Hello you lovely readers :)
Did everyone enjoy their weekend? Did you do anything fun?
I certainly didn’t do a whole lot. REB is in Chicago for a few days for a conference and he left on Saturday and will be back on Wednesday night, late. I had a pretty low key weekend though, hanging out with the furballs, folding laundry, cleaning, and of course cooking!
I haven’t cooked in about a week. How horrible is that? With the travel to Chicago last weekend and eating salads at home or making them at Whole Foods during the week, I just never got around to making anything exciting. I need to make sure such a hiatus doesn’t happen again. But no matter! I remedied that on Sunday. I was in deep need of some comfort food. There was nothing wrong or any particular reason except that I wanted some comfort food.
What screams comfort more than pot pies? I had never made pot pies before and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I made them vegetarian but I also threw in some tofu for added protein and meatiness. You could certainly use Boca-brand Meatless Crumbles, Morningstar Chick’n Strips or just leave out the meat substitute completely and keep it with just veggies! Of course you can make them with meat for any meat eaters in your family. The possibilities are absolutely endless.
Individual Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pies
•6 oz. firm tofu, cut into small cubes
•2 teaspoons olive oil
•1 shallot, finely chopped
•2 teaspoons minced garlic (1-2 garlic cloves)
•1 carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
•2-3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
•1 medium-sized Yukon gold potato, diced (about 1 cup)
•1 cup (8-oz. carton) baby Bella mushrooms, diced
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon black pepper
•2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
•1 tablespoon cream (you can use less)
•1/2 cup frozen baby peas
•2 teaspoons dried thyme
•2 teaspoons dried parsley
•2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
Preheating your oven to 375°F
Start by cooking the tofu in a pan with non-stick spray until browned on all sides, about 3-5 minutes. When it’s done, transfer to a bowl that has a little water in it, to help keep it moist, and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until the shallots are translucent and softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, salt and pepper and stir. Cook until the mushrooms are softened and reduced in size, about 5-8 minutes.
Sprinkle the mixture with flour and stir well until all the vegetables are coated well. Let it cook a minute or two or until the flour is dissolved and you’ve cooked the flour taste out of the dish. Add the vegetable broth and cream and stir well. Leave uncovered and bring to a simmer. Near the end, add the cooked tofu cubes and stir. Once the tofu is heated through, turn off the heat and add the frozen peas and herbs (parsley and thyme). Stir and set aside.
It’s time to prepare your ramekins! I bought some ramekins recently and they worked perfectly. They were about 8 or 10 ounces and I loved the color and texture! Anyway, roll out the puff pastry (you may need to flour your board and some of the pastry sheet) and cut 1/2-inch strip and wrap it around the edge of each ramekin. Then cut a circle larger than the size of the ramekin. Wet the strip that’s already on the ramekin, and place the larger circle on top. Using a little more water, press down the sides so the bowls are covered. Take a fork to crimp the edges and cut some slits in the top to let out the steam while they bake.
Now they’re ready to bake!
Optional: You could do a simple egg wash (one cracked egg mixed with milk or water) on each pastry and then sprinkle with coarse salt so it bakes up suuuuper golden
Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. The smell in the house was absolutely amazing!!
So I guess TECHNICALLY you should let them sit for 5-10 minutes to let them cool before you dig in. But what’s the fun in that?
The filling was so hot and gooey, the tofu and vegetables cooked perfectly and the pastry? Ohhh the pastry. So flaky, golden and delicious. It all turned out so great and it was so, so easy to make! I enjoyed one for myself and then put the rest in the rest in the freezer so REB can have some when he’s home later this week <3 :)
Storage tip: Once the pies are completely cool, take some parchment paper and place on top of the pastry. Then wrap the entire ramekin tightly in aluminum foil (be careful not to crush the pastry crust), and then place in a Ziploc bag. Let as much air out before you seal ‘em up! Label and freeze! They should be OK for 1-2 months! When you’re ready to re-heat, set it out to thaw for 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 375 and bake for 30-45 minutes.
Comfort food is a necessity – in moderation – and it totally hit the spot for me!
Each pot pie is just around 400 calories, so it’s not too terrible!
What’s your favorite comfort food?