Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegan MoFo #17: Yet Another Vegetable Pie

Maybe it's the English(wo)man in me, but I really love savory pies, especially if there's gravy involved, so when in doubt about what to cook, some sort of vegetable pie is one of my go-to options. This one came about because I wanted mashed potatoes but couldn't justify making an entire dinner of them. The filling is made from ingredients most people have in the vegetable crisper, and can be expanded or contracted easily to suit availability and personal taste: cauliflower, parsnips, even sweet potatoes could easily be incorporated into this pie with excellent results, so don't hesitate to experiment. This is a great comfort food dinner on a chilly evening, especially served with extra mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, or other wintry vegetables. Add your favorite gravy and some cranberry sauce and hey, presto: it's Thanksgiving!

~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 cups onions and/or leeks, washed and chopped
~ 1/2 cup diced celery
~ 1/2 cup diced carrots
~ 4 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
~ 1/2 cup frozen peas
~ 1/2 lb. firm tofu, mashed
~ 1/2 cup vegetable broth, mixed with 1 tbsp. corn starch
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, thyme, parsley, sage, marjoram
~ Fresh black pepper to taste
~ ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
~ 1-2 tbsp. vegan margarine
~ Paprika for garnish

~ 1 prepared single pie crust
~ 1 big batch of your favorite mashed potato recipe

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
~ In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and/or onions and garlic; sauté 2-3 minutes.
~ Add the celery, seasonings, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook another 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent sticking.
~ Add the frozen peas, mashed tofu, fresh parsley and the stock/corn starch mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine, then continue cooking another 5-10 minutes.
~ Transfer into a prepared single piecrust and top with a thick layer of mashed potato.
~ Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (I usually place the pie plate on a baking sheet to catch any errant drips).
~ Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or other vegan margarine over the potatoes, then sprinkle on some paprika and lightly drag the tines of a fork around to make pretty patterns.
~ Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and lovely.
~ Allow to rest at least 15 minute before slicing and serving with your favorite autumnal veggies (and gravy!).