Since I'm a summer gal, I have officially deemed this weather unacceptable. However, my request for warmer weather has, to date, gone un-granted.
So instead of moving south (not in the budget), I've done the next best thing: bake. A lot.
But I haven't been making treats that get me in trouble. No, recently I set out to make something I've missed dearly since starting a gluten-free, unprocessed plant-based diet. A comfort food that will always remind me of home: vegetable pot pie.
Of course, when I was growing up, we had chicken pot pie. Working full time and raising two kids, my mom was busy to say the least, but she believed firmly in family dinners. And come winter, one of her go-to dishes was an easy pot pie made with leftover chicken, frozen mixed vegetables, cream of chicken soup, and Bisquick topping. Simple, comforting, and delicious.
Nowadays, though, chicken, cream of anything soup, and Bisquick are no longer options. (Meat and dairy and gluten, oh my!) However, after six trial runs, I've finally recreated a vegetarian pot pie that's every bit as good as the pot pies of my youth. As an added bonus, it's also:
- Gluten free and soy free
- Low fat
- Mostly unprocessd
The only cheats are some salt (omit if needed), and corn starch, which is critical to making the sauce creamy and fabulous.
Better yet, this recipe is easy peasy. It takes some time, but there's nothing challenging about it. In fact, you don't have to chop a single vegetable if you don't want to. You can even customize it for your tastes. (Want even more protein? Swap out some frozen veggies for chickpeas. Don't like mushrooms? Ditch 'em and add frozen veggies cup for cup.)
What I love even more is that this is a great "bake-and-take" dish. It's just the thing to bring to a friend who's recovering from surgery or recently had a baby.
More exciting still: This vegan pot pie passes the omnivore test! My father, who's a dyed-in-the-wool meat eater, likes it.
Need I say more?
Vegetarian Pot Pie (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Low Fat)
Prep time: 40 min hands-on; 30-35 min in the oven Serves: 4 hungry people
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp water
½ c corn meal
¼ c brown rice flour
¼ c amaranth flour (see Notes)
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 packet powdered stevia or 6 drops liquid stevia (see Notes)
¼ c apple sauce
½ c unsweetened nondairy milk (almond milk or low-fat coconut milk work well)
5 c frozen mixed vegetables + ¼ c water
1½ c frozen mixed mushrooms OR washed and sliced fresh button mushrooms
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt (omit if sodium-sensitive)
⅛ tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp cold water
Cooking liquid from frozen vegetables
~¾ c unsweetened nondairy milk
Preheat oven to 400F
In a small microwaveable bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp ground flax seed and 3 Tbsp water. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until gooey when stirred. Set aside.
Place the frozen vegetables and mushrooms (fresh or frozen) in a microwaveable, deep-dish pie pan. Add ¼ c water, invert a dinner plate over the top, and microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Start making the topping (while vegetables are cooking)
Prepare dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the corn meal, brown rice flour, amaranth flour, baking powder, salt, and powdered stevia (if using).
Prepare wet ingredients: In a separate small bowl, add the apple sauce, ½ c nondairy milk, liquid stevia (if using) and flax seed goo. Mix well with a fork.
Set topping ingredients aside.
Make the sauce
Once veggies are done cooking, carefully drain the cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Add nondairy milk to the cooking liquid until you have 1 c liquid total. Pour into a small pot. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to the pot, and whisk to combine.
Bring to a boil.
Measure 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water into the measuring cup and mix thoroughly with a fork. Whisking constantly, add the cornstarch slurry to the boiling liquid. The liquid should thicken immediately; remove from heat after 5-10 seconds.
Put it all together
Add thickened sauce to vegetables in pie dish and stir gently to combine.
Pour the wet topping ingredients into the dry topping ingredients and stir until just combined. (Should be a thick batter.)
Pour batter over top of vegetables in pie dish and smooth to the edges with a spatula.
Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cornbread comes out clean.
Amaranth flour is an excellent gluten-free "binding" flour. I buy mine at Whole Foods (Bob's Red Mill brand). If you can't get amaranth flour, try grinding gluten-free quick oats into a flour and substituting ¼ c oat flour for the amaranth flour. (I haven't tried this, but I've seen it used in another gluten-free cornbread recipe.)
If using powdered stevia, add to the dry ingredients. If using liquid stevia, add to the wet ingredients.
Sauce may bubble up around the edges as the pot pie bakes; it will still taste fantastic!
Click here for printer-friendly recipe.
Shared on Share Your Stuff Tuesday, Gluten Free Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, and FatFree Vegan Recipes.
Nutrition Info (¼ of recipe, using salt in topping only): 327 calories, 34 calories from fat, 4g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 279mg sodium, 628mg potassium, 63g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 8g sugar, 12g protein
Daily values: 160% Vitamin A, 12% Vitamin C, 21% calcium, 23% iron
(Note: Estimates were used for amaranth flour and mixed vegetables in nutrition calculations.)
Still chilly? How about a warm, comforting, and caffeine-free pumpkin chai latte?
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