Meatless Monday – Mini Mushroom Vegetable Pot Pies

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‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and I was looking for some inspiration for dinner.  All of our food preparation had been about the ‘Big Day’ tomorrow with no thought to tonight.  So with the recent nip in the air, I decided to make cozy, comfort food that would bake in the oven sending lovely smells throughout the house and bring warmth into the kitchen.  Checking the refrigerator yielded two already prepared pie crusts that we didn’t use and loads of mushrooms not destined for the dressing/stuffing.  So I quickly brainstormed a vegetable pot pie starring criminy mushrooms and a rich mushroom base using a creamy portobello mushroom soup which I had picked up at Trader Joe’s.  I added a couple of carrots, a potato and frozen peas and corn.  I loved this combination!  Even my meat loving family came back for seconds! Most people ate two mini pies, so this recipe would serve six people as a main course and 10-12 as a side dish.

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I opted for mini pies because I’m still enamored with pretty little food that is easily served as individual portions.  Plus, we already had quite a few big pies in the works for Thanksgiving.  For mini pies, use a 4 inch cookie cutter to cut the bottom crust and a 3 inch round for the top.  OR you can use shaped cookie cutters because, well…cute.  It’s also an easy way to make your little pies part of a theme.  I used small leaf cookie cutters to go with our Thanksgiving/Fall theme.  For St. Patrick’s Day I would probably go with the one that looks most like a clover, hearts for Valentine’s Day.  You get the picture.  If you use a full top, just pinch the edges closed, like you would on a large pie, and make a few slits in the top with a sharp knife to let steam escape.  You can also make this as a large pie and place assorted leaves all over the top for a pretty presentation. I have had my leaf cookie cutters for over ten years but they are still available on-line.  Try googling  Mrs Andersons 42111 Leaf Cookie Cutters, set of seven. I found them for $14.36 on jet.com.

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This turned out to be a very flavorful and savory pot pie.  I loved the mushroom soup as a creamy base but without the cream.  The potato added substance and the veggies all added not just flavor but fiber and nutrients.  Substitute any veggies that your family likes, especially root vegetables.  If you have a non-mushroom lover, substitute cream of celery or other condensed soup or prepared gravy, or you can make a nice thick sauce with reduced vegetable broth, butter and flour.  With mini pies, dice vegetables fairly small so you get a nice selection of them in each pot pie.

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TIPS:  For a more nutritious pie crust, try substituting whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour.  Yes, that is a thing.  White whole wheat flour is ground from white wheat, rather than from red wheat, which makes the traditional whole wheat flour. Both are 100% whole-grain and have the same nutritional benefits; but the white wheat flour has a milder taste and lighter color.  Whole wheat pastry flour is red wheat ground very fine which makes it much lighter than regular whole wheat.  When using whole wheat flour, you may have to add a bit more water but only do so a tablespoon at a time or you could end up with a gooey dough. Whole wheat dough should also rest for a half hour before working with it or it can crack and crumble. The dough is ready when it sticks together in a clump when squeezed.  Dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready.

NOTE:  I made this recipe last minute and on a whim so used two already prepared pie crusts.  Next time I will use white whole wheat flour and make it myself.  For great step by step instructions on making a homemade pie crust with photos go to Chez Pim.

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MINI MUSHROOM VEGETABLE POT PIES

FILLING

1 medium or 1/2 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, dice
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup water
1 lb criminy mushrooms, roughly chopped
11 oz condensed mushroom soup
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 Tbsn fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

DOUGH ( OR 2 prepared pie crusts)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons).
  • Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 30 m9nutes. Take out 10 minutes or so before rolling to let it soften.

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  • Saute onions in olive oil for several minutes until translucent.  Add carrots and garlic and saute another few minutes

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  • Add potatoes and water, cover and saute on medium low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.  If it starts to stick add a bit more water.  Potatoes and carrots should be softened.

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  • Add mushrooms and saute until they start to lose their water.

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  • Stir in mushroom soup and fresh herbs and let bubble on medium low until veggies are all soft. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Fold in peas and corn, turn off heat and let cool.

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  • Roll out dough.  Using a 4″ circle cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds

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  • Place each round in lightly greased cupcake tins, pressing sides into place.

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  • Spoon filling into each tin.  If you overfill, it will overflow when cooked.

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  • Using a leaf (or other shape) cookie cutter, cut 12 – 24 shapes.  Or you could cut 3″ circles and completely enclose pies by pinching the sides together. Make a slice in the top of each to release steam.

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  • Arrange leaves on top of mini pies.

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  • Beat an egg with a tsp of water in a small bowl and brush mixture on the tops of each pie. (optional)

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  • Bake at 375 for about an hour. Let cool slightly before removing from tins.

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Mini Mushroom Vegetable Pot Pies

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
20151124_200236

FILLING

1 medium or 1/2 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, dice
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup water
1 lb criminy mushrooms, roughly chopped
11 oz condensed mushroom soup
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 Tbsn fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

DOUGH ( OR 2 prepared pie crusts)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons).
  • Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Take out 10 minutes or so before rolling to let it soften.
  • Saute onions in olive oil for several minutes until translucent.  Add carrots and garlic and saute another few minutes
  • Add potatoes and water, cover and saute on medium low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.  If it starts to stick add a bit more water.  Potatoes and carrots should be softened.
  • Add mushrooms and saute until they start to lose their water.
  • Stir in mushroom soup and fresh herbs and let bubble on medium low until veggies are all soft. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fold in peas and corn, turn off heat and let cool.
  • Roll out dough.  Using a 4″ circle cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds
  • Place each round in lightly greased cupcake tins, pressing sides into place.
  • Spoon filling into each tin.  If you overfill, it will overflow when baked.
  • Using a leaf (or other shape) cookie cutter, cut 12 – 24 shapes and arrange them on top of mini pies.  Or you could cut 3″ circles and completely enclose pies by pinching the sides together. Make a slice in the top of each to release steam.
  • Beat an egg with a tsp of water in a small bowl and brush mixture on the tops of each pie.
  • Bake at 375 for about an hour. Let cool slightly before removing from tins.

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