Who doesn’t love a plate of pie and mash? This mouth-watering pie is the perfect comfort food; hearty mushrooms with asparagus and vibrant fresh green herbs in a creamy sauce of smoked garlic and coconut milk. Delicious!
I wanted to create a warming, filling pie that is more healthy than your average veggie pie and, of course, vegan! You won’t find unholy amounts of saturated-fat-laden butter or cheese in this recipe; instead, I’ve made the crust with wholemeal flour and just a small amount of vegetable suet to give a delicious texture. I’ve also reduced the amount of pie crust by creating a lattice-weaved topping, and you could even omit the base and make this into a pot pie to make it even healthier! The sauce is made simply with light coconut milk and a little nutritional yeast to season. The flavour all comes from the natural ingredients. Please don’t be tempted to skip the use of the fresh herbs, as these give fantastic flavour. When I have fresh herbs in the fridge, I add them to literally everything I cook so as not to waste any! Try adding them to soups, omelettes, tofu scramble, veggie burgers or anything else you’re cooking!
In other news, this week I’ve re-joined the gym after a few weeks months years off. I’ve really enjoyed getting back into regular exercise, and I am finding it much easier to sustain myself through workouts on a vegan diet than I did as an omnivore. I think this is probably due to having a much more balanced diet. I put a lot more thought into where I am getting each nutrient and also take a multivitamin designed for vegans. I also understand that I need to refuel my body post-workout, whereas previously I would avoid eating for a while after exercise, thinking it would ruin the calories I had burnt. Please don’t do this! Exercise increases your metabolism and your body will continue to burn energy after you work out so it is essential that you refuel before you burn out! I’ll be sharing some of my favourite post-workout snacks and smoothies very soon!
Check out this and other great recipes over at The Culinary Mama’s Veggie Wednesday as well as Cooking with Herbs at Lavender and Lovage!
Mushroom and Asparagus Pie with Garlic-Coconut Sauce
1 white onion, finely chopped
100g each shitake and baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, sliced
½ large courgette, sliced into half moons
5-6 cloves smoked garlic, or substitute unsmoked garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp cornflour
200ml light coconut milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (available in health food stores)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
350g wholemeal self-raising flour
70g vegetable suet
Sea salt and black pepper
Olive oil spray
- Place a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and spray with olive oil. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, asparagus and courgette and continue to cook over a medium heat until the mushrooms have released their water and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Blend the garlic with a little water to form a smooth paste. In a measuring jug, whisk the cornflour with about 50ml water to form a paste. Place in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the garlic puree. Stir constantly until thickened, then stir in the coconut milk, 200ml water and the nutritional yeast. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened.
- Stir the vegetables into the sauce and add the fresh herbs. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well. Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6/400o
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, vegetable suet, salt and pepper. Add about 150ml cold water, a little at a time, mixing at first with a metal knife and then with your hands, until a soft (but not wet) dough is formed. Knead with your hands for just long enough to bring the dough together. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Roll out ¾ of the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a circle large enough to fit into your pie tin (about 8-9” diameter) with a little overhang. Fit the pastry into the tin, pressing lightly around the edges. Carefully slice off the overhanging pastry with a knife and work it into the remaining dough. Roll out the remaining dough into a rectangle long enough to fit across the pie tin. Cut into 10 roughly equal sized strips.
- Place the filling in the pie tin, then arrange the pastry strips on top. Interweave them to form a lattice and press the edges of the strips lightly onto the edges of the base pastry. You can use any leftover pastry to create decorative toppings if you wish (see my amateurish leaf decorations in the photos!). Spray the top of the pie with olive oil spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with mashed potato and gravy or a side of veggies.