A member of the night-shade family, eggplant is a veggie related to the tomato and potato. This berry, the eggplant, is a fruit and is native to India. The common variety is know by many names depending in what region of the world you live. Aubergine, Brinjal, and Garden Egg are just a few of the names referring to an eggplant.
It's been my experience that eggplant with a shiny smooth exterior are the best. At all costs avoid any eggplant with blemishes, soft spots or mold around the stem area. A vast variety of colors and shapes can be found at ethnic markets. Size, color and variety choices will provide different flavors, so give them all a try with assorted recipes.
Try to find heavy eggplant.
Just like other fruits, the heavier, the juicier, the fresher.
Select the deepest purple for the traditional eggplant.
Select shiny, firm, with no blemishes for all colors of eggplant.
Look for stem tops that are green... avoid dried, grey or moldy looking stems!
Find out when your market receives their weekly shipments and shop on that day.
Vegan Chicken Pot Pie
There is nothing more warming than a homemade Vegan Chicken Pot Pie. This is one of the all time favorite comfort foods after Vegan Macaroni & Cheese.
3 yellow onions, diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Pastry Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Flour
4 cups Imagine Vegetable Stock
1/4 teaspoon Hawaiian Sea Salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
1/2 cup Silk Soy Milk Creamer, Plain
2 cups cooked sliced mushrooms, white or crimini
1 package frozen pearl onions
1 package frozen petite peas
4 cups precooked diced organic potatoes, Yukon or Russet
2 cups precooked diced organic carrots
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
12 whole springs of fresh Italian Parsley for decoration
1 package Chicken Seitan, shredded
prepared a basic pie crust or purchase a frozen vegan pie crust or vegan puff pastry... my favorite is Aussie Bakery Puff Pastry.
heavy bottomed sauté pan
insulated cookie sheet
rolling pin for crust top potato peeler cutting board knifes
measuring spoons garlic press kitchen shears
steamer sauté pan with lid
one large Pyrex dish or one large and two small (individual oven proof dishes will work well too)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F if using the vegan puff pastry by Aussie Bakery... if using tradition pie crust, preheat the oven to 375 degress F. Puff pastry needs a HOTTER OVEN.
Cut and Measure Ingredients
Cut and measure all the vegetables and ingredients required for this recipe.
Russet potatoes need to be peeled before dicing, but Yukon Gold's can keep their skins.
Boil the diced potatoes until al dente done, drain and set aside.
Remember, these vegetables will be cooked in the oven for an hour later.
Steam diced carrots until al dente, almost done, drain and set aside.
Sauté Onions & Mushrooms.
Sauté the diced onions and sliced mushrooms in two tablespoons of the olive oil until golden brown.
When the onions and mushrooms are a golden brown, remove them from the pan and place in a side dish.
Create the Chicken Pot Pie White Sauce Base
In the same pan the onions were sautéed, add the olive oil, flours, sea salt, and pepper.
Over medium heat, stir the contents until it bubbles and turns golden brown.
Add the vegetable stock slowly and whisk vigorously to eliminate any lumps.
Whisk in the Plain Silk Soymilk Creamer and turn off the heat.
Add the Vegetables and Chicken Seitan
In a larger pan, add the white sauce base, all the vegetables, Italian parsley, and seitan chicken.
Fold the ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
Baking Dish and Crust
Spray the serving dishes with a non-stick oil spray.
Pour the vegetable sauce into the dishes.
Roll out the prepared dough crust and lay over the top of each Vegan Chicken Pot Pie.
This Crust is a vegan store bought puff pastry: Aussie BakeryPuff Pastry
Aussie Bakery Vegan Puff Pastry
Poke a few holes in the dough top and press the edges onto the casserole dishes.
Place the assembled casseroles onto an insulated cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to make clean up easier.
The Vegan Chicken Pot Pies will bubble over slightly, so be prepared with a parchment liner or silicone liner on the cookie sheet.
Bake the dough crusted Vegan Chicken Pot Pies for approximately 30 minutes in the pre-heated 400 F. degree oven. When the crust is golden brown and the contents are bubbling, it is DONE!
Scoop out a portion for each person and add a sprig of Italian flat leaf parsley. This is a crowd pleaser and nothing will be left. If you don't want to deal with the crust, this tastes great just like a stew! Add a whole wheat roll or a piece of barley bread and dinner is ready!!!
For those who just want something quick and store bought, then Amy's Vegetable Pot Pie may be a great choice for you. Amy's is well seasoned and the crust is flaky and light. For those without kitchens, entertaining visiting relatives, or traveling, simply follow the heating directions and in no time you'll have a great tasting meal with minimal effort. The downside to this is the expense for the convenience!