don’t adjust your monitor: purple shepherd’s pie


Forget about the fudge, the cake, the cookies. We are well into January now and it seems like a wholesome tasty dinner recipe is needed. If it’s comforting, colourful and nutritious, well, then it kind of is like icing on the cake, isn’t it? This meal fits the bill. I even give it bonus points because when I started boiling up the potatoes and chopping the red cabbage, I still had no idea—not even an inkling, of what I was going to make for dinner. I’m a bit spontaneous like that!


So elbow deep in shreds of purple, I decided I’d make a Shepherd’s Pie of sorts. I haven’t had much practice in the vegetable pie department, but I did make a very successful pate chinois a while back and figured I had the chops to handle dinner on the fly. So along with the red cabbage, I chopped up some celery, a red onion and got out some frozen corn from the freezer. I wasn’t sure how this mess o’ vegetables would come together, but it turned out way better than I could have ever imagined. Not only was dinner uber-delicious, it was also frighteningly colourful enough to beat the dickens out of grey January skies. Purple food? Why not!

And if purple vegetables aren’t your thing, why not check out my new post over at Food Network Canada to read about my foray into adventurous dining at Vancouver’s The Brave Bull’s House of Steaks.

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26 comments to “don’t adjust your monitor: purple shepherd’s pie”

  1. 1
    Tricia   January 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    i have to admit it doesn’t “look” appetizing. but i am a sucker for shepherd’s pie and it sounds delicious! if you could hide the purple with the crust, it would make a great april fool’s dish.

  2. 2
    Tricia   January 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    i have to admit it doesn’t “look” appetizing. but i am a sucker for shepherd’s pie and it sounds delicious! if you could hide the purple with the crust, it would make a great april fool’s dish.

  3. 3
    Bijoux   January 18, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Purple is my favourite colour!
    I enjoy purple onions over the other kinds of onions and I love dishes with eggplant/aubergine being from a Greek background…so it would come as no surprise to see ‘the colour purple’ in a dish.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper since I have recently begun to embark on a meat-free(but not fish-free) lifestyle.

    p.s. I switched to Blogger from Vox ~ Joanne

  4. 4
    Bijoux   January 18, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Purple is my favourite colour!
    I enjoy purple onions over the other kinds of onions and I love dishes with eggplant/aubergine being from a Greek background…so it would come as no surprise to see ‘the colour purple’ in a dish.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper since I have recently begun to embark on a meat-free(but not fish-free) lifestyle.

    p.s. I switched to Blogger from Vox ~ Joanne

  5. 5
    VeggieGirl   January 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    a purple shepherd’s pie??? and vegan, no less??? SCORE!!! :0D

  6. 6
    VeggieGirl   January 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    a purple shepherd’s pie??? and vegan, no less??? SCORE!!! :0D

  7. 7
    Cakespy   January 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Perfect for our northwesty winter weather–hearty fare for the cold grey days! Nice, very nice!

  8. 8
    Cakespy   January 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Perfect for our northwesty winter weather–hearty fare for the cold grey days! Nice, very nice!

  9. 9
    Oh, Mindy!   January 18, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I love shepherd’s pie. Once, I met a family who had never heard of it. I made it for them, and though they were extremely suspicious of it (really? yes.), they enjoyed it very much. I wish I had thought to put cabbage in it. I can’t imagine what they would have thought had it been purple!

  10. 10
    Oh, Mindy!   January 18, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I love shepherd’s pie. Once, I met a family who had never heard of it. I made it for them, and though they were extremely suspicious of it (really? yes.), they enjoyed it very much. I wish I had thought to put cabbage in it. I can’t imagine what they would have thought had it been purple!

  11. 11
    Kali   January 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Wow. I would be okay with its purplish hue, but I don’t think I could say the same for my fiance’. Even I could hide the tint under the potatoes, I can hear the reaction as he broke the crust: “Uh, sweetie?” “Yeah?” “Did you hurt a Muppet or something?”

  12. 12
    Kali   January 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Wow. I would be okay with its purplish hue, but I don’t think I could say the same for my fiance’. Even I could hide the tint under the potatoes, I can hear the reaction as he broke the crust: “Uh, sweetie?” “Yeah?” “Did you hurt a Muppet or something?”

  13. 13
    jen   January 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Perfect winter comfort food. Would never have thought of using purple cabbage but bright colours are definitely the order of the day when everything is so grey outside.

    And I’ve got the answer to Beth’s question – it’s a shepherdless pie :-)

  14. 14
    jen   January 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Perfect winter comfort food. Would never have thought of using purple cabbage but bright colours are definitely the order of the day when everything is so grey outside.

    And I’ve got the answer to Beth’s question – it’s a shepherdless pie :-)

  15. 15
    beth   January 20, 2008 at 5:47 am

    As I think I already discussed on my blog, this shouldn’t, actually accurately be called a shepherd’s pie. When we went to England we learned that a shepherd’s pie has lamb in it, a cottage pie has beef in it and a fisherman’s pie has, well, fish in it.
    So this should probably be called something like a vegetarian’s pie. Or maybe a vegan’s pie. Or maybe a psychedelic farmers pie?
    I also wonder if it would be even more purple with purple potatoes in the mix?

  16. 16
    lobstersquad   January 21, 2008 at 12:40 am

    I once made cabbage soup with red cabbage and it was pretty gross, until you closed your eyes, when it was perfectly fine. It looked mostly grey, but you seem to have preserved the colours just fine.

  17. 17
    lobstersquad   January 21, 2008 at 12:40 am

    I once made cabbage soup with red cabbage and it was pretty gross, until you closed your eyes, when it was perfectly fine. It looked mostly grey, but you seem to have preserved the colours just fine.

  18. 18
    eatme_delicious   January 22, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Mmm sounds delicious. I’ve never had shepherd’s pie. Where did you get the smoked applewood cheddar from? I’ve never seen that before (though I’ve never looked).

  19. 19
    eatme_delicious   January 22, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Mmm sounds delicious. I’ve never had shepherd’s pie. Where did you get the smoked applewood cheddar from? I’ve never seen that before (though I’ve never looked).

  20. 20
    kickpleat   January 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    tricia, i agree that this is definitely a bit off-putting to look at, but it is super yummy! even my picky husband ate it up and asked for seconds!

    oh, mindy…suspicious of shepherd’s pie? insanity! yes, purple would have really put them over the edge!!

    kali, that muppet comment made me laugh! indeed :)

    joanne, good luck with your vegetarian ways! i was a vegetarian for 10 years so i still make a ton of vegetarian recipes at home.

    glad you like this purple vegan pie, veggiegirl!

    thanks cakespy!

    ah, beth, it makes sense that a shepherd’s pie would have lamb in it! i love that…psychedelic farmer’s pie!haha.

    jen, i think this would be great with green ol’ cabbage…this is just what i had on hand and found it super tasty!

    lobstersquad, yes, red cabbage does tend to turn grey sometimes, so i’m glad this stayed so bright!

    eat me delicious, i got the cheese from costco, but they also have it at the grotto de fromaggio on the drive. it’s super delicious!

    yay, hag, more cabbage!! anything with cabbage pretty much gets me excited. i’m weird that way.

  21. 21
    kickpleat   January 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    tricia, i agree that this is definitely a bit off-putting to look at, but it is super yummy! even my picky husband ate it up and asked for seconds!

    oh, mindy…suspicious of shepherd’s pie? insanity! yes, purple would have really put them over the edge!!

    kali, that muppet comment made me laugh! indeed :)

    joanne, good luck with your vegetarian ways! i was a vegetarian for 10 years so i still make a ton of vegetarian recipes at home.

    glad you like this purple vegan pie, veggiegirl!

    thanks cakespy!

    ah, beth, it makes sense that a shepherd’s pie would have lamb in it! i love that…psychedelic farmer’s pie!haha.

    jen, i think this would be great with green ol’ cabbage…this is just what i had on hand and found it super tasty!

    lobstersquad, yes, red cabbage does tend to turn grey sometimes, so i’m glad this stayed so bright!

    eat me delicious, i got the cheese from costco, but they also have it at the grotto de fromaggio on the drive. it’s super delicious!

    yay, hag, more cabbage!! anything with cabbage pretty much gets me excited. i’m weird that way.

  22. 22
    hag   January 22, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I love shepards pie,though I haven’t had it in ages…and to make it with red ( purple) cabbage is just great! Yet another use for cabbage!

  23. 23
    Bijoux   January 23, 2008 at 6:49 am

    J – I was a vegetarian for approximately 3 years during my University days but then when I moved to Greece for a couple of years to work – I was surrounded in souvlaki joints and lamb chops and eventually called it quits :D
    Going veg is a great way to cut back on the grocery bill, among other things. It’s been more of a challenge with hubbie who enjoys his meat – but he’s cut back on his meat consumption considerably and only orders it when we eat out.

  24. 24
    Bijoux   January 23, 2008 at 6:49 am

    J – I was a vegetarian for approximately 3 years during my University days but then when I moved to Greece for a couple of years to work – I was surrounded in souvlaki joints and lamb chops and eventually called it quits :D
    Going veg is a great way to cut back on the grocery bill, among other things. It’s been more of a challenge with hubbie who enjoys his meat – but he’s cut back on his meat consumption considerably and only orders it when we eat out.

  25. 25
    chuck   January 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Brilliant, what a great and unique idea to out purple cabbage in the shepherds pie. Love it!

  26. 26
    chuck   January 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Brilliant, what a great and unique idea to out purple cabbage in the shepherds pie. Love it!

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