One of the first cookbooks I purchased when I went plant based back in 2006 was Renee Loux's "The Balanced Plate". Renee gave me permission to share her recipe on my website. It is absolutely delicious with a capital "D"! While in Florida in '07 a meat eating friend of my hubby's was visiting and I had to go out of town. This recipe was in the frig. Hubby gave it to his friend who had no idea it didn't contain meat!! Our visiting carnivore thought it was fabulous!

Only change I made was to delete the use of oil in the recipe. I'll post the recipe as is in her book, but will note no use of oil. Hope you enjoy. Another addition I make is to steam a head of cauliflower and mash that with some potatoes. Ups the fiber and nutrition! And thanks, Renee Loux, for sharing your gifts! Check out her website and other fabulous dishes at:

8 cups peeled and diced potatoes (Yukon gold, red potatoes, etc.)
filtered water for boiling and salt
3 T olive oil (Use Earth Balance margarine instead or just mash the potatoes with some saved cooking water)
sea salt
head of cauliflower (my addition)
fresh ground black pepper
2 T olive oil ( I use veggie broth instead or white wine)
1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
1 package tempeh, crumbled into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
sea salt
2 tsps shoyu (tamari)
2 T fresh thyme (or 1 1/4 T dried thyme)
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup filtered water, or so
3 T olive oil 2 1/4 cups onions, or so, minced (1 large onion)
4 cups sliced button or cremini mushrooms
2 cups shelled peas (thawed frozen peas may be used)
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled, cut in quarters into 1 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel potatoes, Place in large pot, cover with a few inches of filtered water and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer until soft enough easily pierce with a fork (10-12 minutes). Grain off hot water, except if you're going to save some to mash potatoes. Put about 1 cup to the side. While potatoes are cooking, steam the cauliflower. Then mash potatoes and cooked cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Adding cauliflower ups the fiber and nutritional content.

In a large skillet add a little water, heat and then saute the 1 cup of diced onion until they're soft. Add the crumbled tempeh and a pinch or two of sea salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes until browning nicely. (Add more water as needed so ingredients won't burn.) Then add the tamari, thyme, and black pepper and continue to stir and cook until well brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass casserole dish for the Shepherd's Pie and set aside.

Steam the carrots for about 5 minutes until al dente.

Pour 1/3 cup filtered water into the used pan and return to heat to deglaze by rubbing the good stuff off the pan and into the cooking water with a wooden spoon. Add some water or white wine, add the 2 1/4 cups diced onion and cook for about 7 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are soft and clear. Add the 4 cups of sliced mushrooms and stir, cooking 8 minutes, seasoning with some salt until the mushrooms are savory and soft. Add the onion-mushroom mixture to the browned tempeh mixture. Add the peas and the steamed carrots, and stir to thoroughly mix.

Dollop the potato-cauliflower mixture evenly over the veggies and spread smooth to cover all the vegetables. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are golden brown.

This is a melt in your mouth dish. The process might sound lengthy, but it's easy, fun, and so good for you! Enjoy!