The foundation of this Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pie is similar to the Shepherd’s Pie, if you happened to make that. Vegetables sautéed then mixed in with some vegetable broth, soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Really a great technique you can carry over to all sorts of warm wintery recipes. If you’re trying to cut back on salt, which I’m always a fan of, use water in place of the vegetable broth (or opt for a low sodium variety) and by all means, replace the soy sauce with Bragg’s. Regular soy sauce has over 900 mg of sodium per tablespoon. I like to substitute soy sauce with half Braggs Liquid Aminos and half water, so at least you’re getting some amino acids in the mix.
Aside from that, there are only a few other tips I have to offer. First, frying the tofu is a bit tedious. I hate turning little bits of tofu over. I find a fork works best, but it makes me wish I had one of those fryer things built into my kitchen. I could hardly justify such as absurdity frying tofu a couple times a month, but it would be nice to have a neighbor with one you could borrow. Just drop all those little tofu squares in and be done with it in like 20 seconds. That’s the life.
Oh and before I get all daydreamy about frying bulk tofu, let me also recommend doubling the pie crust part of the recipe. You won’t need twice as much, but whenever I go to the trouble to prepare something a little more labor involved, I like to make it count. Wrap the other half tightly in plastic wrap. Put it in a freezer bag and it will keep in the freezer for several months. Then next time you’re up for a pot pie or a quiche or any other recipe in need of a flaky crust just pull it out of the freezer and let it defrost over night in your refrigerator. I do the same thing with cookie dough and homemade baby food. But I’ll be the first to admit my freezer is a bit out of control. Once I hit capacity, we literally have a solid week dedicated to eating every odd ball thing I’ve deemed freezable.
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 stick or 1/2 cup frozen Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- Ice water
- 8 oz. extra firm tofu
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 medium Russet potato, diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce (or half Braggs, half water)
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
- 1 tsp. finely chopped sage
- 1 tsp. thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Whenever you make pie crust you want everything cold, super cold. Measure out your flour in to a mixing bowl and chill in the freezer, along with a measuring cup of water. You can leave all that in there while you’re preparing the filling.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Cut tofu into 1/3-inch cubes and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels. Do your best to get it dry.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat and cook tofu until golden, turning once so you have two nicely cooked sides. Remove tofu from skillet and set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan. Cook onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add potato to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft.
- Add flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to the skillet and stir into the vegetables. Let cook just a minute or two. Then add the broth and stir until combined, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add tofu, peas, spinach, sage, and thyme and stir until combined.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Now back to the crust. Remove the flour, butter and water from the freezer.
- Cut the butter into smaller cubes and add to the flour. With a pastry blender or fork, cut the mixture until you have pea size pieces of butter/flour. Then, using your hands, quickly (yes, quickly! Your hands are warm) rub the mixture together so that the butter is absorbed into the flour.
- Gradually drizzle ice water into the bowl, mixing with the pastry blender or fork until the dough just comes together.
- Quickly shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Place on a floured surface a roll out to 1/8 inch thick.
- Let’s put it all together. Pour the the tofu and vegetable mixture into a 9 x 9 baking pan.
- Place the rolled out dough over the mixture and tuck the sides under to form a thicker crust around the edge. Press to seal around the edges of the dish and cut a slit in the middle for the steam to escape.
- Bake in the oven until the crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.