When the Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook arrived at the UrbanMommies offices we got very excited!  It is often difficult to find great recipes for vegetarians.  This Mexican inspired meatless Shepherd’s Pie is packed with healthy ingredients and huge flavour.

recipe developed by Amy Snider-Whitson, PHEc

2lb (1kg) sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and pierced all over with a fork
1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, no salt added, well rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 mL) cooked quinoa made with water (see pages 5–6)
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn, no need to thaw
1 cup (250 mL) mild or medium salsa, deli-style
1/4 cup (60 mL) light sour cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp (1mL) freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) thinly sliced green onion or chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the sweet potatoes for 60 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, microwave at high for 8 to 12 minutes. Cool until easy to handle.

Lightly grease an 8­cup (2 L) baking dish with canola oil or line with wet parchment paper (see page 10). Set aside.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the black beans, cooked quinoa, corn and salsa until well combined. Remove from heat.

Pour into the prepared pan. If you used a microwave to cook the sweet potatoes, at this point preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Meanwhile, cut the cooled sweet potatoes in half and scrape out the flesh. Discard the skins. Mash the sweet potato well with the sour cream. Stir in the cilantro. Season with pepper if desired.

For a rustic look (as in the photo), spoon the sweet potato mixture over the quinoa mixture in heaping teaspoonfuls. (If you like more conformity, spoon on and spread out.)

Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle top of the casserole with green onion or cilantro (if using) to garnish.

Makes 6 cups (1.5L) • One serving = 1 1/2cups(375mL)

Nutrition per serving (1 1/2 cups/375 mL)

413 calories, 2 mg cholesterol, 13 g fibre, 1 g saturated fat, 75 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 6 g total fat, 544 mg sodium, 24 g sugars

Excellent source of vitamins A and C