Jana and I became vegetarians in 2016. I describe us now as being vegetarian with a vegan flair. It wasn’t something we woke up one morning and decided to do, it was just a natural progression as we continued to evolve and shift our energy.
Being the chef in the family, in the beginning, it was quite a task to figure out healthy vegetarian/vegan meals. In fact, some of my first ones were disastrous but through the years it’s gotten easier and easier.
Eating is a passion of mine. In my early years, I would say I was more of an emotional eater. I struggled with expressing my emotions effectively and to put it simply food was a comfort for me. As I’ve learned about the Energetics of Emotions™️ and how they tie to food I’ve been able to manage them in a much more healthy way and get back to enjoying food versus using it as a coping mechanism.
I love to create a dining experience versus just eating. How your food looks plays a big part in the overall experience as well. I believe food is meant to be savored and enjoyed. And, good food feeds the mind, body, spirit and soul. I’ve also learned that healthy eating is more than just chomping on carrots or celery sticks, although those are good from time to time. I feel it’s more about finding alternative ways of making some of our favorite dishes in a way that is really good for us using the best ingredients.
Everything I use is organic and/or local. There’s a lot of debate around this topic which I won’t go into here but if you pay attention, you can actually feel the vibration of food and over time you’ll notice the difference and how it affects you. It’s amazing the innate intelligence our body holds if we just listen to it. The body knows what it needs to function at its optimum potential but often times we get so busy we don’t listen to it. Food is such a big part of our lives and what we put into our bodies really does matter. It can shape us, heal us or harm us. You’ve heard the saying, “you are what you eat.”
Oftentimes, many of my clients and friends ask me to share my recipes so I thought I would start sharing some of my favorites here with you. I hope you try them out, add your own creative twist and enjoy them. Remember, food is meant to be savored.
For those cold winter evenings, this vegetarian chickpea pot pie is one of my all-time favorites and I love I can make the whole dish in my cast iron skillet.
Chickpea Pot Pie
Prep: 30 – 40 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
Veggie Filling Ingredients (feel free to use your favorites below are mine)
- Carrots – 1 cup or 1 large carrot
- Celery – 1/2 cup or 1 stalk
- Peas – 1 cup fresh or frozen
- Onion – 1/2 of a medium-size yellow onion chopped
- Garlic – 2 cloves minced. Feel free to use less or more depending on taste
- Asparagus – a couple of stalks, chopped – Optional. I throw this in occasionally for an added veggie
- Chickpeas – 1 14 oz can drained
Sauce – it wouldn’t be a pot pie without the béchamel sauce (that’s a fancy French word for
medium – thick white/brown sauce)
- Butter – 1/4 cup (1/2 of a stick) – I substitute Miyoko’s for a vegan option. I experimented with a lot of vegan butter and Miyoko’s is my favorite. It has the texture and similar taste to butter and also does well in dishes
- Flour – I typically use up to a 1/4 depending on the desired thickness. I would suggest eyeballing this as you whisk it in. If gluten free, substitute your favorite flour
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I use Himalayan or Sea Salt
- Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon of cracked black pepper. You can add more or less depending on taste
- Vegetable Broth – 2 cups helps to form the consistency of the sauce. My favorite brand is Better Than Bouillon
- Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup adds texture. I substitute Oatly oak milk for a vegan option
You can use 1 store-bought puff pastry dough or make your own. See below.
- Egg – whisk the egg and brush it on top to make the dough crispy and shiny. (Although I accidentally put it in my homemade puff pastry once and it turned out great.)
- All-purpose flour – 1 1/4 cup
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Butter – 8 tablespoons cold, cut into cubes
- Greek yogurt 1/4 cup plain – I use Kite Hill for a vegan option
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
- Cold water – 1/4 cup
- 1 egg optional – can be added or brushed on top
Whisk together salt and flour. Combine flour and cubes of butter until crumbles are pea-size. Add yogurt, lemon and water to the mixture and then mix until combined. Make sure you don’t overwork the dough. It should hold together loosely. Shape into a ball, flatten to form a disc and then wrap with plastic wrap.
Set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Roll with flour until a quarter-inch thick.
Step 1 – Cook the veggies
Heat about a tablespoon of oil (olive, grapeseed or sunflower) in your skillet over medium heat. Add your onion, garlic, carrots, peas and asparagus (optional). Cook about 10 minutes and then transfer the veggies to a bowl. You can wipe the skillet out with any excess or leave it in for additional flavoring.
Step 2 – Cook the sauce
Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until the flour loses its raw smell. Typically takes 1 – 2 minutes. Next, gradually whisk in the veggie broth to form a medium-thick sauce. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly and then slowly whisk in the cream. Finally, add your cooked veggies back in, the peas and the drained chickpeas.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 400°.
Step 3 – Crust
Top the dish with the puff pastry crust. It can be a single layer on top of the pie or you can cut it into strips for a lattice look. This allows for hot air to vent as it cooks allowing the dough to cook more evenly. Make sure all the edges are tucked inside the pan. Brush with egg.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake for 30 minutes at 400° until the crust is golden brown.
Allow to cool for a minute or two, serve and enjoy! Leftovers will last 2 -3 days in the fridge.
Warm-up on oven-safe plates to preserve flavor.
Inspired by Sarah Bond at liveeatlearn.com