Monday, November 18, 2013

Vegan Pot Pie

My non-vegan daughter had asked me for a chicken pot pie the other day.  It got my mouth watering, not for a chicken pot pie, but for a veggie pot pie.  So last night, I whipped up two pies - a chicken one for the non-vegans in my life and a vegan one that was MINE!!! ALL MINE!!!  
To call this an actual recipe would be a stretch, but I will try.  It was an adaptation of my favorite chicken pot pie recipe and, I think, was soooo much tastier than the original!  Two nights ago, I made a mushroom-red wine gravy with my husband's third harvest of our oyster mushrooms that was utterly delicious.  I knew it would make the best base for a pot pie when I was putting the leftovers in the fridge.  

Also, this recipe makes a small pie.  I used a small round stoneware dish.  If you want to make a regular sized pie, you could double the filling amount.  

Vegan Pot Pie with Mushroom Gravy


1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 large white potato, cut in a small dice, about 1/2" cubes
1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables or fresh chopped veggies (carrots, celery, peas, etc) - whatever you like
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary (I didn't have dried, but I did have fresh, which is even better!)  

1 1/2 cups Mushroom-Red Wine Gravy (recipe to follow)

Vegan Pie Crust (recipe to follow) 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Sauté onions and garlic until starting to caramelize.  Add diced potato and any uncooked fresh vegetables you may be using, like diced carrots or celery.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the outsides of the potatoes start to brown.  Add frozen veggies, if using, herbs, and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are soft.  

Stir in the cooked lentils and the gravy.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Place filling into prepared pie shell and cover with the remaining dough.  Brush with a little plain, unsweetened soy milk.  Vent the top crust in a few spots with a knife.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.  

Mushroom-Red Wine Gravy

This recipe is an adaptation of Fat Free Vegan's "Impromptu Mushroom Gravy" recipe, which has become my go-to gravy recipe.  

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, minced 
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (I used oysters only for this recipe and probably closer to a pound)
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 cup red wine 
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons unbleached flour 
salt and cayenne pepper to taste (even just a touch of cayenne makes everything better!)

Saute' onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and just beginning to caramelize.  Add mushrooms and saute' until mushrooms are cooked, about 3 minutes.  Add herbs and cook another 30 seconds.  

Add red wine and turn the heat up to medium-high to reduce and burn off the alcohol.  When the wine is almost completely absorbed, reduce heat to medium-low, add flour and stir constantly, cooking for about 2 minutes.  Add vegetable broth and cook, stirring constantly until gravy is thickened.  Add soy sauce and taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.  

Vegan Flaky Pie Crust

This recipe makes enough for a double crust for a large, deep dish pie pan.  I had enough for a regular pie pan and my small stoneware dish, double crust on each.  

3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, chilled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp white vinegar (this makes it even flakier, but can be omitted if you wish)
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water 

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Mix vinegar and 1/4 cup cold water.  Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until it just comes together.  If you need more water, add it slowly, 1 tbsp at a time.  

Divide dough into two equal pieces.  Place on floured surface and roll out as thinly as possible.  Place in pie dish.  

I do pre-bake my pie crust for a pot pie just to keep it from getting soggy on the bottom.  You don't have to do this and I have made pot pies before without pre-baking.  When I make a pie for guests or to bring to someone's house, I do not pre-bake it simply because the crust edges are so much prettier when you put it together raw dough to raw dough.  But this time, it was just us and I made a more rustic "dough hanging over the edges of the dish" kind of a pie, so it didn't matter.  It's up to you.  If you wish to pre-bake, prick the bottom of the shell with a fork and place in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Fill and top with the second pie crust.  Remember to cut some slits in your top crust to vent your pie before putting it in the oven regardless.  

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