Today I decided to splash out and make something indulgent and tasty. I’ve been getting a lot of grief lately (see below recipe) so treating myself and Man-thing was the only clear solution. For Man-thing, indulgence usually revolves around weird things like marmite sandwiches or pies. I decided to try my hand at pies again, because they came out rather well last time, but I wanted to test out different ingredients. Let’s just say the professions of love I got after Man-thing took a tester bite are enough to convince me this is a champ of a recipe, and easy to boot. It’s based, as was my previous version, on My Inspiration’s mushroom parcels – they know what’s what over there! Now come see what’s going on over here! 😀
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce (thick, preferably)
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp Jade Dragon stir fry sauce (or similar)
- 1 cup finely diced beetroot, steamed
- 1 1/2 cups diced pumpkin, steamed
- 1 cup soy chunks, re-hydrated if need be
- spices (paprika, pepper, ginger, etc)
- approx 200g puff pastry, defrosted
NOTE: This filling will make way more than needed for the 5 pies, but it’s so delicious that you can use that in any other way. Man-thing is going to add it to spaghetti tonight and I already prepared a chickpea pancake made with grated radish and beetroot stuffed with the filling for a quick tea-time snack. YUM. If you don’t care for leftovers then just half the recipe, tis cool.
- De-frost your puff pastry. I used ready-made, since there was no tofu for me to make my own…sadness.
- Re-hydrate your soy chunks according to the package instructions. I boiled mine some more after the official end-time to make them a bit more malleable.
- Drain any water from the soy chunks then coat them in the marinara sauce along with the soy sauce and stir fry sauce and spices. Let it sit on the lowest heat in the pot.
- Peel and dice your beetroot, and steam them and your diced pumpkin for 5-6 minutes in the microwave or until soft.
- Blend your beetroot and pumpkin together until chunky smooth.
- Add chunky ingredients to the pot and stir .
- When pastry is sufficiently de-frosted, preheat your to 180C and prepare a baking tray.
- Roll out your de-frosted pastry and cut into four – five squares.
- Spoon the filling into the middle of the pastry and fold it like an envelope or just squish/pinch it closed.
- Place your pastry pie pinched side down and brush some soy milk atop.
- Slash a few shallow lines atop the pastry to let air out (I guess?).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. I let it sit for 20 minutes because I LOVED the smell and the crispy deliciousness. MMM!
I had some leftover pastry (left half in the freezer to make some other treats tomorrow) so I just filled one ramekin with that pastry and the filling. The moment Man-thing had gorged himself on the one pie and wanted another I gave him that to eat (even though technically it was supposed to be his tea-time snack tomorrow!). The glorying noises from Man-thing convinced me this combination in a different form made it no less tasty. In fact, he insisted that my skills with savoury foods are beyond reproach :p
So utterly delicious! Versatile too, if you are less pressed for time. I wanted to add some basil from our garden but had to dash about doing other things. One can also make it more smokey by adding 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar or some crushed nuts atop. mmmm.
Anyhow, I’ve been getting a lot more grief these days from people, telling me they’ve been having conversations with each other out of ‘concern’ for how I’m looking lately and my general veganism. Apparently I’m getting too skinny (which is rot) and they’re fearful I don’t get enough nutrition. Honestly. When I was obese I got the same story about nutrition, though obviously being too skinny wasn’t the issue. Because most of the people making comments have known me for rather long (and some less so) they have seen (or heard) about my physical and ethical transformation and perhaps they are perhaps more in a position to engage in shock in awe than I am able. Nevertheless, with ‘concern’ has also come mention even of the word ‘anorexia’, the implications of which are baffling to someone like me who eats big, endless meals all day long, stuffed with lentils or protein and overflowing with nutritious vegetables, the occasional starches, and of course pudding, because I’m not deranged. I suspect this concern comes in large part because people truly don’t understand the vegan “diet”/lifestyle/simply being. I only use the words or terms vegan and veganism in conversation or in speech to differentiate between fallacies or what not, but I don’t walk about thinking, “oh yum, let me make myself a delicious vegan sandwich”. Nope, I make me a sarmie straight up.
So my concern is why my misunderstood lifestyle choices should elicit near-interventionist behaviour, with people being concerned we may never have children (which we do not want anyway, thanks!). If I was seen walking down the street by a complete stranger, would they stir such a fuss and go on about how malnourished I am, or would they not even see me there? When I was obese the one thing was that you were never invisible, no matter how invisible you desperately wished to be. Every passer-by was entitled to offer comment on my grossness, or tsk disapprovingly, or at least that’s what they must have felt necessary to show their disgust. So when I’m going about my business and others try to force more food down me then I get confused. I think people who judge me as I am now should admit they’re judging my ethical eating habits instead. Even Man-thing has been prodding at me saying I should eat more – he was overjoyed when, after dinner yesterday, I said I still had munchies. “Ooh yes, eat MOAR my dear!” Either way, It is seems I’ll have to either make this blog more educational or else just dress less like a librarian (pale-skinned, out-dated, pasty). I don’t want to go round setting an example as a vegan, but if I’m getting all this negative feedback then it’s even more incentive to be the best, most positive person I can be who just happens to be a vegan.