Thursday, May 31, 2012

Veggie Pot Pie

Pot pie. In modern America, this usually means those frozen, sodium-laden discs that - I'll admit it - taste pretty good, but offer almost nothing nutritionally beneficial.

Enter a homemade, vegan pot pie! It's a little more work than your average 30-minute dinner, but it's well-worth it. This is the second variation I've made and we liked it even better than the first. The crust was awesome! Pie crust is a pain in my rear, but everytime I suck it up and make one, I'm so glad. So get the kids in the kitchen with you to chop veggies, put on your apron, and get ready to feel like a domestic goddess.

Veggie Pot Pie

adapted slightly from Veganomicon, the best vegan cookbook ever
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. cold nonhydrogenated vegan shortening (I used Spectrum organic butter-flavored, I found it at Smith's)
1/2 to 3/4 c. cold ice water
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1/4 c. chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour - I ground my own using dried chickpeas and my wheat grinder! you could probably use all-purpose flour too
1 lg. onion, cut into fine dice
1 lg. carrot, peeled and cut into fine dice
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into fine dice
1 stalk celery, cut into fine dice
1 c. broccoli florets, cut small
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
1/2 c. frozen peas
2/3 + 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2-1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Have a pie dish ready.

Prepare the crust first:
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in large mixing bowl. Add the cold shortening by the Tbsp, in small chunks, and cut into flour wtih pastry cutter until crumbly.

Pour 3/4 c. cold water into small bowl and toss in a few ice cubes. Measure out 1/2 c. ice water into a 1 c. measuring cup and stir the vinegar into it. Add the vinegared water to the dough in 3 batches, gently mixing it in dough with a fork, until dough holds together when pinched. You can add up to 1/4 c. more water, a Tbsp at a time, til all dry ingredients are moistened and a firm dough is formed.

Gently press dough into a ball. On a piece of wax paper or a floured countertop, roll the dough out to the shape of the dish you'll be using but about 2-3 inches larger. Cover with plastic wrap or more wax paper and refrigerate while making the filling. You can do the pie crust in advance, if you want.

Prepare the filling:
Preheat oven to 375.

Heat a soup pot over med. heat and add 3 Tbsp. grapeseed oil. Stir in the chickpea flour. Stir constantly and toast flour for 5-10 minutes, until fragrant and a deep mustard color. Be careful - I burned a batch of flour here and had to start over!

Stir in chopped onion, cook for 4 minutes, and add carrot, potato, celery, and broccoli. Cook for 8 minutes, until veggies are soft. Stir frequently!

Pour in 2/3 c. vegetable broth, stirring to dissolve brown bits from bottom of pot. Cook 2 minutes to reduce a bit, then stir in frozen corn and peas. Pour in about 3/4 c. more broth and add thyme, mustard powder, and sage. Bring to simmer. Stir in remaining broth and bring to simmer again. Cook for another 6-8 minutes until broth has reduced slightly and a thin gravy has formed. Remove from heat and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Remove piecrust from fridge. Ladle filling into piedish. Top with crust, pressing edges down lightly, and crimp the edges or do whatever you like to do on a piecrust top. Poke a few holes in the middle to let steam escape.

Place in preheated 375 oven. Place a large baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any spills from bubbling over. Bake pot pie 40-45 mins, until filling is bubble and crust is lightly browned and flaky. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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