If you celebrate any Jewish holidays, or even Shabbat dinner, it’s pretty much a given that you are familiar with the ubiquitous beef brisket that your mom learned to make from her mom (who learned to make it from her mom…) After all, it’s pretty much required eating at the Seder table…and for days afterwards. But what do vegans eat while Aunt Harriet and Uncle Max are passing around the brisket plate?

Whether you’ve adopted a plant-based lifestyle for ethical reasons, or for your health, it can be hard to be around your old pre-vegan faves. My husband was a huge brisket guy back in the day. Since going vegan, it wasn’t something he thought about much on a day-to-day basis, but at the holidays he’d get that wistful look and feel a bit nostalgic for the comfort food of his youth. This recipe changed all that. When you think of brisket (or any meat really), it’s the seasoning and sauce that give the dish its flavor. And adding BIG seasoning to a seitan roast created the same robust flavors my husband had grown up with.

The basis for most Bubbies’ Seder Brisket is french onion soup mix, and thankfully, Lipton’s is accidentally vegan and perfect for adding intense flavor. And just like Bubbie’s brisket, this one makes killer sandwiches the next day.

Bubbie’s French Onion Style Brisket

Dry ingredients:

2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

Sauce ingredients:

2 packets of Lipton onion soup mix

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup  ketchup

1 tsp brown sugar

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp black pepper

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with oil.

1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine all sauce ingredients, except onion slices.

3. Add  1 cup of sauce to your dry ingredients and mix to form a dough.  If the dough seems a bit dry, add more sauce ½ cup at a time, until dough forms but is not too wet.   Knead the dough for 3 full minutes.

4. Stretch dough out so that it is approx. 1 inch thick.  

5. Place in baking dish and top with sliced onions and baste with a bit more liquid. Also add 1 cup of sauce to the pan.

6.  Bake for 20 minutes; rotate the brisket and bake an additional 20 min.  Continue to bake for 1.5 – 2 hours, turning (not flipping) the brisket in the dish every 20 min.  The liquid in the casserole dish should thicken into a sauce, but keep an eye that the pan doesn’t dry out.  Add more liquid to the pan (and baste the brisket lightly) every time you rotate it.

Brisket is done when it is firm to the touch.   Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a board to rest.  Eat right away or wrap in foil and a freezer bag and store in the fridge to firm up.  Transfer the pan sauce and remaining liquid into a pan and reduce to make a gravy (add flour to thicken if needed). Store any unused sauce for reheating.

To reheat the brisket, place brisket in an oven-safe dish, add leftover sauce and warm at 375F for about 20 min or until warm.


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Ahh, matzoh ball soup. Bubbie’s specialty, and guaranteed to cure what ails you. It’s the Jewish form of penicillin. Got a cold? Upset stomach? Sad about something? Bubbie’s on her way over with soup. For many, it’s a Friday night Shabbat staple. For others, it’s regular comfort food oncold winter nights, or in the middle of a bad cold or flu. And for some, it comes out twice a year at the holidays.

We hover somewhere between option 2 and 3. We don’t often make it outside the holidays, but if we do, it’s because its about a thousand degrees below zero outside and at least one of us is sick. However, I’m sharing this now because Passover is just around the corner, which means we’re prepping our semi-annual soupfest. Seriously, our seder usually consists of 20+ people per night, times two nights. That’s a lot of soup (and a lot of matzoh balls. More on them here.)

Traditionally, matzoh ball soup is made from chicken. In other words, it’s chicken soup…but with “bubbie magic” weaved into it. Knowing my bubbie, it was probably the schmultz.

My husband is the holiday soup guy around here. His chicken soup rivaled that of any bubbie on the block, and it has always been the tradition that he makes matzoh ball soup at the holidays. And every single one of us looks forward to it. It’s one of the biggest highlights of the night.

So, how do you veganize that? How do you get that “old world’ flavor of traditional chicken matzoh ball soup without the chicken? Well, it turns out you don’t really need the chicken to make great soup. Hubby took his classic chicken soup recipe and pumped up the veggies for even more flavor, and played around with different types of vegetable bases, powders and bouillons to add the richness this soup needs. His secret to amazing soup that tastes like the old days? McCormick Gourmet all-vegetable chicken-flavored bouillon cubes. They are fantastic. Deep, salty, rich “chicken-soup-like” flavor, but from plants. And while these little cubes of goodness are readily available at most grocery chains, don’t fret if you can’t find it – any good vegetable or faux chicken bouillon will do.

This soup (like Bubbie’s original version), is amazing when made a day or two ahead and allowed to sit in the fridge so all the flavors can party and amp it up. Also, it means less work for you the day of the Seder! If you do make it ahead, just remove it from the fridge and scrape off any top layer of fat that may have separated, then pour it back into a pot and reheat slowly on low heat for about 20 minutes before serving.

I like my matzoh ball soup with tons of carrots, so we always save those and add them back into the soup. But if you’re a fan of clear soup, strain out the veggies at the end and save them for a pot pie! Like this homestyle “chicken” pot pie on my website.

Vegan Matzoh Ball Soup

Ingredients:

3 large onions, cut in quarters

2 x 5 lb bags of carrots, peeled and roughly cut

2 bunches of celery, tops and bottoms removed, roughly chopped

4 parsnips, peeled and roughly cut

2 whole bulbs of garlic, peeled and each clove slightly smashed

2 bunches each of fresh flat leaf parsley and dill, stems trimmed, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with butcher’s twine

2 cubes Vegan chicken bouillon or bouillon paste

Directions:

In a very large stock pot, add onions, carrots, celery, parsnips and garlic and toss to combine.

Fill pot with water until vegetables are just about submerged. Add fresh herb pouch and press to submerge it in the water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.  At the 1 hour mark, add 2 bouillon cubes or spoons of paste and simmer for 30 minutes.

Check broth and adjust for taste, adding another cube or spoon of paste if needed. Adjust salt and pepper at this time as well. Simmer another 10 minutes.

Strain, reserving soup into another large pot, and save vegetables for a kick-A** pot pie!

Reheat soup on low heat for 20 minutes before serving.

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It’s officially spring, at least according to the calendar. Looking out my front window at more snow, I’m not so sure. I’m hopeful this is Mother Nature’s one last gasp at winter, and that warmer weather will be upon us soon!

The start of spring also means holiday prep. It’s the season of egg-shaped chocolates for some, and matzoh and wine for others – or for us, a little mix of both! Passover is a couple of weeks away and meal prep for the evening Seders are well under way. Our families still do Seders pretty much the same way we did as kids, and pretty much nothing about those Seders was/is vegan, so we’ve been slowly creating new traditions (and dishes) every year to adapt to our plant-based lifestyle.

Gefilte fish is a staple at almost every Jewish holiday table, and it’s a real dividing point too. Kind of like cilantro, people either love or hate gefilte fish…there’s no middle road. A traditional appetizer served in many Ashkenazi Jewish households, traditional gefilte fish is a patty made from mix of three types of fish (usually carp, pike and whitefish), that is poached and served chilled.

It’s been close to a decade since I’ve had this dish, but every Passover I feel the familiar tug when I see it on the table. So, in keeping with my motto of “anything you can make, I can make vegan”, I decided to try my hand at veganizing this. Partially because I wanted to see if it could be done, and partially because my Dad joked that I couldn’t. Oh Dad, you should know better. After all, I got my stubborn streak from you!

Much like my vegan version of tuna salad, salmon patties, and just about anything else “fishy” I’ve recreated, I reached for a can of chick peas and some kelp, and got to work. What I really like about this dish – aside from the fact that it doesn’t involve fish – is that it’s pretty simple to make. A bit of prep work and some upfront sauteeing and then the rest is up to the fridge. Because the food processor does the brunt of the work here, prep on the veggies for this dish is pretty simple. Small chops will do, no need for precise dicing.

This recipe is for “sweet” gefilte fish. If you’re a fan of the salt & pepper version, swap out the sugar in this recipe for salt and pepper. I’d start with a 1/4 tsp of each and add more to taste.

Vegan Gefilte Fish

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

½ small onion, chopped

2 medium size stalks celery, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 garlic cloved, chopped

1 19oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 tsp old bay sesasoning

1.5 tsp dulce flakes

1 tsp kelp flakes

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp white sugar

1/3 cup matzo meal

Directions:

In a deep pan, heat oil on medium high heat.  Add onions, celery and carrot and cook until soft and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly to keep garlic from burning. 

Add chickpeas, old bay, dulce, kelp, lemon zest and sugar and stir to combine.  Cook until chick peas are warmed through – about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer mix to a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse, then process until smooth.  Add matzo meal and pulse until combined.

Using a 1/3 cup dry measure, scoop mixture and shape into footballs.  Place footballs on a wax-paper lined dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve – at least 3 hours prior to dinner.  (the longer they sit, the better they hold their shape)

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First off, let’s establish right away that I am – and always have been a “sinkers” girl. Chewy, dense, sink-to-the-bottom-of-the-bowl matzoh balls have always been my jam. I’m not even sure I know how to make a “floater” matzoh ball. (Okay, I probably do, but we won’t dwell on that.) They aren’t true matzoh balls to me.

Matzoh balls are one of the greatest pain-in-the-neck dishes to make. It’s not that they are particularly hard to make, its just that our family is so crazy for them that we make about 150 or so at a time, hence the pain-in-the-neck part. We only make them twice a year though, (Passover and Rosh Hashanah) so it’s totally worth it.

I remember our first Passover after going vegan. The whole “vegan” thing was new to us and we were still figuring our way through this. There weren’t nearly as many vegan alternatives in stores, and we hadn’t discovered many of the vegan hacks yet that we’ve become so accustomed to using. In particular, I hadn’t yet figured out all the different ways to replace eggs as a binder, and was completely stumped on how to replace them in a matzoh ball. So we didn’t have matzoh balls or soup that year. And it was a pretty sad night for us. After the Seder plates were cleared and last of the Haggadah were packed away for next year, we vowed to spend the next six months figuring out just how to veganize this very important part of our heritage.

In our pre-vegan days, I was the matzoh ball queen, slinging out these perfect spheres of salty, chewy deliciousness by the dozens. My husband – he’s the soup guy. His chicken soup rivaled that of any bubbie on the block. Together, we were the holiday A-Team. And this newly-vegan team wasn’t going down without a fight.

First we tackled the soup. Turns out you don’t really need the chicken to make great soup. Hubby took his classic chicken soup recipe and pumped up the veggies for even more flavor, and played around with different types of vegetable bases, powders and bouillons to add the richness this soup needs. Our secret to amazing soup that tastes like the old days? McCormick Gourmet all-vegetable chicken-flavored bouillon cubes. For the complete vegan “chicken” soup recipe, click here.

Now, down to the matzoh balls. I’m not sure exactly how this happened, but the rollin’ and slingin’ tradition of matzoh ball making is now my husband’s task. He took it upon himself one year to research vegan matzoh ball methods and to test all of them. He rolled, boiled and baked his way through many vegan variations, while I sat back and played the taste-tester game. It was a fun switch from how things usually go in our kitchen!

He got close on flavor, but always fell apart on consistency. Seems we couldn’t crack the secret to keeping the balls in shape once they were cooked or reheated in soup. Until one day, while conducting more internet research he stumbled upon the key: potato starch. It’s the perfect binder to replace eggs, it doesn’t impart any weird flavor (it has no flavor at all), and it’s super easy to find at your local grocery store. And the ultimate vegan matzoh balls were born!

Dense, chewy, salty and delicious, just like bubbie would make, but without the schmaltz!

This recipe yields approximately 35-40 matzoh balls. I’ve scaled down the original recipe (which yields approx 150 balls).

Vegan Matzoh Balls

4.5 cups matzo meal

1 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

4.5 cups water

1 scant cup potato starch

2 ¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ – ½ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

Using a 2” ice cream scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Gently place matzoh balls into boiling water and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  

Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked matzoh balls from water and cool on counter completely. Refrigerate until served.

To serve, add to soup 20 minutes before serving and allow them to warm gently as the soup does.

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I live in a house with self-proclaimed cookie monsters. Seriously, nothing brings them to attention faster than the promise of a cookie, and if it’s homemade, even better! It’s a dynamic that works well. I love baking cookies; they love eating them!

The other day I found myself with some very ripe bananas to use up, and I also happened to be very low on flour, which eliminated many of my go-to baked goods. I bake a lot with flour, and not having it around gave me the opportunity to play around with a new flourless recipe.

These cookies are chewy and rich and satisfying . The addition of seed butter adds great flavor and texture, and helps bind them. You could totally turn these into classic peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but since I opted to include these in the kids school lunches this week, I kept them nut-free. (If you’re looking for a cleaner or less-processed nut-free option, you could also swap the seed butter for tahini.)

Chocolate chips alway wins the “mix-in” game in our house, but you could also turn these into a trail mix style cookie by swapping all (or half) the chocolate chips for dried cranberries, blueberries, currants, or any other dried fruit of choice.

Flourless Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup whole oats (or half cup each oats and quinoa flakes)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 overripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup sunbutter or wow butter (or peanut butter if these aren’t going to school)

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water)

1 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl combine oats, quinoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk banana, maple syrup, seed (or nut) butter, flax egg and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients into wet, stirring until combined.

Gently fold in chocolate chips

Using a two-inch ice cream scoop, drop equal amounts of cookie dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 min or until bottoms and edges are slightly brown.

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Last week we had a brief glimpse of spring, and it put me in the mood for all kinds of light, airy, spring-like dishes. While I’ll always be a comfort food kind of girl, the thought of light salads and sandwiches, and easy on-the-go meals is calling to me. So are those lighter, summer jeans hiding at the bottom of my drawer…

This dish is going to be on repeat all spring and summer. It’s bright and full of spring flavors but it’s also so comforting. I can practically feel the warm rays of sunshine on my face and the wicker picnic basket stashed away for the winter when I eat this dish. Last week I prepared it in a sandwich with fresh, crisp baby spinach, a red cabbage slaw and delicious artisan twelve grain bread. But it would also be amazing in a wrap (tortilla or lettuce), or scooped high on a spinach or arugula salad with fresh mandarin and strawberry slices.

Any way you serve it, it’s bound to become a warm weather favorite!

Spring Tempeh Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 250g package plain tempeh, crumbled

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

½ red pepper, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp tamari or dark soy sauce

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.


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I am hopelessly hooked on these scones. There’s a specialty grocer in my city that has their own in-house bakery and they make a vegan kale & onion scone. I’m not down there often, but when I do, I always buy one (or three…let’s be real here, I’m a carb junkie if ever there was one!)

I was down at said store recently and picked up a scone to eat on the way home, and I got to thinking that I could re-create these to enjoy these any time I wanted. And I also thought (as I do every time I eat them), that there’s one thing missing that would put these over-the-top: cheese.

Having perfected recipes for vegan buttermilk and vegan cheddar scones years ago, I started entertaining the idea of savory scones, and decided this one would be the first test. I highly recommend buying a full head of kale to chop for this, as you want to ensure you get only the leaves and no stems – they are tough and bitter and less enjoyable. Most fresh chopped kale I’ve purchased has both leaves and stem pieces in it, and for the amount of time it took me to pick out the stems and further chop the leaves (you need really small pieces for this recipe), it would have been faster to start with whole kale.

Because this is a savory scone, there’s very little sugar in the dough. The sweetness (which is a great contrast to the salty, savoriness of the overall scone), comes from the caramelization of the onions and kale. As I sauteed them, I used #NoBees Vegan Honey to help the caramelization process and add sweetness to them. If you can’t find vegan honey, you can use agave or maple syrup (though I’d caution to use less maple syrup as you don’t want to impart maple flavor.)

For extra flavor and a shiny, golden crust, brush the tops of the scones with a bit of olive oil (or vegan butter) before popping them in the oven. And make extra – I shared this batch with a friend of mine and she said she is “still dreaming about them” four days later! I know how she feels!

Caramelized Kale, Onion and Cheddar Scones

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil, divided in half

½ large onion, diced

3 cups chopped kale, stems removed

2 tbsp #NoBees Vegan Honey (or agave syrup if you can’t find vegan honey)

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

¾ cup vegan butter, cold

1 cup shredded vegan cheddar

Directions:

Add lemon juice to non-dairy milk and let stand for 5 minutes to curdle slightly.

In a deep pan, heat oil on medium high heat.  Add onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add kale and continue cooking until kale is wilted. Add honey (or agave) and toss to coat.  Continue cooking until lightly caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 425F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Toss in cold butter and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour until butter is the size of small peas.

Mix in onion & kale mixture and shredded cheese.  Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour in buttermilk.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until a dough forms.

Using a ⅓ measuring cup, scoop out dough and drop on baking sheet, about 2-3 inches apart. Brush scones with remaining olive oil and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until bottoms are light brown and tops are lightly golden.


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I love recipes that turn a classic dish on its side.  Lately I’ve been seeing an abundance of posts on Instagram about “Lasagna Soup”, and I’ve been intrigued.  But, I have and entire family of non-tomato sauce loving people (well, okay, one of them loves tomato but the feeling isn’t reciprocal.  The smallest two, however, just flat out despise it, unless it’s on top of a pizza.)

But I really wanted to try lasagna soup (read: I really wanted something that tasted like lasagna but didn’t involve all the effort because, see above.)

So I thought about what my family does love: creamy sauce.  And I figured, well…since lasagna can be made with a cream-based sauce, why can’t Lasagna Soup?

Turns out, it can.  And it’s good. Like they finished off the entire pot good.  The creamy sauce, laden with tons of gooey vegan mozzarella is hearty and soothing and perfect for a cold winter night.  You could load this soup up with tons of sauteed veggies or add a faux meat (which we did). It’s totally up to you.  Just don’t skimp out on the cheese (because lasagna is all about the cheese) and be sure to add the noodles at the very end, because they’ll soak up that soup faster than you can!

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

250g lasagna noodles (about 10-12 noodles)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 6oz pkg cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
225g pkg gardein chickn strips, defrosted and cut into chunks 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15oz can  coconut milk
3 cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp vegan chicken soup base
3 tbsp nutritional yeast 
1.5 cups shredded vegan mozzarella 
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional – for garnish)

Directions:

​1. Cook pasta according to box directions.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle.  Lay a cooked and cooled noodle on a flat surface and, using a a pasta cutter or a knife, cut lengthwise in half, then cut each piece in half again lengthwise so that you have four long ribbons.  Trim each ribbon into thirds so that you have small ribbon pieces.  Repeat with all remaining noodles. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat oil on med-high heat.  Add white and green onions and saute for 3-4 min. Add mushroom slices and saute until golden and dark, about 5-7 min.

3. Add chickn pieces and saute for 4-5 min until lightly browned on outsides.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

4. Add coconut milk, vegetable stock, vegan chicken soup base and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Bring to a light boil on medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.

6. Stir in shredded cheese and black pepper. Simmer on medium low heat until cheese melts, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.  

7. Remove from heat. Add noodles to soup; garnish with parsley (if using) and serve.

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It’s MARCH BREAK! Here’s a fun and easy recipe for Two-Bite Banana Muffins to get your #kidsinthekitchen!

(Hint: make extra. They freeze beautifully and because they’re nut-free, they make awesome school lunch snacks!)

Two Bite Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

3 medium sized ripe bananas
⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a mini muffin tray with paper liners or grease well.

In a large bowl, combine bananas and applesauce and mash well. Add oil and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl and stir until just combined.

Using a small (1.5 inch) ice cream scoop, or two spoons, spoon out filling into lined muffin tray, filling each well almost to the top. Bake for 12 ½ minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

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I’m a comfort food gal. Food that warms my body and soul is always at the top of my list.  Not that I don’t love salads (and goodness knows I NEED to eat more salad!) but, when I think about family and friends and breaking bread, I think of comforting dishes that are easy to share.  Especially in winter, and man has it been a long winter. January felt like it was 734 days long and February has been one of the coldest and snowiest on record here in Toronto.  And while I’m kinda done with all this icy white stuff, I am loving the excuse to keep making all kinds of warm, comforting dishes.

Chicken Pot Pie is probably at the top of most peoples’ comfort food list.  I mean, what’s not to love? Flaky crust, rich and creamy sauce, potatoes…its like a bowl full of hugs.  

Vegan chick’n pot pie is all of the above times 10.  In the almost 8 years we’ve been vegan, I’ve tested more pot pie variations than I can count, and used just about all the possible vegan proteins.  While chickpeas and tempeh are the cleanest and healthiest options, I didn’t feel like I was eating a “chicken” pot pie.  Tofu hit that mark but tofu is kind of bland.  And we eat so many other tofu dishes, I wanted something different.  So I opted for vegan “chick’n” strips. Both Gardein and Beyond Meat make excellent versions that work really well in this dish. 
I recommend the Gardein brand mostly because it’s so readily available.

Whatever your preference for protein, the filling for this dish is absolutely luscious.  We add mushrooms to ours because I have one child who is a mushroom fanatic (the only way we could get her to try new dishes was by putting mushrooms in them), and because I’m a sucker for tradition, peas and carrots and corn.  But you could easily switch up the veggies to include your favorites.  

What truly makes the difference in this pie is the scratch-made crust.  Don’t get me wrong here, I love a good pre-made crust, and it saves SO. MUCH. TIME.  But if you have the time and desire, there’s nothing like a flaky, buttery homemade crust.  My no-fail vegan pie crust is super simple and comes together in the time it takes to make the filling.

So, while it’s still cold out, and while carbs and sweat pants are socially acceptable, I’ll be tucked away in my warm kitchen, eating pot pie.  Maybe I’ll serve a salad on the side, because – supposedly – summer is coming!

Homestyle Chick’n Pot Pie

Ingredients:
Single Crust:
(For a double crust – top and bottom, double this recipe)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup cold butter 
4-t tsp cold waterFilling:
2-3 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut in small cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cremini mushrooms, stems removed, tops sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 225 gram package vegan chicken strips, defrosted and largely diced
2 tbsp vegetarian chicken soup base or 1 vegan chicken bouillon cube
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ cup canned or frozen peas (optional)
½ cup canned or frozen corn (optional)
1 tbsp melted vegan butter

Directions:
Make a single crust (top crust only):

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Using a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut butter into flour until the mix resembles coarse cornmeal.  

Add cold water, 2 tsp at a time; using your hands, mix until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tsp at a time, until dough is set.  

Form dough into a ball and turn out onto plastic wrap.  Flatten slightly to form a disc; cover in plastic wrap and chill for minimum 30 minutes.

OR

Make a double crust (top and bottom crust):
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Using a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut butter into flour until the mix resembles coarse cornmeal.  

Add cold water, 4 tsp at a time; using your hands, mix until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add more water, 2 tsp at a time, until dough is set.  

Form dough into a ball and cut in half. Turn out each half onto its own sheet of plastic wrap.  Flatten each slightly to form discs; cover in plastic wrap and chill for minimum 30 minutes.

Make the filling:
In a large pot, bring 4L of water to a boil and par-boil potatoes until just barely fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

In a deep skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat.  Add onions and saute until just translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrot and celery and saute until soft and golden, about 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add chicken strips and vegetarian chicken soup base (or bouillon cube).  Cook until warmed through and soup base/bouillon is dissolved and mixed through.  Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until all flour is cooked out.

Stir in vegetable broth.  Cook, stirring constantly, until a thick sauce forms. Add peas and/or corn (if using). Remove from heat and set aside.

Bake the Bottom Crust:
Preheat oven to 375F.

On a well-floured surface, roll out one disc of pie dough to approx ¼ inch thick.  Roll the dough back onto the rolling pin and use it to transfer dough to pie dish. Press dough down gently into dish and up along the sides.  Trim any excess edges. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom and sides of dough (or use dry bean weights) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Assemble the Pie:
Scoop filling into pie dish with baked bottom crust and spread evenly.  Repeat step above with remaining disc of pie dough to create top crust. Gently place crust on top of pie; trim off excess dough and using your fingers or a fork, crimp edges all around the pie.  Cut an “x” in the middle of the crust; brush top crust with melted butter. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until crust is golden. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


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