Friday, April 20, 2012

Vegetable Pot Pie--On My!

I never met a vegetable I didn't like. Well, okra used to be on my "hate" list but I learned to cook it whole, thus eliminating the slime factor. Both of my sisters love vegetables too and I liken it to the fact that we all grew up in farm country. My parents always had a garden--a small one for the kitchen and a huge one for corn or wheat to feed the farm critters.

Our kitchen garden was personally weeded by yours truly and my middle sister. I always thought it was too bad that my parents had only girls because some boys thrown into that mix would have made the "yard work" their job. At least that was my way of thinking when I was a child.

Even so, weeding the garden got me up close and personal with the fruits and vegetables that grew there. I got to see the spring onions peek up through the soil and the radishes grow into red globes and the carrots push their feathery tops higher and higher above ground. I investigated the strawberry patch with great regularity, always hoping to see a ripe red berry that would be mine alone. I watched in amazement as the sweet corn grew so tall it hid me within its leafy maze and afforded me a great hiding place when I didn't wish to be found.

I so often hear parents complaining that their children refuse to eat vegetables and I wonder how that came about. Growing up during WWII, my sisters and I had no choice in the matter. We ate what mom put on the table or we could go hungry. If most of those dishes consisted of vegetables, then we ate them simply because none of us liked going to bed with growling tummies.

I have a daughter who as a child, disliked vegetables and her dad would make her sit at the table until she ate them. Sometimes I'd have the dishes done and the kitchen all cleaned and she'd still be sitting at the table, eyeing stone cold veggies that no longer looked attractive even to me, a veggie-holic. By the time she was a school-kid, she had come to terms with vegetables and ate them willingly. I guess she was tired of sitting at the table by herself. Today, she loves vegetables. All kinds. I suspect her dad was right in making her eat them. At the time, she didn't know she would like them. It was a learning process.

This week I was busy knitting some socks for one of my sisters (who had begged me for a new pair) and while I kept the needles flying, I watched the Food Channel. I observed Ina Garten make a vegetable pot pit that just looked delicious. So I set about veganizing it, not sure what it would taste like. Now you know by now, if I'm giving you the recipe that it turned out terrific. I hope you give this one a try. Then let me know what you think.


2 cups sliced onions
1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1 1/2 cups asparagus spears, sliced small
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced small
1 1/2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced

Sprinkle the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them on a large cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. They don't have to be done, just softened. They will finish cooking in the pot pie.

In a saucepan put:

1/2 cup flour
4 Tbs. vegan margarine

Cook over medium heat until the roux is a light tan. The add:

2 1/2 cups NoChicken Broth or vegetable broth if you can't find the other one
1 pinch of saffron threads
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. non-dairy milk

Stir until the mixture thickens.

When the vegetables come out of the oven, add 1/2 cup minced parsley and toss  everything in with the gravy mix. Stir all the ingredients together so it is well blended, then spoon everything into 4 oven-proof bowls. Top each bowl with a circle of pastry dough sprinkled with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour.

I cheated and used ready-made pastry dough. You can do as you wish.

I can't help it. I always eat the crust first.

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