy.

I don’t know how long these posts will last, or where they’ll go, but for now, I’m excited to use this space as a little recipe box.

“And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day,” 6T 357.

Savory Waffles – A Recipe


I don’t think I’ve ever received so many requests for a recipe I posted on Instagram like I did for this one! You guys are smart. This recipe is so easy, fast, uses up a single bowl, is naturally gluten-free and vegan! and is just all around the best.

The batter recipe is really just a base. Experiment with it. Go crazy with the add-ins and toppings. Live your truth with these waffles. Inject them with happiness. Top them with joy.

Here you go: Continue reading

Thanksgiving – 2018


Thanksgiving weekend almost caught me by surprise this year. There has been so much going on I kept thinking it was still weeks away until suddenly, it wasn’t. I’m sharing our menu for this year’s dinner this morning, then I’m off to mom and dad’s so we can spend the day together and cook for tonight.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s really worth taking the time to celebrate it, be it with friends, family, or even on your own. It’s more than the dinner and the orange-hued decorations. Continue reading