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November 1, 2010

Vegan MoFo #1 - Thai Tempeh and Kabocha Pot Pie

Happy November 1st -- World Vegan Day and the kick-off of Vegan MoFo! If you are unfamiliar with Vegan MoFo, it is a month long vegan food blogging event. I joined the ranks of over 500 bloggers worldwide that signed up to blog daily about their vegan eats. The goal is to post every weekday, or roughly 20 times during the month of November. Prepare for a flood of vegan food coming straight to your computer screens!

No doubt the frequency of posting will be my greatest challenge, but I am determined. I have many delicious things planned, along with a small stockpile of recipes from the last couple of weeks that will fill in on days that I am eating leftovers. Here is my short list of things I hope to accomplish over the coming weeks, which will give you an idea of what to expect:
  • Cooking with new ingredients (starting with this big bag of sunchokes, ideas anyone?)
  • Cooking from new cookbooks
  • Cooking through as much as possible of my overstocked pantry
  • Hosting a vegan Thanksgiving dinner party for friends
  • Dining out at least one vegan restaurant in Chicago that I haven't tried yet
  • Reading as many new blogs as possible!
So, let's get started!

I am very excited to share this first recipe with you, which is hands down the most delicious dinner I have made so far this season. This Thai Tempeh and Kabocha Pot Pie is a slight adaptation of Joanne's brilliant pot pie. Thai curry paste and coconut milk flavor the sauce of this fall veggie and tempeh pot pie. The sauce is bursting with flavor, but the spice level is mild enough for those with low tolerances to heat. The blend of curry and coconut play off of the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and kabocha squash perfectly. All of this goodness is topped off with a pumpkin biscuit crust. That's right, I said pumpkin biscuit crust. This recipe screamed, eat me now! In fact I was whipping this up within hours of her posting the original recipe, and I recommend you doing the same. 

You may substitute any winter squash you desire, but I am partial to kabocha, delicata, and kuri, because the skin is edible when roasted, and does not require peeling. (Sorry butternut, I still love you.)

Thai Tempeh and Kabocha Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust
(Adapted from Eats Well With Others)  
Serves 5-6

2 lbs kabocha squash, stem and seeds removed, skin on, chopped in 1" chunks (roughly 5 cups)
1 large white sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1.5" chunks
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 package tempeh, chopped into 1" cubes (steamed for 15 mins to remove bitterness if you desire)
1 cup coconut milk
1-1/2 cups water
4 tsp red curry paste
2-1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1-2 tbsp agave (or brown sugar)
Juice of 1/2 of a small lime
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tbsp flour of your choice (I used spelt)

Pumpkin Biscuit crust 

(adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen)

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of your preference)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450.  Toss squash, sweet potatoes, and parsnip with 1 tbsp oil and some salt.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot (a dutch oven would be great here, this will be going into the oven later). Add in the onion.  Saute for 3 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.  Add in red curry paste, and stir well to coat the onions -  saute for 30 seconds. Add in tempeh and saute for 2 minutes more.

Stir the roasted veggies into the pot. Mix in the coconut milk, water, tamari, and agave. Stir until well combined and bring to a simmer. Pour in the peas and cook until heated through. Add lime juice, salt, and any additional agave or curry paste to taste. (I added a 5th tsp of curry paste for some additional heat). Add in flour and stir until well incorporated. Your sauce should be a gravy-like consistency, if it is too thick stir in 1/4 - 1/2 cup additional water at this point. Remove from heat while you prepare the biscuits.

Lower oven to 400.  In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, then stir in the pumpkin, coconut milk and lemon juice until a dough forms. If your dough is very sticky add in a bit more flour, and alternately if your dough is too dry add a bit of non-dairy milk.

If you aren't already using a dutch oven, pour the pot pie filling into an oven-safe casserole dish (I used 13 x 9 glass dish). Drop handfuls of the biscuit dough onto the top of the pot pie.  Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits start to brown. Serve hot, and enjoy!

Goodnight Vegan MoFo'ers, see you tomorrow!


  1. OMG - hello. I really need to try this one out as I love love love kabocha squash!

  2. I can't find kabocha anywhere! I wish I could track it down.

  3. YUM. Those biscuits looks amazing!

    My restaurant makes a nummy sunchoke soup- just cook some chunks with veg broth and flavorings and blend 'till creamy!

  4. Sounds like you have some good ideas for Vegan MoFo this year. Your pot pie sounds fantastic! I love the pumpkin biscuit crust idea.

  5. I am intrigued by the pumpkin biscuit.

  6. Yum! And I love sunchokes. :) I just peel them, slice them, and roast them, but I roast everything. Haha

  7. I love having my Google Reader chock full of vegan blog posts!

    I just like sunchokes raw on salads. I haven't gotten creative with them beyond that!

  8. Wow you are going to be busy this month that is quite a list to tackle. Good luck with it!


  9. Happy MoFo! This dish looks awesome! I loooove kabocha squash. It's my favorite!

    Can't wait to see what else you cook up.

  10. Oh my goodness...this looks SO GOOD! The pumpkin biscuits sound delicious!

  11. pumpkin biscuit crust? how glamorous!
    and i need to use sunchokes more often, for sure!

  12. Yummm there's something about pot pies that are irresistible.


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