Every year the Dairy Farmers of Canada release a free calendar featuring recipes starring one or more dairy products. The Milk Calendar is a fixture on my parents’ fridge. Even though they no longer eat dairy. But it’s an endearing tradition and I always look forward to flipping through it.
While I cringe at the propaganda that continually tries to convince the public that eating dairy is a good and essential thing to do (it’s not), a few of the calendar’s recipes can be adapted to suit a vegan diet. One of the recipes my mum tried years ago was the Milk Calendar’s Turkey Pot Pie. It was an instant hit in our family.
I’ve been making the same recipe for years for my own family, although I had taken out the turkey even before changing my diet. Once I eliminated dairy from diet, I further modified the recipe to incorporate plant-based milk and butter.
Traditionally, I’ve made this recipe in a casserole dish, but decided to change things up and make it in one of our cast iron skillets.
No skillet? No worries. Simply cook in a regular pot, then transfer the filling to a casserole dish and top with the crust. It’s as easy as…pie.
Skillet Pot Pie
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
Keywords: bake saute entree casserole gluten-free nut-free vegan sugar-free potato carrot peas mushroom
For the Filling
- 2 cups diced organic potatoes*
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 1 medium-small onion, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 1/4 red pepper, finely minced
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup organic corn
- 1 tsp tapioca flour or organic cornstarch
- scant 1/4 cup flour of your choice, gluten free if needed*
- 1/2 cup unsalted veggie stock
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk*
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- dashes of pepper and turmeric
For the Crust
- 1 cup flour of your choice, gluten free if needed*
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 T parsley
- 1/2 c. of unsweetened dairy-free milk, chilled*
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. organic dairy-free butter, chilled*
- 1/2 tsp. xantham gum if using gluten-free flour
For the Filling
Par boil diced/chopping potatoes and carrots until just fork tender. Par boiling saved cooking time and ensures the potatoes and carrots will cook properly.
Meanwhile, in the skillet, saute onion and garlic in a little veggie stock until onions begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and red pepper and saute until the vegetables are tender. Add more stock as needed to prevent the liquid from boiling away.
Stir in tapioca and flour until thoroughly mixed, then pour in stock, milk and water and bring to a boil while stirring frequently to prevent the flour from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
Once the mixture boils, add thyme, salt, pepper and turmeric and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Cool the filling, then add potatoes, carrots, peas and corn.
For the Crust
Mix together the flour, baking powder, parsley and salt. Cut in chilled butter until the mixture has crumbs the size of peas. Pour in milk and gently stir to combine. Drop by the spoonful over the filling.
Place skillet in an oven warmed to 375 degrees and bake 45-55 minutes or until the filling is warmed through and the crust is baked. To prevent the crust from burning, you might need to cover the skillet loosely with foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Placing a large baking sheet on a rack below the skillet is recommended to catch any drips from the filling as it likes to bubble over the pan.
Using organic vegetables is always best, especially for the potatoes (due to pesticides) and corn (because of GMO). If using soy-based dairy substitutes, it’s best to use organic because of GMO.
I found cooling the filling mixture before adding the potatoes, carrots, peas and corn helps the peas retain a bright green color instead of turning an unappealing grayish green.
For the filling, I used organic brown rice flour and unsweetened organic soy milk. For the crust, I used equal parts organic brown rice flour and whole wheat pastry flour, unsweetened organic soy milk and Smart Balance organic dairy-free whipped buttery spread.
Since the crust is unfussy (more of a biscuit, really), feel free to experiment with your favorite blend of flour. However, its best to add xantham gum if going completely gluten free.