Green beans – eating Liturgically – Pastoral Pie recipe

Green beans – eating Liturgically – Pastoral Pie recipe

I just had to look up the nutritional benefits of green beans, because I was so dispirited with eating them for my lunch.  I mean, they taste okay.  They’re fine.  But they don’t make me eagerly anticipate eating them, you know?  At least I know they have potassium and vitamin C and are low on the glycemic index. Whoo.

I think technically I should be feasting all the live long day – it’s the liturgical season of Easter, and I know I’m not supposed to fast during these 6 weeks, anyway.  After the slog of Lent, not fasting sounds a-ok to me…but an all-you-can-feast party until Pentecost isn’t what I want either.  I’m more a 12 days of Christmas Feasting kind of girl.  What I want now is a feeling of health and satiety, which I missed so very much in the 40 days of vegan before 6, no alcohol, no sweets time of Lent.

So, I guess, Healthy is my Feasting right now?

I’m doing my ‘Fierce” rules, anyway.  Which means I’m using green veggies to fill out my calories.  And this morning all that was in the house was…green beans.  Les haricots verts.  Le sigh.

We did a special St. Mark’s feast last night – Shepherd’s Pie in a nod to this town in Italy that spends St. Mark’s day roasting lamb and having an all-day town feast – this town is made of Shepherd’s.  I don’t like lamb, so I did our Shephed’s Pie…which is really not so much a Shepherd’s Pie.  Various family members have sensory issues with the usual vegetable assortment in Shepherd’s Pie.  Let’s call it Pastoral Pie, and I’ll post the recipe below.

Next week for Sts Philip and James I’m doing a play on Loaves and Fishes (hoping to do a soy salmon on the grill – yum!) since Philip is the poor guy Jesus asked “how we gonna feed these 5000?”, who answered, “it’s impossible!”.  Haha, watch this, Philip.

I’m really enjoying Eating Liturgically.  I enjoy the Feasting more when it’s rare and deliberate.  I can Fast when I know it’s intentional and specific.  I can stay Fierce in the meanwhile, knowing it’s not a slog forever.  (I’m thinking this might be in an interesting book/blog – what do you think?)

Anyway, as promised: Hagan Pastoral Pie

Credit: we started with the Shepherd’s Pie recipe from our friend, Marc Wethington.  Here’s the Hagan version.

Assume you have leftover mashed potatoes.  If you don’t, make some.

Now, make mushroom gravy:

– melt half a stick of butter in a saucepan

– add one onion, diced (or food processed into a slurry if your family also has onion sensory issues) and a package of pre-cut mushrooms.  Saute until the onions are clear and the mushrooms look less raw.

– add a 1/4 cup of cooking sherry, and powdered gravy mix (pre-mixed with a little bit of water).

– heat until it looks like gravy and the mushrooms are soft.


– brown a lb of ground beef

– dice about 2 potatoes into stupidly small squares – like a cm square.  It takes forever, but it looks awesome when you’re done and it helps with the cooking of the Pie immensely.

– drain the beef, then add the diced potatoes, the mushroom gravy, salt, pepper, garlic powder (to taste), and 2 bay leaves.  Simmer until the potatoes are cooked (see why small is better?).


– put a pie crust in a pie pan.  I buy the pre-made, but if you want to make your own, go for it.

– remove the bay leaves, and then spoon the gravy beef mixture into the pie crust

– top with mashed potatoes – smooth top with back of spoon.

– add dollops of butter to the top


– 350 oven, for about 30 minutes – before the crust burns, after the butter is melted, ideally when the mashed potatoes are a little brown and crispy on the top.


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