The biggest challenge vegetarians (and especially vegans) find when it comes to Thanksgiving, is probably the main dish. Because, let's be honest, replacing the real turkey with a fake one, isn't really all that appealing. And even though nowadays there are a few other options in the market (like, the vegan "ham" roll I saw a couple of weeks ago), most non meat eaters would much rather go with a less "processed" alternative. And one that doesn't look like a piece of meat for that matter.
So every year we try to come up with something tasty and festive for the Thanksgiving table. And this year, the idea of vegan pot pies came to mind. Which is interesting because it's definitely something we didn't grow up eating. In fact, I don't think we're ever eaten it! But the idea sounded good so we took the basic concept and, of course, gave it a little twist.
For a little Mediterranean touch, we made an olive oil crust and a white wine and Herbres de Provence "gravy" . Both really flavorful and a little lighter than the traditional butter and cream based pot pies.
The rainbow carrots make the dish more "festive" by adding color, and the sweet potatoes give it just the right amount of sweetness.
For the protein, we decided to go with high protein tofu, because of it's slightly firm consistency and neutral flavor. This of course can be either omitted or swapped with your favorite protein, like tempeh, seitan or even beans.
- For the crust:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup cold water
- For the filling:
- 3 rainbow carrots ( here we used 1 orange, 1 yellow and 1 purple), sliced about 1/8 inch thick
- 1 medium size sweet potato (or 2 small), diced
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5oz high protein super firm tofu, diced small
- 1 shallot, diced small
- 1/2 tbsp Herbes de Provence (you can also use a combination of dried rosemary, thyme, marjoram and oregano)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place sliced carrots and sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and toss well. Spread over the lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven when ready and set aside
- In the meantime, prepare the crust. Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times. Pour olive oil and pulse about 10 more times
- Slowly pour water and keep pulsing until the dough comes together (you can check by pinching it together with your two fingers). Divide the dough into 6 pieces and refrigerate until ready to use
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick skillet. Add tofu and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until it starts to brown lightly. Set aside
- In a large, deep skillet, saute shallot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add Herbes de Provence, pepper, salt and garlic and continue cooking for another minute
- Reduce heat to low, add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium and add broth and wine, whisking constantly. Once it starts to thicken, simmer for 2 minutes. Add tofu, roasted vegetables and peas and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, gently mixing all the ingredients together
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Divide the filling into 6-10oz oven proof ramekins or bowls, filling them about 2/3 of the way
- Roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/2 inch larger than the top of the ramekins. Place each piece over the filled ramekins, lightly pressing the edges to the sides. Using a sharp knife, make 3 small cuts in the center
- Place the pot pies on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 45 minutes or until the crust starts to brown