Monday, February 02, 2009
Imagine a bubbly hot pot pie with a crisp, flaky, golden crust, filled with a creamy mixture of sweet carrots, melt-in-the-mouth tofu cubes, and tender, buttery potatoes.
Now imagine you're eating it.
Does it get any better than that?
Well, it does, if you take the trouble to make this fabulous vegan pot pie.
To many of us, a pot pie signifies the ultimate in comfort food. But as with all comfort foods, your regular pot pie comes with a truckload of calories, not to mention both meat and cream. Not very comforting.
This vegan pot pie, on the other hand, is so healthy, it really makes you feel good about yourself and your waistline after you've eaten it. Try beating that.
The crust is part whole-wheat, and the creamy filling is made with soy milk and a whole lot of veggies as well as healthy tofu. Herbs add zing and flavor to this spectacular dish that really doesn't take long to cook up.
I baked up my pot pie in a pie dish, but any regular quart-sized baking dish would do. You can also add celery (which I didn't have on hand) and play around with the herbs used. Fresh coriander or cilantro would be great in this.
So here is my healthy, vegan version of a classic comfort food. Bake, and enjoy!
Vegan Pot Pie
For the crust:
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp transfat-free vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)
Mix together all the ingredients. Cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until no large lumps remain. Add just enough cold water and stir with a fork to mix. When the dough comes together, divide into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
For the filling:
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into a 1 1/2-cm dice
1 14-oz package of extra-firm tofu, also cut into a 1 1/2-cm dice
1 cup carrots, cut into 1 1/2-cm dice
1/2 cup green peas
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-cm dice
1 tsp of the same herbs used in the crust
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp vegan "butter" like Earth Balance
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the onions and stir. Add the garlic.
Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent, but not brown.
Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, green peas and dried herbs. Stir together. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to tenderize.
Add the tofu, soy milk, vegan "butter," wine, and all-purpose flour. Stir together. The mixture will thicken.
Cook, covered another 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are tender. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Turn off the heat and set aside while you prepare the crust.
Take one ball of the crust dough and, using just enough flour, roll it into a circle a little larger than your baking dish or pie plate. There should be an overhang of about 1 inch when you put the dough into the dish.
Transfer the crust to the plate and roll out the second ball of dough into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the baking dish or pie plate.
Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Smooth the top, and then cover with the top crust.
Using your fingers, press together the top and bottom crusts at the edges, forming a seal. Tuck any overhang into the baking dish. Crimp the edges with a fork or with your fingers for a decorative look.
Make two sharp cuts (shaped like an X), about 2 inches each, in the center of the pie.
Brush the top of the pie with a mixture of 1 tbsp soy milk + 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees about 45 minutes to an hour. The pot pie is ready when the crust turns golden brown and the juices bubble through the cuts at the top.
Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes at least before cutting into slices. The filling will be oozy and a little runny initially, but it will firm up the longer the pot pie stands. I like my filling runny.
This healthy pot pie goes off to Monthly Mingle: Healthy Family Dinners, started by Meeta, and hosted this month by the What's Cooking Blog.