Calling all meat lovers. Are you considering transitioning your family’s meals away from animal products, toward a vegan lifestyle? If so, this Gardener’s Pie recipe is for you. If your family insists they will only eat “real food”, this recipe is also for you.
I love the convenience of leftovers and recipes that freeze well. I kept both of these in mind when creating this recipe. If you would like to freeze all, or a portion, of the Gardener’s Pie recipe, I recommend preparing the casserole, covering it tightly, then freeze up to one month. Be sure to use a freezer safe casserole pan. When you are ready to bake the casserole, defrost in the fridge and bake as instructed in the recipe below.
Because this recipe makes plenty, I like to divide it in half, cook one, and freeze the other half.
If you want to delight your family with a meat-free recipe that tastes like chicken, Gardener’s Pie is definitely for you. Made with garden vegetables and simmered slowly in a flavorful broth under a blanket of mashed potatoes, your family will think they are eating a delicious chicken casserole. No joke! It’s such a delicious and easy to cook meal, it may become your favorite high-protein vegan recipe.
The first time I made a tofu recipe, I opened the package, cut it into the cubes, and then thought, “Are you kidding me? I wasn’t prepared. Through trial and error I learned how to prepare tofu. The more I cooked with tofu, the more I loved it. Many delicious recipes followed.
I soon learned that the secret to good tofu involves pressing as much water out of it as possible. With the water squeezed out, tofu can be prepared with the texture and mouth feel of meat. You can then rehydrate the tofu with flavor from a marinade, or by simmering it in a flavored stock, as I do in this recipe.
Equipment recommended for Gardener’s Pie Recipe:
- 9 x 13 deep dish glass or ceramic lasagna pan
- Tofu press
- 12-inch Non-stick sauté pan (ceramic recommended if possible)
There are two options to press the water out of tofu:
1. Place the tofu block on a towel between two plates, then press out the water by weighing down the top plate with something heavy like a brick. A brick is a little awkward, I must admit.
2. Use a tofu press, allowing the pressure from springs to squeeze out the water. There are several good, inexpensive tofu presses on the market – my favorite is this combined tofu press/marinating model by TofuXpress.
Yields: 8 (1 1/4-cup) slices | Serving Size: 1 slice | Calories: 278 | Total Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 788mg | Carbohydrates: 39g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Protein: 18g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3
- 2 (14 ounce) blocks organic extra firm tofu
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 medium onion, rough chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 2 large or 3 medium carrots
- 1/2 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas
- 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or equal blend of basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
- 1 additional tablespoon dried Oregano
- 3 Not-Chick’n Cubes
- 1 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, or as needed
- Press water out of tofu blocks using tofu press or alternative method, then slice blocks sideways and lengthwise into 4-5 planks, and then cut planks into 1/2” cubes.
- Boil whole potatoes or steam until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Drain water and mash potatoes thoroughly by hand, or using a mixer, until smooth and all lumps are removed, adding vegetable broth as needed. The mashed potatoes should be able to spread easily over the pie. Cover and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Add 1/3 cup vegetable broth to a non-stick sauté pan, then sauté onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat until onions are semi-translucent, replenishing vegetable broth and deglazing pan as needed.
- Add salt, pepper, and seasonings. Add remainder of vegetables and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. When finished, add cooked vegetables to the deep dish pan.
- Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the same non-stick pan over medium-high heat until bubbling. Add tofu cubes and sauté until browned, replenishing vegetable broth and deglazing pan as the broth evaporates.
- When browned, add tofu cubes and toss with the cooked vegetables.
- Add 4 cups water to the same non-stick sauté pan, then add 3 Not-Chick’n Cubes to water, add arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and bring to a boil for 5 minutes to reduce a bit. Add this broth to the deep dish pan.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the vegetable broth mixture. Mashed potato layer should be at least 1-inch thick.
- Bake mixture uncovered for one hour.
- If desired, set oven to broil or increase oven temperature to 450 degrees for 10 minutes to crisp top of mashed potatoes.
More High Protein Vegan Recipes:
If you are looking for high protein vegan recipes, or just want to eat less meat, you will fall in love with this recipe for Baked Tofu Chunks with Star Anise Marinade. This recipe has 19 grams of protein, zero cholesterol, and only 1 FreeStyle point. Be sure to bookmark this recipe. You will want to and make it again and again. I love the versatility of this recipe. As you will notice in the photo, these tofu chunks were added to a bowl of brown rice, sprinkled with Brussels Sprouts and drizzled with Sesame Umami Dressing.
Who would have thought it? A hefty amount of protein in a bowl of vegetables and quinoa, without one ounce of meat, is it possible? It sure it. This bowl of veggies and quinoa has 17 grams of protein for a single serving. Let’s not stop there. You will also love the 14 grams of fiber and zero grams of cholesterol, in this deliciously easy prep vegan recipe.
When I make Avocado Wontons, I know who to invite over. My next door neighbor came by recently when these delicious wontons were in the oven. As we talked about our dogs, she started looking around as if smelling something heavenly. You know the look. Her eyes started to close and she began to smell the amazing aroma coming from the kitchen. When the wontons came out of the oven, of course, I offered her one. After popping one in her mouth, and then another, she just had to know what was in the wontons. When I let her know it was avocado and there were 7 grams of protein for only two, she was hooked.
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