Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Vegetarian Thanksgiving is not just sides of green beans and tofurkey. There are so many great recipes out there and so many amazing dishes to get creative with. I love seeing all the posts and mentions all over the web these days about it! Here is one that would make a great dish for the holiday or anytime this fall & winter!

We LOVE pot pies!! I have made many over the years with all kind of filling and all kind of crusts. Here is one I made a few years back. I typically like to make the dough but this one was deelish with just a simple flaky puff pastry topping. Also love how root vegetably deelish this was!

What are you cooking up this Thanksgiving? Please share your Thanksgiving plans & recipes with us! 

Roasted Root Vegetab

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie
Recipe adapted from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
6 servings

1 large yellow onion, quartered and sliced crosswise into ½- to ¾-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus extra if needed
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
12 large garlic cloves, peeled, plus 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias into ½-inch pieces – chopped
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tablespoons earth balance, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position (about 3 inches from the broiler element) and preheat the broiler to high. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the onion in a single layer. Broil the onions until they are charred, rotating the baking sheet midway through cooking, 6 to 8 minutes (watch the onions closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and pour 1 cup of vegetable broth over the onions, then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°. To the baking sheet used for the onions, add the 12 whole garlic cloves, the carrots, rutabaga, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to combine. Place the thyme sprigs on top. Tightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast the vegetables until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Use tongs to gather all of the roasted garlic cloves, then use a fork to smash them into a paste.

3. In a small bowl, mash together the earth balance and flour. Heat a large, deep, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the radishes, the 2 cloves chopped garlic and the chopped thyme, and cook until the cabbage is wilted completely and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

4. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¾ teaspoon of pepper, then pour in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add the roasted vegetables, mashed roasted garlic and onion-broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter-flour mixture, cooking until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.

5. Whisk together the soy or almond milk with a pinch of kosher salt.Place the puff pastry on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to lightly mark the dough with a crosshatch pattern, making sure you don’t slice all the way through the dough. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer the vegetables to a baking dish. Lay the piece of dough on top of the vegetables in the skillet and lightly brush with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Polenta Shepherds Pie

When the temperature drops we just want warm and cozy foods (yet I am always happy with a Kale Salad!).  This one was great and warmed us right up!

Michael has always apprecaited a good Shepherds Pie so I have made a few Veg variations on them over the years. This one was super good because of our shared love of polenta!

Polenta Shepherds Pi

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Polenta Shepherds Pie

Filling
1 lb veggie crumbles
1 onion, chopped
3 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups mushroom gravy – recipe below
cumin, salt & pepper, to taste

Polenta

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup polenta
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, oregano)
salt, to taste
havarti or parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Saute onion until translucent, then add veggie crumbles and mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes.
  2. Add frozen veggies and cook until thawed. Add cumin, salt & pepper and gravy.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  4. Meanwhile begin polenta, bring almond milk, water, earth balance and herbs to a boil.
  5. Slowly whisk in the polenta and continue to stir until thick, a few minutes. Remove from heat. If adding cheese do so now, stirring till melted.
  6. Oil a casserole dish and pour filling mixture in.
  7. Top with polenta and smooth with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 deg oven. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Mushroom Gravy

3/4 cup white or button mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1/4 cup earth balance
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tamari
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large skillet, melt the earth balance and add onion and mushrooms. Saute for just a minute or two over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable broth and tamari. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat.
  3. Add spices, salt and pepper, stirring regularly for 8-10 minutes until gravy thickens.

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Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

I love Gena’s site and have always been happy with how her recipes come out! We love Polenta in our house, so not surprising when I saw this one I had to try! I am such a sucker for appetizers too, they really are always the best part of any meal or party! I made these for several gathering and parties and they were always a hit. Enjoy!!!

You can prepare the polenta up to 2 days in advance, and the tapenade up to 3 days. On the day of your party, simply broil the polenta squares and top them with the tapenade. The polenta can also be used as a base for many different seasonings. Try & play around 🙂

Just a couple of past polenta dishes and I am sure many more to come: Creamy Polenta with Barbecue Seitan SauceVegan Creamy Polenta with Sausage and PeppersMushroom and Kale PolentaPolenta & Shallot SquaresPolenta with Nectarine-Blackberry SalsaPolenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato SauceSlow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

Polenta Squares with

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade
Recipe from http://www.choosingraw.com 
Serves 22 (recipe can easily be halved)

Polenta Party Squares

6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium if possible)
2 cups polenta (yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 batch sun-dried tomato and walnut tapenade

Bring the polenta, salt, and broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Using a long wooden spoon, continually stir the polenta until it has thickened (approximately 25-30 minutes). When the mixture is very thick and is pulling away from the sides of the pot, stir in the pepper and thyme.
Oil a 15.25 x 10.25 baking sheet (or line with parchment paper). Spread the polenta mixture evenly over the sheet with an inverted knife. It should be about as thick as the edge of the pan itself. Allow it to cool, and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours.
Preheat your broiler. Cut the polenta into squares (you should get about 22). Return them to a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Place under a broiler for 8 minutes, or until they’re lightly toasted. You can alternately bake them at 375 for twenty-five minutes or so. Top each square with a tablespoon of tapenade, and serve.

Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

3/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not oil soaked)
2 cups water
2/3 cups walnuts
2 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Boil the water and pour it over the tomatoes. Allow them to soften for 20 minutes. Discard most of the water (keep a half cup in case you need to thin the tapenade).
Grind the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S blade until they’re finely ground. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and pulse to combine. Add the lemon, sea salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Run the motor of the food processor and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. If the mixture is still very thick, drizzle in some of the soak water from the tomatoes until it reaches the desired consistency. You’re aiming for the consistency of regular tapenade, or a thick pesto.

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

My kids are Obsessed with Spanakopita so naturally I had to make some at home. It was hard to save them some 😉 but we did manage it. I have made this since without the puff pastry because the filling is just so good on its own. Also love my veganized version with tofu, no one would even notice, it is just so good!

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

2 – 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 pound extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 teaspoon dill
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts, ground​
​2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, taste
1/4 cup olive oil
dashes of nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, basil and oregano
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, quartered and chopped (cleaned super well!)
4 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (or phyllo dough)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Saute the onion with a little salt in olive oil until translucent. Add in the leeks, garlic and scallions, season with salt, and continue to saute until translucent.
  3. Combine the spinach, tofu, dill, lemon juice, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, olive oil & spices together and mix well.
  4. Combine onion mixture with the spinach/tofu mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with ether parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unfold puff pastry and place on baking sheet. Spread the spinach mixture over the pastry, leaving a border of one inch all around the edges. Keep the spinach flat; do not pile high. Cover with the second sheet of pastry that has been slightly flattened to one inch bigger than the first sheet. (This ensures all the spinach will be covered). Press edges together with fingertips, making sure mixture is sealed well. Brush just the top with non-dairy milk, Cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

You have options for the extra filling. You can use it like a dip, eat it with a spoon or take another sheet of puff pastry and made deelish spinach pinwheels!

For the pinwheels: Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Top with the spinach mixture. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices onto 2 baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

It’s been a while since I made zucchini noodles. They are so easy and so nutritious and such a light and quick meal. You need the spiralizer, but it is such a fun and inexpensive addition to your kitchen, so an easy investment. I have always loved these noodles because they are raw, vegan, deelish and healthy, but my sister loves them because they are gluten-free and still has that fun pasta meal feel to them. So awesome for everyone!

I love love love the Pinenut Parmesan. I have used it with so many different dishes as it is so versatile and deelish!

Check out these other Zucchini Noodle dish ideas 🙂

Amazing Raw “Peanut” Sauce and Zucchini Noodles, Raw Zucchini Noodles and ‘Peanut’ Sauce II, Raw Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles, Lemon Basil Pesto & Raw Zucchini Pasta, Raw Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Zucchini Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

Pasta
2-4 zucchinis, spiralized

Creamy Spinach Sauce
4 cups spinach
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp thyme

Blend in high speed blender until very smooth.

Pinenut Parmesan from Raw Crisp Caesar Salad Recipe

1/2 cup pinenuts
1/2 cup whole cashews or macadamia nuts
2 teaspoon good oil or fresh water
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
pinch dried garlic granules or powder
pinch Celtic or sea salt

First process macadamias and cashews until ground. Then add the pine nuts and process briefly. Follow with the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed.

Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with Pine Nut Parmesan. Serve & Enjoy.

Iron for Vegans & Kale and Lentil Soup!

We all know that Iron is super important in our diets. Iron transports oxygen to the blood, regulates the metabolism, provides energy and stamina, and supports other important functions. Besides hearing “how do you get your protein?” vegans and vegetarians also hear a lot of “where does your iron come from?” I thought this was important topic to cover especially now as I am not only cooking for my husband and me but also my two kiddos 🙂

“Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed (non-heme), vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, surveys of vegans have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores.

The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.

Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron” (http://www.vrg.org)

We can eat iron rich foods with vitamin C foods which can increase absorption, ex. rice & beans, hummus & lemon juice, falafel with tomatoes and cucumber, and beans, grains and seeds combined with fruits and veggies. There are also plenty of natural combinations;  leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy and tomato sauce have both iron & vitamin C!

Here is a list of great non-animal sources of Iron.

  • black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, pinto beans, lentils, soy beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas
  • blackstrap molasses
  • tempeh
  • quinoa
  • spinach, turnip greens, swiss chard, kale
  • tofu
  • watermelon, cantaloupe
  • enriched pasta and breads
  • green beans, beets, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, peas
  • whole grains; millet, bulgur, oatmeal
  • prunes, raisins, apricots
  • peanut butter, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, other seeds and nuts
  • potatoes that contain the skin
  • tahini
  • veggie burgers & hot dogs

Also:

Don’t drink coffee or tea or eat calcium supplements with iron rich meals.

Cook with a cast iron skillet, especially Vitamin C heavy foods!

Once you get into the swing of eating a balanced vegan or vegetarian diet, iron is not really a concern at all:)

Here is an iron-rich delicious meal!

 Kale & Lentil Soup

Thankfully my kiddos LOVE lentils as much as we do. It has been SUUUPER chilly this winter so that makes me think soup to warm us all up. I made a super tasty soup and added kale which not only increased the iron & nutritious content but also gave such a great bite & texture to the soup. I used a crock-pot, which I have always loved, but really understand now that it can be a busy mama’s best friend!! Since then we have also revisited the Crock-Pot Oatmeal. Just as good as we remembered!

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  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 14 ½ ounce can of diced tomatoes

Super simple 🙂 Put all of the above ingredients in the slow cooker. Set it on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, if you need it cooked quicker.

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When done I like to use my immersion blender and blend it up about half way, this way there is still some good pieces but the soup gets thicker.

Next add and let cook for just 10-15 minutes longer.
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped

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Serve and enjoy! Even better the next day!

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