This week has been British Pie week. My mum celebrated by making a goats cheese & caramelised red onion pie on Monday. I know it’s not vegan, but they’re carnivores and it was at least for Meat Free Monday.
I wanted to celebrate the week in my own little vegan way so today I made a vegan Mushroom, Butternut Squash & Spinach Pie.
Aware of the health benefits of brown rice, I adapted a regular pastry recipe, veganising it using brown rice flour.
10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice Flour :
🌱1. Rich in Selenium promoting decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and arthritis
🌱2. High in Manganese to help you body synthesise fats
🌱3. Rich in naturally occurring oils to normalise cholesterol levels
🌱4. High dietary fiber content promotes weight loss maintaining bowel regularity
🌱5. A whole grain reduces the risk of heart disease keeping cholesterol low
🌱6. Rich in antioxidants, similar levels to blueberries and strawberries
🌱7. Natural high fiber content can prevent colon cancer
🌱8. Slow release of sugar stabilises blood sugar reducing rush of diabetes
🌱9. Great as baby food due to high natural nutrition
🌱10. Can be used to treat yeast infections in women by helping over sensitive digestive systems heal from overgrowth of candida organisms
I was originally going to make a Moroccan spiced pie but when I woke up this morning, I just didn’t fancy it. I know, it was 8am, who fancies Morccoan cuisine at that time in the morning, right? But I had already started thinking of mushrooms.
I love mushrooms. I wonder if this love stemmed from my sister’s “allergy” when we were younger; I’d always get her share – you’d think it might have made me sick of them, but au contraire!
I’ve always enjoyed a mushroom, even more so since becoming vegan. Portobello mushrooms in particular are just so “meaty” and versatile; fry them, grill them, stir fry them, dry them, stuff them… But today I wanted them in a pie.
For the pastry base :
🌱 300g flour (I used a mixture, equal parts brown rice flour, almond flour, plain flour)
🌱 50g vegan margarine (I used Pure)
🌱 3-4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
🌱 1/2 tsp organic sea salt
🌱1/2 tsp baking powder
For the pastry lid :
🌱 200g flour (as above)
🌱 30g vegan margarine
🌱2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
🌱 1/4 tsp organic sea salt
🌱1/4 tsp baking powder
For the filling :
🌱 500g fresh mushrooms (I used 250g portobello + 250g chestnut), sliced
🌱 1/2 butternut squash, peeled + deseeded
🌱 2x red onions, peeled + sliced in to chunks
🌱 Generous handful spinach
🌱 2x tsp sage (can use dried or fresh)
🌱 2 tsp rosemary (again dried or fresh finely chopped)
🌱 2x garlic cloves, finely sliced
🌱 Handful of pine nuts
🌱 200ml vegan vegetable stock (as always, I used Bouillon)
🌱 Coconut oil to cook in
🌱 Ground pepper + organic sea salt for seasoning
How to :
- Preheat oven to 180-200C
- Mix all the pastry base & top ingredients together separately and knead until combined to a pastry-like constistency
- Use 2 sheets of greaseproof paper to roll out the pastry base/top until thin & large enough to fill/cover your desired pie case
- Place your base pastry in the pie case, trim edges, using any cut offs to fill in any holes
- Line pastry with greaseproof paper + fill with baking peas, rice or lentils, to blind bake for about 10 minutes before removing the baking peas and returning to the oven again for 5 minutes more
- Whilst your pastry base is baking, start on your filling. Melt some coconut oil in a large frying pan and fry red onions until soft, should take about 10 minutes
- In a separate pan, melt a little more coconut oil and begin to fry your chosen mushrooms
- Once onions are softened, add butternut squash to the pan and fry together for a further 10 minutes, after which you can add garlic, rosemary, sage + seasoning
- Your pastry base should be blind baked by now, remove from over & allow to cool
- Add spinach & cooked mushrooms to the onion + butternut squash, stirring to combine and let the spinach wilt
- Stir in the vegetable stock and allow to coat your pie filling, reducing if you need to
- Pile your filling in to pastry base, sprinkle pine nuts on top, then cover with pastry top, pricking about 6 small holes in the lid to allow steam to cook
- At this point you can either allow to cool & refrigerate until needed, or wash with almond milk and bake in over for about 30-35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and pie is emitting a delicious mushrooms aroma
Next time I might add tofu to this pie but as I was eating this with my non-vegan parents, I left it out this today. Feel free to play with the filling quantities. I used more mushrooms in mine, but you could swap and use more butternut squash in yours. Chives might also be a nice addition.
Pie week is over now but there’s always a reason for pie so give it a go and let me know your recipe and how you get on.