There was a new place in town I wanted to eat because they touted a vegan-friendly menu. I love trying food that has been especially prepared with (theoretically) me in mind! Perusing the menu I found an entree available titled Vegan Potpie and decided immediately that would be my supper selection. Our waiter raved about its popularity. The chef, himself, even strolled past our table during the appetizer to caution me to save room. How could I not be excited? This must be some kind of epic potpie, and I could not wait! Finally, the big moment arrived and there was my potpie, steaming and (hopefully) flaky crust anxious for me to break through its surface to reveal all of its vegetable glory. The only thing is, it wasn’t that glorious. In fact, I was sadly underwhelmed, and didn’t even finish eating my meal, although I ate enough to know that out of my disappointment would rise an opportunity.
I immediately turned to my
pretend BFF, Isa, for inspiration. Her latest cookbook Appetite for Reduction is fantastic, and I wrote a lovely review (pretty sure she thought it was awesome) for her over on Amazon because I love the book. About a year ago I made one of her potpie recipes from Veganomicon, but wanted something different with less work, great flavor and that rich creaminess that I associate with the potpies of my childhood. (You remember those frozen ones that mom would buy for special occasions like when she and dad went out on dates?!)
I found exactly what I was looking for on page 251: Veggie Potpie Stew, which is a crust-less potpie! It was so fast and easy to put together. I had all the ingredients except for the mushrooms, and the prep was nominal. I think the most effort came from chopping the carrots and the potatoes.
And since there wasn’t a crust to mess with – I took Isa’s advice and made a batch of Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits to accompany the stew. These are, in a word, FREAKING AMAZING! I love your biscuits, Mom, but I sure wish you’d made these for me when I was growing up so they would always have been part of my life [sigh]. If you’ve already got a cooked sweet potato left over from a previous meal, this is extremely fast to put together. I didn’t, so I threw one large potato in the oven and baked it while I put together the potpie. By the time I got around to making the biscuits, the potato had long been finished baking and was ready to be mashed into a measuring cup. A whole lotta sweet potato plus a little bit of oil, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar are all you need in the way of liquids, plus a handful of dry ingredients I guarantee exist in your pantry already, and you’ve got a party in your mouth waiting to happen.
For serving purposes, I crumbled the fresh from the oven sweet potato biscuits in the bottom of the bowl, and served the Veggie Potpie Stew right on top. It was the perfect meal to cap off a busy day. But what gave it five stars for me, personally? Two teenagers gave it four thumbs up.