The Cookbook That Transformed My Life
A big shout out to Robin Robertson, author of Vegan Planet. When I first decided to go vegan years ago, I went to the bookstore in desperate need of instruction. Something drew me to Vegan Planet. I’m certain it was its simplicity.
My “meat and potatoes” husband was amazed at this great tasting food. The only way I would win over a country boy, who’s mother saved bacon grease for cooking, was to satisfy his tummy and taste buds. So I did. I cooked a new recipe every night for months to keep my family intrigued.
Even if you choose to eat meat, vegan cookbooks are your best bet for cooking healthy. Great vegan chefs are masters of flavor. They substitute great tasting herbs and spices for the flavor you might expect with full fat cheese. They expose us to cuisines from all over the world.
The biggest myth is that meatless meals taste horribly bland. I’ve lived as both a carnivore and a vegan and lots of in between. I can tell you a vegan diet is the most adventurous, flavorful diet of all!
Don’t be intimidated. Be willing. Get out of your comfort zone and make a couple meatless meals a week.
I now take Vegan Planet recipes and use them as inspiration for my own. There’s a bit of indulgence in this dish due to the corn oil. Compared to a traditional chicken or beef pot pie, this is much better for you and the topping I’ve created is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
VEGAN POT PIE WITH WHOLE WHEAT CRUST TOPPING
|1 can diced potatoes, rinsed|
|2 diced fresh carrots|
|1 diced onion|
|3/4 cup frozen baby peas, defrosted|
|1 can mushrooms, rinsed|
|2 packages seitan*, cut into tiny strips|
|1 1/4 cups water|
|1 tsp vegetable buillion|
|2 T light Tamari Sauce|
|1 T Olive oil|
|1 tsp pepper|
|1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water|
*Seitan is made from wheat and is very high in protein, low in fat. Available at Whole Foods. Click on link above so you know what to look for when shopping.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in skillet and stir fry seitan strips until they begin to brown. Set aside. In same skillet, sauté vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Add seitan back in along with remaining ingredients except cornstarch. Cook over medium-high just a couple of minutes. With heat on low, add in cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Pour filling into casserole dish.
|2 cups whole wheat flour|
|1/2 tsp salt|
|1/2 cup cold corn oil|
|3 T ice water|
|1/2 T dried or fresh parsley|
Stir ingredients together in mixing bowl until crumbly. The corn oil and water must be very cold. Spread out crumbly crust over the top of the filling pressing down gently. (I find this much easier than rolling out a dough). I use a fairly deep casserole dish (8 x 8 or 9 x 9) because I want the crust to be about 1/2″ thick on top. Sprinkle top with parsley.
Cook in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes until edges look a little bubbly. Switch oven to broil and watch closely. Broil just so top of crust starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow time to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Variations on this dish are endless. You can add olives, jicama, celery, edamame, beans, sweet potatoes, or any favorite vegetable.
By adding cinnamon and brown sugar to this crust, you can create a whole wheat fruit cobbler dessert.
There are no rules. I pull out key ingredients from recipes, in this case the sauce and crust, and use what I have in the house to create my own masterpiece.