Along with regular exercise, GOOD SQUAD girl Nicole Williams-English attributes a vegetarian lifestyle to her healthy, fit body, and she’s never felt better. “I don’t feel heavy and tired after a meal,” she shares. “I feel more energized on a daily basis and it feels so great to eat things that make you feel alive.”
Her journey towards a primarily plant-based diet began seven years ago in an attempt to not only feel better physically, but in adherence to her core values and morality as well. “I make sure everything I eat is organic and from a cruelty-free farm where the animals are treated with love and respect,” the animal lover, who shares two French Bulldogs with husband Larry English, explains. “It’s important to me that no animals suffer in any way. I really want to do all I can to prevent that from happening, and to be a voice for the voiceless.”
Nic now turns to Beyond Meat burgers, delicious nuts and peanut butter for snacks, and protein shakes as substitutes, and has perfected a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes since, her favorite of which she’s shared exclusively for GOOD TIMES. Hear what else she has to say about being a vegetarian, and try her recipe below!
Beyond Meat Shephard’s Pie:
For the mashed potatoes:
- 3 lb. red organic potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance, or equivalent
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used soy)
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
For the vegetable/ Beyond Meat Filling:
- 2 packs of Beyond Meat Burger Patties (4 patties total)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled & small dicev
- 2 parsnips (or other root vegetable), peeled & small dice
- 4 celery stalks, small dice
- 1 cup, full sodium vegetable broth (or more as needed)
- 1/4 cup red wine (or more broth)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste + black pepper
- 3 tbsp whole wheat
1. Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a 2.5 quart/2.3 liter casserole dish. Place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pot and add water, 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 30 minutes until very tender.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable/meat filling. In a large skillet add a few table spoons of olive oil and turn stove top on med/high. Place all four Beyond Meat Patties into the hot oil and break apart the meat like you would ground meat until it’s all separated. Cook for about 7min until almost brown (it will have a reddish tint even when cooked).
3. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and add to a separate skillet along with oil. Cook on low for about 5-7 minutes. Now add in the chopped carrots, parsnip, and celery. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
4. When the potatoes are done cooking, drain and add back to the pot. Add the Earth Balance (or butter), milk, and seasonings and mash well. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients (broth, red wine (optional), thyme, and flour). Add this liquid mixture to the vegetables in the skillet and stir well. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until thickened. Season to taste.
6. Scoop vegetable mixture into casserole dish. Then add the meat on top. Spread on the mashed potato mixture and garnish with paprika, ground pepper, and Thyme. Bake at 425F for about 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Mixture will be very hot in the middle so be careful! I suggest serving this with All-Purpose Vegan Gravy or mushroom gravy. Makes 6 generous servings.