Let’s talk vegan comfort foods. For me, comfort foods always involve pastry. I just have a buttery carb addiction…This weekend was very cold (13 degrees Celsius,) rainy, and plain uninviting. Some people call Jeju the “Hawaii of Korea”. I disagree. We get snow and wind…not very tropical. While I was being lazy in bed in the morning, listening to howling wind outside, I so wanted to eat something delicious, homey, and carb-y. All I had was 1 cup of whole wheat flour left, some nuts, and a lot of spinach (it’s spinach season on Jeju.)
I thought: “PIE!”, and was quickly out of bed and in the kitchen.
Vegan creamy spinach pie
1 recipe of pastry dough from this post (avoid the sugar, use all whole wheat. You can alternatively use brown rice flour for gluten-free pies, but as I mentioned above, I had none. )
6 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 c almonds, soaked for 2 hours
1/2 c cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1/3 c water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Set aside 4 mini-pie shells. Make the pie dough and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
1. Soak the spinach in a 1:4 ratio of vinegar:water to get rid of pesticides and fungus. Drain and chop.
2. While the spinach is soaking, add the nuts to a food processor along with 1/3 c of water and process until a smooth paste forms. You might need to scrape the sides of the food processor a few times.
3. In a deep frying pan, heat some oil and fry the onions until golden brown.
4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
5. As soon as the spinach is cooked, add the nut cream. Mix well.
6. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes. Do the taste test!
7. Roll out the pastry and fill mini-pie shells. Make sure to keep the shells in the freezer until needed.
8. Fill the shells with about 1/2 c of the creamed spinach mixture. If you have extra dough, cover the shell. If not, don’t worry about it.
9. Bake the pies in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.
So this pie was so good, that even Chris, who rolls his eyes at the mention of the words “vegan” and “baking” in the same sentence went “mmmm”. That’s right, the guy who says that nothing good can come out of baking without butter and eggs rolled his eyes with satisfaction this time. The pastry, of course, is perfect, just like before. And the nut cream…….creamy, perfectly heavy, and rich. Let’s face it, the spinach is really only there to hold the cream in the pie. This is a definite contender for vegan comfort foods or your next vegan Thanksgiving party.
Now onto the nutrition. Spinach is one of those “super foods” you always hear about.
- Spinach is a very nutrient-dense food as it is very high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (chemicals that are said to protect our systems from various cancers and other diseases.)
- Spinach is rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids ( which are better absorbed by your body when they are ingested through a natural source, not as a supplement.)
- Spinach is rich in antioxidants (they keep us young, healthy, and fight those nasty free-radical)
- Spinach is said to have anti-inflammatory qualities
- Spinach is SUPER rich in IRON, so eat up ladies.
I want to know what you think about the pictures today. I put a little extra effort into styling. Let me know in the comments below!
Enjoy cold weather comfort foods without guilt,