Veggie Pot Pie

Inspired by the version I saw on Ask Aida, I decided to recreate this recipe with my own added flair.  The rich, luxe fennel flavor stuck out to me the most as both unique and comforting.  As I always think homemade anything tastes better, I used my grandmother’s pie crust recipe for the topping (I subbed in 1/4 c. whole wheat flour instead of white for heartiness and health!), but as Aida suggests in her recipe, you can also easily use store bought pie dough or puff pastry.


  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 8 fresh crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 white sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 3 carrots, cleaned, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 bulb fennel, thin sliced
  • 1 can of peas & 1/2 of the liquid in the can
  • 3 Tbs. fresh chopped chives (about a palmful)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 c. Veggie Stock
  • 1/3 c. Dry White Wine
  • 2 Tbs. Flour
  • 1 Tbs. Herbs de Provence
  • 1 pie dough or puff pastry (either homemade or store bought)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. water

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together one egg with 1 Tbs water and set aside (egg wash).
3.  Heat 2 Tbs olive oil In a medium sized dutch oven over medium high heat. Sweat the onion until translucent, add mushrooms and allow to brown for about 5-6 minutes.
4.  Add fennel to the pan, and coat evenly with the onion & mushroom mixture. Toss in a pinch of salt.

5.  Deglaze the pan with white wine and make sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.
6.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes, and stir in 1 Tbs. of flour. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated into the mix.

7.  Add potato and carrots, another dash of salt with pepper and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
8.  Add peas and 1/2 of the liquid from the can. Stir all ingredients, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
9.  Pour in veggie stock, and lightly sprinkle in another tablespoon of flour, and add the Herbs de Provence. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated into the mixture.
10.  Remove from heat, and sprinkle with the fresh chives.

11.  If you are choosing to transfer ingredients to a casserole dish, do so at this time. Cover the dutch oven or casserole dish with the pie crust. Trim the edges with a paring knife, and tuck into the pan/dish.
12.  Brush the crust with eggwash, and sprinkle a light pinch of salt over the crust.
13.  Place pot pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown. Garnish with some additional chopped chives.

Red Quiona with Drunk Mushrooms and Roasted Tomatoes (Oh My!)

Quinoa… say it with me… ‘Keen-wah’, is all over the place these days. Traditionally, quinoa has been harvested for thousands of years as a staple crop in South America. It’s technically not a grain at all, but actually a seed from the Goosefoot (Chenopodium) Plant. Bonus: this little seed is jam packed with nutrition– Vitamins E & B, essential amino acids, with punches of fiber and protein! Bonus #2: It’s Gluten Free!

With that little history lesson behind us, let’s talk recipes shall we? Quinoa is quite versatile, and makes for a yummy variation for whatever carb, grain or rice dish you are sick of making. It has a lovely nutty and earthy flavor and is simple & quick to prepare (like rice, but much faster!) and lends itself to any flavor profile you want to throw at it. Here, I’m using a fresh, Italian-fusion style, which could be served as an entree rather than just a side. Experiment away!

Ingredients (serves 6):
2 c. Red Quinoa
4 c. water
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced (separate into 2 equal portions)
1/3  c. of your favorite sharp cheese, shredded
8-10 large Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and large chopped
1 1/2 c. Dry White Wine
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced and roasted (full recipe here!)
6-7 leaves fresh basil, torn or chiffonade Salt & Pepper

First, prepare the Quinoa.

1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a 1 1/4 quart sauce pan. Add 1/2 of the diced onion, and sweat until transparent.

2. Add quinoa, and toast lightly until all grains are coated in the olive oil and onion mixture (this will bring out the red in the seeds a bit).

3. Add 4 c. water, and give a good stir. Bring to a rolling boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook quinoa until all water has been absorbed (approx 15-20 min). Season with 1-2 tsp. salt, depending on your taste preference.

4. For an extra flavor boost, grate in 1/3 c. of your favorite sharp cheese. I used a blend of sharp white cheddar and Pecorino cheeses.

Meanwhile:  Roast the tomato slices, sprinkled with coarse salt, on a baking sheet coated with pan spray — 425 degrees for 20 minutes. For more detailed recipe, look here.

While the quinoa is cooking, it’s time to get those mushrooms nice and drunk (and unbelievably flavorful)!

1.  Add 1 Tbs. of olive to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and sweat until translucent.

2.  Add mushrooms and stir to coat thoroughly. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté mushrooms with onions for about 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is almost fully reduced. Remove from heat.

To serve, scoop desired portions of quinoa onto plates, and top with the roasted tomatoes, drunk mushrooms, fresh basil and finish with a sprinkle of cheese.