"Ok, don't panic. It is not the end of the world. " I tried to calm myself, but the voice in my head had none of it. I turned the dial on my stove - the burner hissed, clicked, and the orange flames started dancing happily. I did not realize I was holding my breath, and I exhaled deeply. Then I crossed fingers on my left hand for luck, turned the oven dial on, and listened. Nothing. No hiss, no unmistakable sound of flowing gas, no heat. My many-thousand Wolf gas oven stopped working.
Of course, it was not a real disaster. Of course, it was not a big deal. But for me it was. I suddenly had an urge to bake cookies and roast a chicken. Simultaneously.
There was nothing I could do, so I scraped the Vegan Lentil Pot Pie that I made a night before into the pan, closed the lid, and proceeded heating it on the stovetop. I was glad that I got a chance to make it before the oven stopped working.
Now, let me tell you about this dish. I came up with the recipe a few years ago during a month when I followed a vegetarian diet. I am neither vegan, nor vegetarian, but this pot pie became a staple in my cooking repertoire. The recipe is quick as I use red lentils that only need about 10-15 minutes to cook. I start with one diced onion that I sauté until soft, then I add lentils, canned diced tomatoes, a bit more liquid, my favourite chipotle spices, and thyme. I then let the mixture stew until lentils are cooked.
While lentils get acquainted with the flavours of sweet tomatoes, earthy thyme, and spicy and smoky peppers, I make biscuits. This time I wanted the whole dish to be vegan, so I used coconut milk and soy butter for the dough, but you can use your favourite biscuit recipe too.
Once the lentils are done and the biscuit dough is prepared, I pour the stew into a 9x13" baking dish, top with the biscuit crust and bake until biscuits puff up and turn golden. This pot pie is healthy, filling, and satisfying. Soft and nutty lentils mingle with tangy and sweet tomatoes, topped with a little indulgence in the form of fluffy biscuits, this combination creates a very comforting dish. It is also very versatile, as different spices can change the recipe and make it into something very different.
Vegan Lentil Pot Pie
For the lentil stew
Vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon
Onion - 1 large
Red lentils - 2 cups
Dice tomatoes - 1 can (796 ml) - I use no salt added tomatoes
Smoky paprika chipotle seasoning - 2 teaspoon (or your favourite spices)
Salt, pepper - to taste
Thyme - 3 sprigs
Coconut milk - 1 can (400 ml), divided into 250 ml for stew and 150 ml for biscuits
Water - about 550 ml
For the biscuits
All-purpose flour - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Thyme - leaves from 3 sprigs
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Vegan butter - 4 tablespoons
Coconut milk - 150 mlCoconut milk - 150 ml
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large pan, heat the oil.
- While oil is heating, dice the onion.
- Cook the onion on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes until it's soften and lightly browned.
- Add the lentils to the pan, add a can of diced tomatoes and mix.
- Add leaves from thyme sprigs, smoky paprika chipotle seasoning or spices of your choice, salt and pepper and mix.
- Pour 250 ml of coconut milk into the empty tomato can, add water to fill the whole can, about 550 ml.
- Pour the water and coconut mixture into the pan with the lentils, mix, and bring to boil.
- Turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are cooked.
- While lentils are cooking, make the biscuits.
- Place flour, salt, thyme leaves, sugar, and baking powder into a large bowl and whisk well.
- Add vegan butter and using a fork or a pastry knife blend together until butter is incorporated and is about a size of small peas.
- Add 150ml of coconut milk and mix until soft dough forms.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut biscuits about 2-inch in diameter. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
- Pour lentil stew into a 9x13" baking dish. You can use a smaller dish too.
- Top with the biscuits and bake for about 30 minutes or until biscuits are baked through and just starting to turn golden. My oven always takes longer to bake everything.