As you read this (assuming it is during my work hours on Friday), the President is less than a mile from where I sit (or stand, or teach). Yes that is right, President Obama and President Xi of the People’s Republic of China are meeting at Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from the country club at which I work. So close in fact that the city of Rancho Mirage sent out memos to our homeowners association warning residents and employees about the street closures that will be happening over the next few days. The downside of hosting presidents. They won’t announce the route of the motorcade in advance, but it would be pretty cool to get a chance to watch it go by.
Actually, the Sunnyland Center and Gardens has been a hot ticket since it opened a little over a year ago. I have not yet had the opportunity, but admission is free and I hear the gardens are beautiful. To tour the home you must take a guided tour but it is quite a historic property and well worth the price of admission (and possible waiting list for tickets).
Vegan Pot Pie
Out of the gardens and into the kitchen for a flaky crusted, homestyle, vegan pot pie. My love of pot pies dates way back to when I was a kid. My mom was a working mom and we frequently did the t.v. dinner route (sorry Mom for outing you). I wasn’t much for salisbury steak (blech), but I loved me some chicken pot pie.
No longer a chicken eater, I’ve tried creating a few different vegan pot pie recipes, and I have to say that this is the best. I used nutritional yeast in the gravy, which added an extra burst of flavor. When I was a kid I always loved two crusted pies (some brands skipped the bottom crust which somehow made me feel cheated, since the crust was my favorite part), but now I choose to skip the extra calories, while still savoring the crusty goodness of the top crust. If you want to use a bottom crust, be sure to add an extra 15-20 minutes of cooking time (and reduce the heat to about 350).
- 1 package firm tofu, drained, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 small potatoes, diced
- ½ cup carrots, chopped
- ½ onion, diced
- ½ cup zucchini, diced
- ½ cup yellow squash, diced
- ½ cup corn
- 9-inch pie crust
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- 1⅓ cups water
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook carrots and potatoes for about 8 minutes
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Cook the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tofu, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes.
- When the carrots and potatoes are done, drain and add to the pan with the tofu. Add the zucchini, squash, and corn, and cook, stirring, for several more minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a sauce pan, mix the water, nutritional yeast, flour, olive oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
- Add ½ of the gravy to the tofu mixture and stir to mix.
- Pour the tofu mixture into a 9" pie pan.
- Pour the rest of the gravy on top then cover with the pie crust
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown.
- Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.