Cabbage Pie

I’ve got to be kidding, right? Cabbage pie! It just so happens that I love this pie filling. It is good in a pastry cased pie (with accompanying chickpea or cashew gravy) or on its own as a pilaf. I’ve made it numerous times, just not recently, and not with GF pastry. I had a bit of a brainwave today, and adjusted my pastry recipe (now reflected on the updated page). This quantity makes enough for a single 8″ pie which feeds 4-6 folks.

Cabbage Pie

Gluten free cabbage pie with an almond pastry, garlicky green beans, and cashew gravy.

½ cup brown rice
1/4 + 1/4 tsp salt
2 + 2 tsps non-hydrogenated margarine
½ large onion, diced
8 oz white cabbage, shredded
8 oz mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb pastry – I like Tender Shortcrust Pastry made with almonds.
2 hard boiled eggs (or same volume of baked tofu)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 – 2 tbsp Braggs Amino Acids (add the lesser amount, taste, and add more if you want it)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaf (a couple of tbsp of chopped basil is different, but would also work)
salt, to taste

Cook the brown rice in twice its volume of water with 1/4 tsp of salt, either in a rice cooker, or in a covered saucepan, until soft all the way through, but not mushy. (~30-40 mins)

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tsps of the margarine, and fry the onion and cabbage until the onion is translucent. Tip this into a mixing bowl.

Now heat the remainder of the margarine in the frying pan, and cook the mushrooms on medium high heat. Sprinkle the mushrooms with 1/4 tsp salt to encourage them to release their juices, and when they do, add the garlic. Cook until the mushroom juices have evaporated. Do not allow the garlic to burn.

Tip the mushrooms and garlic into the bowl with the cabbage.

Stir in all other filling ingredients.

Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.

Divide the pastry into 1/3 and 2/3. Roll out the larger part, and use to line the prepared pie plate/tin. (See note on rolling on pastry page.)

Fill with the filling; roll out the smaller part of the pastry and use it to top the pie, crimping the edges together.

Brush the surface with soy milk.

Place in the middle of the oven (lightly covered with parchment to prevent over browning), and cook for 30-35 minutes at 380F.


Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

There’s something very homey and comforting about shepherd’s pie. I remember it from when I was a child; my mother made it, and the school sometimes served it up, too, back in the day when lunch wasn’t pizza and fries! Now, of course, I don’t eat the animal, but shepherd’s pie (sometimes called shepherdess’ pie) is still on the menu.

I tend to think of green/brown lentils as being a bit too austeire and vegan for my brood to enjoy, but as has happened in the past, I was wrong, and the dish has gone down a storm. Daughter #2 had seconds while declaring that it really needed cashew gravy to go with it as she didn’t fancy chutney. Well, I’ll figure something wet to serve it up with next time.

Last time I made shepherd’s pie, I made it with a meetoo filling (picture at the bottom of page), which was also good, but quite honestly, any of the thick stews that don’t rely on potatoes would work well topped with mashed potato.

Green lentil "shepherd's pie"

Green lentil “shepherd’s pie”

2 bay leaves
1 cup (1/2 lb) of green/brown lentils

1/4 cup of dry white wine (or water)
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2-3 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal OR small head of cauliflower cut into florets
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp garam masala or mild curry powder
dash of nutmeg
~14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
fresh cilantro

2 lbs baking potatoes
1 tbsp margarine
plain unsweetened dairy free milk, as needed for the mashed potatoes

Pick the lentils over for stones or other debris, rinse them, and put in a saucepan with about 2 pints of water and the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook until soft. (~30 minutes)

In the meantime, cook the onions and carrots/cauliflower florets in a frying pan with about 2 tbsp of wine to keep them from sticking. (You can use water, if you’d rather not use wine.) Add splashes of wine from time to time if the vegetables appear to be starting to stick.

When the onions have softened (~10 minutes), add the garlic and spices to warm through for a minute, then add the tomatoes, cilantro, and salt and pepper.

Once the lentils are soft, drain them. Stir the mixtures together, and allow to simmer gently, uncovered, for a few minutes to allow the flavors to combine, and the sauce to thicken.

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1″ dice.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with lightly salted water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft (~10 – 15 minutes). Once soft, drain the potatoes, and mash by hand with with margarine and dairy free milk until soft enough to spread with a fork. Don’t use a food processor; the potatoes take on a glue-like consistency that isn’t appealing.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the lentil mixture into a medium sized oven proof dish (e.g. medium lasagna pan).

Drop fork-loads of the mashed potatoes onto the lentil mixture, then spread evenly with the tines of a fork. Place under a hot broiler/grill to allow the ridges to brown slightly. Serve hot with veggie side dishes and gravy or chutney.

Meetoo filled shepherd's pie

Meetoo filled shepherd’s pie, served with chickpea gravy


Tofu (crustless) Quiche

In the days before I was concerned about egg and dairy consumption, I loved quiche, but wouldn’t make it due to the calorie count. This recipe solves both problems in one hit, providing you don’t make the crust. If you do want to make a crust, check out my recipe for the potato / almond pastry; there’s no need to apologize to your glutenous friends for this adaptation.

The only non vegan ingredient in this dish is the egg in the potato pastry. If you use vegan pastry or make a crustless quiche, the whole thing will be vegan. My husband likes the filling to have a large proportion of chunky vegetables; the kids don’t care, they like it any way it comes. Don’t be fooled by the ingredient list; the tofu custard is rich even though the calorie count is diet-worthy (providing you leave out the crust and don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting)!

pastry made with 8 oz of flour, refrigerated (optional)
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 1/2 hour in water
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
12 oz broccoli, broken into small florets
14 oz packet of firm tofu, drained
1 tsp salt (use partly kala namuk if an eggy taste is desired)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp light colored miso (e.g. chickpea; optional)
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice

Soak the cashews in water for at least 1/2 hour.

In a large cast iron pan, bring to the boil 1/4 inch of water, 1/2 tsp regular salt, the garlic, and the broccoli. Cover with a lid and steam until the broccoli is nearly cooked, then remove the lid and let the water evaporate. Add 1/2 the margarine and allow the broccoli to brown slightly.
In a large cast iron pan, fry the onion in the rest of the margarine over a medium heat until browned.
Line an 8” or 9” cake tin with baking parchment.
If you’re making a crust, crumble the pastry dough into the lined pan such that it is evenly spread, and then use your knuckles to press it into place and compact it.

Place in the fridge until ready to use.
Drain the cashews and process in a food processor for 30 seconds. Make sure they’re pretty smooth before adding the tofu, and pulse again along with 1/2 of the broccoli, the onion, and the other ingredients until mixture is smoothish. Don’t over process or the tofu will be too creamy, and have too little bulk.
Stir in the remainder of the broccoli, check for seasoning, and spoon it into the pie pan. Smooth the top, and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.
Eat hot or cold.