The complete veggie pie!
A version of this pie has been in existence since my share house days in my early 20’s when I first stopped eating meat – actually at the same time as the Save the Chicken eggplant bake. In its previous incarnation it was a vegetarian pie with eggs and milk and then piled high with grated cheese on top. It was always a hit, even amongst friends and family who weren’t vego.
Recently a friend sent me a pic on facebook – I’d typed out the recipe and given it to her – all the way back in 2003! I’ve been thinking about how I could veganise it… cakes, biscuits and muffins now seem so easy to ditch eggs and butter but this pie…. just wasn’t sure what I could do…
And then I came across a pie recipe in an old Vegetarian book ‘The Vegetarian Adventure’ by Karen Meyer which I found in a 2nd hand shop. The previous owner has written notes all through it, made suggestions, reviews and even pasted other recipes inside the front cover! Although its a Vegetarain book there are quite a few Vegan recipes tucked inside it as well.
I was a little dubious… would it be a complete disaster…but it works!
The idea for the potato base for this pie (part of the original recipe) came from my sister who I believe got it from an Elizabeth David cookbook… so with potato as the pie crust – it really is a complete Veggie Pie!
What you will need:
Veggies – lots of them and whatever you happen to have around or takes your fancy! Possibilities include:
- Olive oil
- 1 x 440g block of tofu
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Salt and cracked pepper
- 3-4 potatoes (washed, peeled or unpeeled depending on preference). Use any potato you have handy really – new potato or desiree work well.
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 2 teaspoons vegan margarine
Preheat your oven to approximately 160°C
Step 2: The base
Think mashed potato and you’ll get the idea!
- Slice potatoes in half and add to boiling water – boil until soft and ready to mash (approx10-15 minutes)
- Get out your potato masher & mash away
- Add the margarine and flour to the mashed potato (if you find the mixture a little dry you have two options – add a dash of soy milk or a little more vegan margarine)
- Once fully combined use this potato mix to line the base of a pie dish. Using a fork dot the lining and then pop into the oven for approximately 15 mins. The idea is to partially cook the lining – this will both firm it to hold the filling and give a lovely golden, baked potato flavour.
- Remove the pie case from the oven and set aside to cool while you continue with the filling
Step 3: The filling
While the pie crust is cooking away get your filling started
- Finely chop the onion (brown, spanish or white)
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a fry pan and add the onion. Cook gently for 3 minutes until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
- Lightly sauté the veggies – start with those that take the longest – cauliflower, broccoli and then work your way up to those veggies that require little cooking – spinach, corn etc.
- They only require a little time cooking on the stove top – it’s just really to get them on their way!
- Keep that potato masher handy…. !
- In a separate mixing bowl add the drained tofu and give it a good mashing!
- Add the tahini and soy sauce to the tofu
- Add the veggies to the tofu mixture and gently combine.
- Carefully pile this mixture into the potato pie case
- Slice a tomato and arrange across the top of the pie and scatter sesame seeds and/or chia seeds over the pie top.
Before scattering the sesame and chia seeds it is optional to grate some vegan cheese over the top of the pie. Not necessary but can certainly be a nice finishing touch.
- Now pop the pie into the oven. Baking time will vary – check at 35 minutes however it can take up to 45 mins depending on your oven. You just want it lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve with either a lovely green salad or if it’s more of a winter’s night then some lovely steamed veggies of your choice.
P.S. You could of course use pastry for the base whether you make it yourself or buy frozen pastry (vegan of course)!
I’m so happy that I’ve been able to recreate this pie – once you’ve cooked it a few times and have a feel for putting it together, you can have it ready in under an hour.