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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, animal rights, public health, food safety, frugal living, global food crisis and the immense contribution of livestock/meat production to climate change/resource depletion.

One simple choice you make has the power to significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, save water and land resources, combat world hunger, improve your health and create a kinder world. Want to know how? Watch this brilliant message illustrating the advantages of eliminating/reducing meat consumption.

     

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health.  Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis.  Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less meat consumption. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet; we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!

I know you're thinking that just because we like to groove on 60's tunes here at MMM that I'm referring to 'that kind of pot' in the title, but you would be wrong because the type of pot pie that I'm referring to is the kind with a crusty top and a creamy type of delicious filling.  It's the perfect time of year to assemble and dig into a warm crust covered pie to find all kind of unpredictable and luscious fillings. I like preparing pot pies for company; whether a large casserole of serve-it-yourself or sophisticated individual servings for an elegant dinner.

Today I'll share some Earth friendly pot pie recipes. The beauty of a pot pie is that you are free to adapt recipes to your liking by exchanging filling recipes with the topping recipe of your choice. Enjoy!
        vegan pot pie
VEGAN POT PIE
Thanks Treehugger!

Filling

    3 cups vegetable broth
    2 large carrots, diced finely
    2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed finely
    1 1/2 tablespoon flour
    olive oil, as needed
    1 large onion, chopped
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon basil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 cup peas
    6 ounces firm tofu (you can substitute seitan or fake chicken here if you like)

Crust

    3 cups flour
    2/3 cup cold water
    1 1/3 cups olive oil (or mix olive and canola)

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Heat vegetable broth in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add carrots and potatoes. Add flour and stir continuously until dissolved.

2. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil and spices until soft and transparent. Add onion mix to the vegetable broth mix, then fold in the peas. Simmer for 15 minute until the vegetables are soft and the broth is thick. Add tofu.

3. Mix crust ingredients, and separate the dough into two pieces. Roll out both halves in between plastic wrap and place bottom into a 10-inch casserole dish - you can also skip rolling and press it in with your fingers.

4. Pour filling onto the crust-lined dish. Add the top pie crust on. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

5. Remove from oven, let stand for 10 minutes. Serve.
     samosa pot pie
SAMOSA POT PIE
Everything you love about Indian samosas is here in one easy-to-make pie. Serve with Cucumber Raita if desired. Serves 6

Crust

    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
    ¼ tsp. salt
    2 Tbs. vegetable oil

Filling

    1 Tbs. black or yellow mustard seeds
    1 tsp. curry powder
    1 tsp. ground ginger
    ½ tsp. ground cumin
    ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
    5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (1 ¼ lb.)
    1 ½ tsp. vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
    1 medium carrot, diced (½ cup)
    3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
    2 tsp. agave nectar or sugar
    2 Tbs. soymilk

1. To make Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together flours and salt in bowl. Stir in oil until clumps form. Add 6 to 10 Tbs. cold water, 1 Tbs. at a time, until dough holds together. Shape into ball, cover with damp towel, and set aside.

2. To make Filling: Stir together mustard seeds, curry, ginger, cumin, and red pepper flakes, if using, in bowl; set aside.

3. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to pot, and mash, leaving small chunks.

4. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Move onion mixture to side of pan, and add mustard seed mixture in center. Toast 30 seconds. Stir in peas and broth. Fold onion mixture into potato mixture; stir in agave nectar. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread Filling in 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

5. Roll out Crust dough to 11-inch circle on floured work surface. Cover Filling with dough, pressing down to make sure no air pockets remain. Trim away excess dough, and crimp edges with fingers. Cut X in center to vent steam; brush with soymilk just before baking. Place pie on baking sheet, and bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

6. Frozen cooking instructions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Place casserole on baking sheet, and bake 75 to 90 minutes, or until Filling bubbles and Crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving
      Homemade Vegan Enchilada Casserole
MEXICAN POT PIE
Can use just about anything for a pot pie topping even a tortilla! Serves 8

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
corn tortillas--at least 12
3 cups (28 ounces) fatfree vegetarian refried beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp. cumin, divided
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained (or use half black beans half corn frozen or fresh)
1 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce (or 1 1/2 cups homemade)
sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a non-stick pan with a little water (1 tbsp.), sauté the peppers, garlic, and onion for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Set aside.

Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan(or 12 inch round) with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with a layer of tortillas (you may cut some of them to fit). Make sure you cover the entire bottom of the pan.

Stir the refried beans and spread half of them evenly over the tortillas. Cover the refried beans with half of the pepper-onion mixture and half of the tomatoes; sprinkle with half of the seasonings and half of the black beans.

Add another layer of tortillas and repeat the layers of the other ingredients. Spread the cup of salsa over the final layer of black beans. Cover with a final layer of tortillas, pour the enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with black olives. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot throughout. It will be easier to cut if you allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Great with avocado and tomato salad.
     Phyllo Pie
PHYLL0 PIE with LEMON TOFU and WINTER GREEN
This is so delicious! To make Greek style sub. dill with fresh greek oregano (2tbsp) and use spinach for greens.

tofu
1 pound extra firm tofu
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (see note above)
3 garlic cloves, mashed
pinch of red pepper flakes
sea salt

vegetables
1 1/2 pounds collard green, kale, chard, spinach or other leafy green
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounce package phyllo, thawed
paprika for dusting

1. Mash the tofu in a bowl.
2. Add rest of ingredients, stir until combined and set aside.

1. Steam greens for 3-4 minutes, until they turn a bright green. Drain, and set aside to cool.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cook until browned, 3-4 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Increase heat and cook, stirring until mushrooms caramelize, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in greens and tomatoes. Remove from heat.

To assemble pie
1. Brush a 10 inch spring form pan or pie dish with butter. Place 5 sheets of phyllo down, brushing with olive oil between each layer. The extra pieces that hang over can be trimmed off at the end, or folded over.
2. Spread the vegetable layer, and cover with 2 more phyllo sheets, oiled in between.
3. Spread the tofu layer and top with 8-10 more phyllo layers, again, brushing with olive oil between each layer.
4. Brush top with olive oil. Lightly score top into 6 slices, taking care to only cut phyllo layer. Sprinkle with paprika.
5. Bake until browned, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
     Vegetable Pot Pies
COTTAGE POT PIE
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

1 medium Onion cut into rough chunks
1 medium carrot peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 clove garlic
½ celery stalk cut into rough chunks
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ lb. Button mushrooms thinly sliced (or use crimini)
8 oz soy crumbles (your fave)
1 Tbs; all purpose flour
¼ cup Marsala wine (any type of wine such as
port or a sweet sherry could probably be substituted)
1 cup canned tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. Soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 recipe your favourite mashed potato
¼ cup grated cheddar (optional) or use vegan cheddar (I use Daiya)

Put the onion, carrot garlic clove and celery into a food processor and pulse to chop finely. Heat the oil in medium frying pan and stir in the vegetables. Cook for a good 10 mts. until soft and add the mushrooms. (add more oil if needed)

After 2 mts. Add the crumbles. Pushing and breaking it up with a wooded spoon. You want it to unclump. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Then add the marsala wine, Tomatoes and worcestershire or soy sauce. Stir well and let simmer for 20 mts.

Uncover, prod and season with salt and pepper and cook for another 10 mts. By which time the meat should be cooked and not too liquid.

Put into a dish, and top with potato. If you want the top crispy dot with Earth Balance and put it under a hot broiler – sprinkling with grated cheese first, if you like – for a few minutes.
      Paula Deen's Pot Pie
This is an alternate crust for above and can be used for most traditional veggie pot pies. I just use a packaged puff pastry, defrost, cut to size I want and weave. Can be placed directly on filled baking dish and baked or baked right on baking sheet following directions on package and then placed on top of filled serving dish. I love using this for an elegant individual serving..spectacular!  
     cherry cobbler - just out of the oven
CHERRY COBBLER with BISCUIT CRUST
A yummy sweet ending pot pie!

Preheat oven to 400f.

Filling
4-6 cups cherries, pitted (you can substitute with other fruits or berries).
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Filling directions:

In a casserole dish combine cherries, water, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes (until bubbling and thickened) and then stir.

Biscuit Topping

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (I use vegan Earth Balance)
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons soy or almond milk

Biscuit topping directions:

While the filling is in the microwave, mix together biscuit topping ingredients in a small bowl until combined.

Drop topping by spoonfuls onto filling. Bake for 25-28 minutes until bubbly and brown.

"Penny Lane"  The Beatles "a pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray"

"Yellow Submarine"  The Beatles

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!

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