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Easy Vegan Pot Pie

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I haven’t been cooking a lot lately.  The main reason is that I’m pregnant and, in case you haven’t heard, pregnant women can be lazy.  I’m sure that women who are raising children while pregnant just fight through the nausea and exhaustion because they have kids to take care of, but I’m not there yet.  A full work day or even a long day of shopping makes me just want to lay on the couch for hours before finally going to bed.  Eric has been really great about taking care of me and picking up food to go because most of the time I feel like doing nothing.  However, I’ve been feeling pretty guilty for all my laziness and I understand the importance of cooking in advance so that I have food ready to just warm up when I’m feeling famished.

I searched Pinterest for interesting, but easy-looking recipes.  I have always loved pot pie.  I love the combination of the veggies, flaky pastry, and gravy-like filling.  So, when I saw this “Cheater” Vegetable Pot Pie, I decided to give it a try.  I left out the mushrooms because I don’t like those and I added a little vegan chicken bouillon for flavor and some of Trader Joe’s vegan grilled “chicken” strips.  I liked the recipe a lot, the only problem was how bland the filling was.  The non-dairy milk, flour, and veggie broth mixture definitely needed some major seasoning like vegan gravy might have.  We ended up just adding a lot of salt as we ate.

We will definitely make this recipe again, just trying some different ingredients using trial and error.

Easy Vegan Pot Pie | A Vegan in Progress

Pot Pie Filling

Pot Pie Filling

The slightly edited recipe below makes 7-8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • half cup of non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 2/3 cup frozen sweet peas
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry crust, thawed and rolled out (Pepperidge Farm is vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan chicken bouillon
  • Trader Joe’s vegan grilled “chicken” strips – use however much you like

Directions:

  1. Water saute the onion, kale, and carrots for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, potatoes, bell pepper, and celery and cover with the heat on medium/low for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the flour into the veggie mix, mixing until it’s all combined, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the veggie broth, almond milk, and vegan chicken bouillon.  Keep stirring until there are no flour lumps, then bring to a simmer.  It’ll start to thicken up in about 4-5 minutes.  Add the frozen peas, then remove from heat.
  5. Add Trader Joe’s vegan grilled “chicken” strips and a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then stir.  Spray your 8 x 8 baking dish with some non-stick spray, then pour in your delicious veggie mixture. (I ended up making a couple of smaller individual pot pies and one larger one to share – this recipe makes a lot!)
  6. Cover with your puff pastry and cut slits in the top to vent.  Bake at 375 until the crust is golden brown, 15-20 minutes (or maybe more depending on  your oven).  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve.

Vegan Recipe – Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

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Sandwiches are a really tough thing to wrap your head around once you go vegan.  We’re used to sandwiches built around meats and cheeses, so it’s often a challenge to think of alternatives.  This is a quick, filling, tasty sandwich that doesn’t require fake meats to make it satisfying.  I made it with stuff I just happened to have on hand.

Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich | A Vegan in Progress

Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bread bowl sized sourdough loaf (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 or 2 roasted red peppers (the kind that come marinated, in a jar)
  • Tofutti Better Than Cream cheese (or any other imitation cream cheese)
  • A handful of spinach leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  • Simply cut the loaf in half, spread cream cheese on one side, cut red peppers into strips, and pile peppers and spinach on the sandwich.

My sandwich was a little bread-heavy, so I would suggest maybe cutting a slice or two of bread out of the middle of the loaf to make it more manageable.

Sourdough bread sandwich | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Recipe – Asian Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

As you know, I have not had a lot of free time lately, so I have been lagging on lunch preparation.  Last night I realized that unless I wanted a plain peanut butter sandwich, I had nothing for lunch today.  So, Eric and I ran to the store to grab a few essentials, waiting to do a real shopping trip later since it was after 10pm and Sprouts was closed.

I knew that it had been too long since I had posted a proper recipe, so I quickly flipped through The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour book and found the recipe for Asian Tempeh Lettuce Wraps.  We had most of the ingredients on hand and I picked up the few extras while we were at the store.  Preparation for this one is minimal.  It would have been miniscule if I had a veggie chopper or a food processor, but I’m a pauper, so I chopped mine by hand.  It cooked while we slept and smelled delicious when we woke up.  Eric packed the filling in a reusable container for me and washed pieces of iceberg for wrapping.  As a last minute addition, I tossed the jar of Hoisin sauce into my lunch bag.

Slow Cooker Asian Tempeh Lettuce Wraps | A Vegan in Progress

I want more just looking at it now!

I looked forward to my lunch all day and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!  The flavors were delish and the Hoisin added a perfect amount of sauce.  The only issue is that the actual sauce that it cooks in stays very watery (even after I cooked it for an additional half hour on high with the lid off).  It was a big mess, dripping down to my wrist with every bite.  I would just suggest straining out the liquid since it has done its job in flavoring the filling and the Hoisin can take it from there.

This is wonderful as a wrap, but would make a very nice salad topping.  Loved it!

INGREDIENTS:
1 package (8 oz) plain soy tempeh, cubed
1 large stalk celery
2 medium-size carrots
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained

FOR THE SAUCE:
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger, more as needed
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar or plain rice vinegar mixed with 1 tsp sugar
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes or sriracha
Whole iceberg or butter lettuce leaves, for serving

THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Steam the tempeh in a steamer basket/colander for 10 minutes.  If you have neither, you can cover the bottom of a stir fry pan with a layer of water and boil it, then add the tempeh.  I read that it works similarly to steaming since there isn’t enough water to really boil the tempeh.  The steaming takes out some of the bitterness.  While the tempeh is cooking, mince the celery , carrots, and water chestnuts.

To make the sauce: combine all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the tempeh, celery, carrots, and water chestnuts, cover, and store in the fridge.  If you are making it overnight for a lunch like I did, just put everything in the slow cooker, no need to refrigerate it.

IN THE MORNING:

Place the tempeh, vegetables, and sauce in the slow cooker and smash the tempeh with a spoon until it crumbles.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Add an additional 1 tsp grated ginger if its flavor has dulled.  Serve with whole lettuce leaves to wrap the filling in.

** The book suggests using the filling to make a banh mi sandwich.  Serve on a toasted sub roll with fresh bean sprouts, shredded carrots, cilantro, and some jalapeños.