We welcomed Coco into our home almost three weeks ago and she is fitting in great. We found this cute 10 month old Cocker Spaniel at the Edmonton Humane Society and could not resist her. We are loving every minute of it, but it has not been without its challenges. She is very timid and scared around men, so EPC has had to work extra hard to win her affections and day-by-day walls are being broken down as she warms to up him. We have had to do a bit of work on potty-training. And although the worst is over,(or perhaps I am getting used to it) potty training seems to be a work in progress. Furthermore, we have to keep an eye on her every second to make sure she isn’t into something (recycling bag, laundry basket) or chewing something (furniture) that she shouldn’t be. Of course we both love the extra exercise we are getting taking Coco out for walks, but hope the weather will warm up soon! I think Coco feels the same way.
Needless to say I have been busy, hence the absence of posts last month, and Coco, not cooking, has been the center of my attention. Between take out from Famoso and Padmanadi, Amy’s brand frozen pizzas and our favourite bottled sauces from the Italian grocer over pasta, cooking meals from scratch has been on the back burner. That being said we have relied on a few quick and easy favourites of Lorna Sass’s in the pressure cooker, but I have not gotten very adventurous in the kitchen.
Since EPC and I had a relaxing weekend with Coco, I felt inspired to try a new recipe. I have been thinking about making a vegetarian savoury pie for a few weeks now and I was able to track down a recipe for Pot Pie in my Vegetarian Times Cookbook, so I decided to give it try.
I was wonderful and I loved the biscuit crust! The sauce thickened up nicely and wrapped the tender veggies and chickpeas in delicious blanket of flavour. EPC had two large helpings and Coco loved the slices of raw carrot that ricocheted off the counter as I chopped them up for the stew.
It was a perfect meal on a windy, snowy day. Yes, despite a respite a couple of weeks ago, it seems that winter will never leave us.
PS: It comes together quite quickly so do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 small red pepper, diced
2/3 cup frozen green beans
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 19-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (Try brown rice flour to make it gluten-free)
1 cup skim milk (use soy or rice milk to make the recipe vegan)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce (use salt to make it gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup skim milk or soy milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
Heat ½ cup of vegetable broth in a large pot. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, red pepper, peas, green beans and chickpeas. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to coat. Slowly add the milk and vegetable broth stirring constantly to get rid of any lumps. Add the parsley, soy sauce, sage, thyme, pepper and cayenne. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens.
Remove from heat.
In a large bowl blend the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and blend in using a pastry knife (I like to use a large fork) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I found I needed to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil for the coarse crumbs to develop to my liking. Add milk and maple syrup and stir to combine. If the dough is too dry add a touch more milk. Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky and roll it out on a lightly floured surface in roughly the same shape as your casserole.
Pour the vegetable filling into a lightly greased 2 quart casserole and lay the biscuit topping on top. Do not seal the edges.
Put into the oven a bake for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes
Serve and enjoy.