The weather is getting chilly and the days are getting shorter. There is only one thing to do when the cold weather season is upon us–stay in bed and hibernate (if it’s good enough for the bears, it’s good enough for me.) But what happens when you want to have a cozy, hot, home-cooked meal without spending too much time out from underneath your favorite blanket? Slow cookers happen, and this hearty, comforting recipe takes a cold-weather classic and customizes it to be vegan, with ease and with your toes under the covers.
This recipe uses Beyond Meat vegan grilled chicken, but this can easily be substituted with your favorite vegan chicken brand, seitan, tempeh or firm tofu. Tip if using tofu: freeze, thaw and drain your tofu before cooking for an extra firm, chewy texture.
Vegan Slow Cooker Chick-un Pot Pie
By Claire-Marie Harris
Yield: 4 servings
(For the filling)
olive oil, refined coconut oil or canola oil: 3 tbs
liquid smoke: ½ tsp
poultry seasoning (don’t let the “poultry” part scare you, it’s just a combination of spices that is great for everyday cooking): 2 tbs
large onion, diced: 1
large carrots, chopped: 2
celery stems, chopped: 4
vegan chicken (I used Beyond Meat grilled): 1 package
unbleached all-purpose flour: 1/2 cup
nutritional yeast: 1 tbsp
plain soy milk or other non-dairy milk: 1 cup
fresh chopped parsley: 1 bunch
medium red potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes: 4
vegan bouillon cube: 1
white wine: 1 cup
unsalted vegetable stock (one box): 4 cups
large garlic cloves, finely chopped: 2
frozen peas: 1 cup
Salt and fresh black pepper: to taste
(For the biscuits)
unbleached, all-purpose flour: 1 cup
baking powder: 1 tbsp
salt: 1/2 tsp
plain soy milk or any other non-dairy milk: 1/2 cup
olive oil, refined coconut oil or canola oil (if using coconut oil, be sure to melt it first): 1/3 cup
Begin by lightly coating your slow cooker bowl with 1 tbs of oil and set aside. Cut the vegan chicken into smaller pieces, in any shape or size you desire. Using the Beyond Meat brand, I like to cut it into thin, 1 inch pieces so that it tears apart after being cooked. Sauté with 1 tbs of oil and the liquid smoke until brown and set aside.
In the same pan you cooked the vegan chicken in, sauté the onion, carrots and celery in 1 tbs of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the mixture is slightly cooked and the onions begin to appear translucent, add the flour and nutritional yeast and sauté for another minute or so, until the mixture becomes thick. Add the vegetable mixture and vegan chicken to the slow cooker bowl.
Add to the slow cooker bowl the soy milk, fresh parsley, potatoes, bouillon cube (just throw it on in there), wine and vegetable stock. Give it a quick stir and then add another 1 tbs of poultry seasoning, ¼ tsp of fresh black pepper and 1 tsp of salt. If you can’t find unsalted vegetable stock, just omit the extra salt here. If you would prefer to use soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos, they would be a great alternative and give another depth of flavor to the dish. Give everything another quick stir and cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetable are cooked, but still firm. Then, add the peas.
Once the vegetables are cooked, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and mix in the soy milk and oil. If you want to put your fancy pants on, go ahead and add some chopped chives, vegan cheese or roasted garlic to your biscuit mixture at this point for an even more flavorful dish. Drop small pieces of the biscuit mixture on top of the cooked filling, cover and cook on high for another hour.
The biscuits will be fluffy and soft from the steam, but if you like a harder crust, just leave the top off of the slow cooker before serving. If you like a lot of biscuits with your pot pie just double the biscuit recipe.
This dish can be easily customized for those with gluten or soy allergies or can be made with your favorite veggies. A favorite of mine in a pot pie is broccoli, so I just add a handful when I add the potatoes. Mushrooms would also give it a chewy, meaty texture and would be great cooked in with the vegan chicken. Play around with this recipe and give it a try on a cold, gray day. Your tummy and your cold toes will thank you.
More fall recipes: French Lentil Ratatouille
Photo: Claire-Marie Harris