Friday, January 20, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Mini Pot Pie Casseroles

Hello everyone! I know, long time no post. I have so many things I want to post about... but today I want to share with you my first ever attempt at making a vegetable pot pie. Ever. I've never made pot pie before... not gluten free, vegan, or any other way (unless frozen dinners count?)

This recipe was a series of experiments. The whole reason I made a pot pie was because I wanted to try a gluten free pie crust that works for my specific food allergies. One day I may get around to writing a separate post about the pie crust, but that is a story for another day :)

I've never made a gluten-free pie crust before. So that was challenge #1.

I've also never made a pot pie before. That was challenge #2.

Since I've never made a pot pie, I didn't really know what goes into a traditional pot pie- but after reading oodles of recipes, I learned that it typically includes butter, and a lot of cream. I wanted a dairy-free pot pie filling, so that was challenge #3.
I'm happy to report that after lots of reading, planning, chopping, cooking & experimenting, the result was a successful gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipe that included NO dairy, corn, or soy. It tastes great, contains TONS of veggies, and without the high fat dairy and cream, I think it is healthier than the "traditional" version.

I chose to make four mini-pies instead of one large pie, because I planned to freeze individual portions for reheating later. But you could certainly make this dish as one large casserole. Note: the pie crust in the photos IS gluten free, but was NOT vegan. The rest of the pot pie is vegan. To make the entire recipe vegan, simply use a vegan shortening in the pie crust.

This recipe is linked to Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Friday <-- follow the link for more allergy-friendly recipes and ideas.

OK, here is the step-by-step:

Gluten Free Vegan Mini Pot Pies (no gluten, dairy, soy, egg, corn or potato)
Makes 4-5 mini casseroles, or one large casserole
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium head of fennel, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups baby onions, blanched and peeled
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Sea salt and black pepper to season
1/4 cup gluten free flour mix
1 cup allergy-friendly vegetable broth
1 cup rice milk
1 cup frozen baby green peas
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Gluten free pie crust (use your favorite, or recipe below)
Approximately 1/3 cup rice milk plus 1 teaspoon agave- to brush the tops of the crusts for browning
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper- for tops of crusts
Prep: Blanch and peel the baby onions.
Chop all of the veggies. Chop. Chop. Chop. It is a lot of veggies :)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and put rack in the middle.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pan (I used a large cast iron pan). When it is hot, add fennel, celery, onions, and carrots, and cook until softened, and onions are translucent, about 2-4 minutes.

Add mushrooms, season well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms have let off water and are shrunken, about 5-7 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir to coat, and cook about 1-2 minutes. Carefully add vegetable broth and rice milk, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add peas, fresh herbs, and vinegar, and stir to coat. Season well with sea salt and fresh ground pepper (yes, season again. I know it seems like a lot of salt and pepper, but trust me, it is ok).

Ladle filling into mini-casseroles (or one large casserole).
Can I digress for just a moment to show you these adorable mini casserole dishes...???
Too cute, right??? I love the idea that once you get to the bottom, SURPRISE, you get a cheerful message : )

OK, roll out pie dough and trim to fit the top of your casserole (I just used the lid as a guide):
Place dough over the top of the dish. Tip: brush the top sides of dish (where the crust will hang over) with olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking.
Brush tops with rice milk/agave mixture. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and cut slits in the top to vent.

Place mini-pies on baking sheet, and bake in center of oven at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling hot. These are about halfway done (I was really impatient and kept checking to see if they were going to turn out ok :)
And finally... Ta-da!

Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust
Makes one 9 inch pie crust
This pie crust can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use

1/2 cup non-dairy, non-soy shortening (such as Spectrum Organic Shortening)
2-4 tablespoons cold water
5 oz (about 1 1/4 cups) gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon guar gum

Cut shortening into 1/2 inch pieces and place it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

Chill some water with ice cubes while preparing the dry ingredients.

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and guar gum in bowl of food processor and mix until combined.

Add the shortening and pulse 6-10 times, or until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some pea size pieces of flour-covered shortening. Do not over mix!!!

With processor running (I use the "dough" setting, with the "S" blade), add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture just barely starts to clump together. You want just enough water so that when you pinch the dough, it holds together. Do not add more water than necessary. Do not over process.

Remove the dough from the food processor and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 3 days.

When ready to roll the dough, place a piece of parchment paper on the counter, and sprinkle with gluten free flour. Place dough on parchment, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour before rolling. Roll dough to desired size and shape (a cool rolling pin helps, I actually stick mine in the freezer first). Tip: if you are making several small pie crusts, divide the dough, and roll out one section at a time, keeping remaining sections in the refrigerator until you need them.

Lift the entire piece of parchment from the counter, flip and carefully center dough over the casserole, lay dough on top of filling/dish, and carefully peel away parchment paper. Voila!


  1. I think these are very useful for those who need to avoid gluten and are clueless as to what should they have.very helpful and easy recipes.EMR

  2. These look great! I need to find some mini dishes stat! I love that they're corn free in addition to all the others. Now to see if I have the patience to dice carrots that tiny! Found you on Cybele Pascal's site, btw, congrats!

  3. Thank you Healthtec and HSW. HSW, I know what you mean about corn. It's REALLY hard to find gluten-free recipes that are also corn-free. And it's hard to find vegan recipes that are soy-free! Hopefully these will help : )

    I like to chop veggies while listening to an entertaining podcast. It makes the time go by faster : )