Veggie Pot Pie

We don't always need meat for dinner. Hold on there! Don't get me wrong, I love a nice, juicy piece of steak. But the truth is, I didn't eat red meat for 2 years. My intent was to cut out chicken as well, until I went through some health issues and found a connection to my diet. Since then, I've hopped back into the carnivore community (I'd call myself a hamburger connoisseur).

But just the fact that I need the vitamins from meat doesn't mean it has to be a part of every meal. As a matter of fact, we tend to overdo it with our meat consumption, and let's face it...that's not good for us, our planet, or the animals involved. If we can try some alternatives and feel just as full, it's worth a go.

Pot pie is such a flexible dish. You can throw just about any kind of vegetable in there, and I've made it with both chicken and salmon. This time around I wanted to make a vegetable version, and after playing around with puff pastry while baking at Christmas (my sister and I made a delightful chicken pot pie), I decided to go for gold again. With vegetables.

I cut up some sweet potato, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots. Unique mix, right?! I am crazy about asparagus, so including it was a great way for me to try it cooked in a different way. Most of the time, I see it roasted.

One of the best common sense baking tips my former colleague chef gave me was that for dishes like soups, you want to cut the pieces small enough to be bite size. I thought I was cutting everything small, but really needed to dice it down further. I'll never forget that.

To get my filling started, I started sauteeing some garlic and onion in a large skillet, then added in some celery. Celery is a great addition to soups, as it has a mild flavor but adds some texture.

I dumped all the vegetables into my skillet, then added about 2 cups of water and turned the heat to medium-high. At this step, you can add chicken broth, but I decided to just cook the vegetables in the water and create a vegetable broth. I let the veggies cook for a few minutes (not as long as I would for a soup as I knew they would be baking the rest of the way). In a small bowl, I whisked some flour into milk, then poured that over the vegetables and stirred. Immediately, I could see the flour mixture disperse into the sauce and begin to thicken, and mixed in my seasonings next. Now I am a massive fan of paprika and a dash of cayenne in my pot pie filling. I've loved it since we first met so long ago. It was just meant to be. But want a more subtle touch? Add some thyme or parsley. Play with your seasoning options. Start with a little and increase it the next time you make it (or taste test the sauce). You won't hurt anything.

After the flour and seasonings were in, I lowered the heat and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a casserole dish, I laid out one piece of the puff pastry after spraying some olive oil in the bottom to prevent it from cementing to the dish. Once the sauce had thickened slightly, I poured it into the dish.

I topped it off with another layer of puff pastry and brushed some beaten egg on the top so it would get that golden brown color as it cooked. Then, I baked the pie for about 45 minutes. Potatoes can take a little bit to cook, so I gave it plenty of time.

B-E-A-UTIFUL! Despite some slight overflow of sauce onto the pastry top layer, look at that golden goodness. Yum. What I really liked about this dish was how basic it was. I didn't need broth. Just puff pastry, vegetables cooked in water, milk & flour, and seasonings were the basic components. Even the egg brushed on top wasn't necessary--it was a cosmetic choice (because who doesn't love a golden brown pie crust?!). So with a random selection of vegetables, this dinner choice could be yours for the very low price of a few minutes of your time. And you know what? You can feed for a few days on it.

Veggie Pot Pie


1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1 sweet potato, chopped
3-4 white mushrooms, chopped
7-10 asparagus, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Add chopped onion, garlic, celery, and 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to a large skillet. Cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to become translucent. Chop potatoes, broccoli, sweet potato, asparagus, and carrot into bite size pieces, then add to skillet with water. Simmer on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Whisk together milk and flour in a small bowl. Mix into the pan with the vegetables and stir to coat. Stir in cayenne pepper, paprika, pepper, and salt. Add the first sheet of puff pastry to a large casserole dish that has been brushed with butter or a small amount of avocado oil. Pour in the filling, then top with the other sheet of puff pastry. Brush with egg. Bake for 45-50 minutes, checking about halfway through to make sure crust is not too brown. Cover with foil if necessary. Allow the pie to rest for 5 minutes after baking to thicken filling.

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