Friday, November 18, 2011

The return of FNF! - Paula Dean's Turkey Pot Pie

It's been a couple of months but we are back at it. It is the return of Food Network Friday's hosted by Tami of Vegan Appetite. Make sure to visit her blog to see how the other participants created their dishes for the challenge.

This time we are taking on Paula Dean by veganizing her recipe for Turkey Pot Pie. She loves to poo poo tofu and thinks nothing can be made without full cream butter, heavy cream and fatty meat. Despite these shortcomings, I do enjoy watching her. She has a very sunny personality. Her anti-vegetarian bent made this week's conversion even more fun.

My original plan was to not only veganize the butter queen's recipe, but to make a healthy version. I was super motivated to also make it a hand pie. While my intentions were good, once I got cooking I ended up abandoning both of my ideas. I found a box of vegan creamy portobello soup, so instead of taking the lighter road, I ripped open the box and forged on! The hand pies were still on the agenda...until my puff pastry decided to be uncooperative. So what the heck, I cut the pastry into strips and carried on.

I thought the proportion of cranberries was too much, so I reduced them to 1 cup. I used TVP chunks re-hydrated in water with Bill's Chiknish Seasoning. I had to play around with my puff pastry. I decided to serve this as a deconstructed pie. The filling was placed in small ramekins and garnished with puff pastry strips. Alternately you could make the lattices like she does in her dish, but I almost think that might make it too heavy. The cranberries provided the perfect hint of tart to mellow out the richness of the rest of the filling. I served it straight up. It was so rich, I knew I wouldn't be able to eat anything else with it. Look how pretty it is! Wouldn't it be lovely on your Thanksgiving table?

The verdict is in. I took samples of this too work for my anything but vegetarian co-workers. They were amazed at how "meaty" and really delicious this was. One guy even had seconds! I say that's another win for vegananizing another FN recipe!!!

Deconstructed Thanksgiving Pot Pie

2 cups water
2 teaspoons Bill's Best Chik'nish Seasoning
1 1/2 cups TVP chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
6 oz white or cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup broth (using liquid drained from TVP)
1 - 16 oz container of Imagine Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup
2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 1 x 3 inch strips

In a medium saucepan heat water and Bill's Best Chik'nish Seasoning to boiling. Add TVP. Turn off heat and let re-hydrate for 20-25 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry strips on un-greased baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between strips. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and keep warm.

While the TVP is rehydrating in a large saucepan (or small stock pot) over medium heat add olive oil, onions and celery. Saute until just soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, sage, pepper and salt. Saute until mushrooms start to release their liquid, about 3 more minutes. Stir in flour and nutritional yeast, stirring to incorporate. Saute for about 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and simmer until mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisk in creamy portobello mushroom soup, butternut squash and rehydrated TVP. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until squash is tender. Add cranberries and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Whisk arrowroot powder into cold soy milk until dissolved. Whisk arrowroot mixture into squash mixture. Simmer until mixture thickens. Ladle stew into 1 cup ramekins and garnish with 4-5 strips of puff pastry. 


  1. this looks so savory and delicious! i love that the crust is more like breadsticks!

  2. Looks tasty and you are braver than me sticking those cranberries in there!