Festive Pecan-Chestnut-Mushroom Wellington!

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I wanted to try something different for this Thanksgiving holiday and BOSH’s mushroom Wellington caught my eye. I liked their concept but found it needed a few tweaks to suit my tastes and North American realities (e.g. Portobello mushrooms where I am in Canada are about 4x larger than their UK cousins and our garlic in southwestern Ontario is at least twice as strong as what’s available more broadly).

I also simplified the assembly, gave some actual measurement to a few ingredients, such as the amount of pie dough needed, and added a few more directions to save unseasoned cooks from incinerating their creations.

My end result is a festive, pretty and not very mushroom-y creation. I found the dish was a little dry so I served it with gravy.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.



For the mushrooms:

2 portobello mushrooms – cleaned and stems removed and very gilly pieces removed (I don’t like the gills!)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped or 1 tsp dried thyme

2 Tbsp olive oil

A sprinkle of salt

Few grinds black pepper

For the filling

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh thyme chopped or 1 tsp dried

½ tsp poultry season

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper

1 cup white wine

1 tsp brown sugar

2 cups cooked chestnuts

2 cups pecans

2 slices seeded bread ( I used 3 slices of Ezekiel bread since it’s a smaller loaf)

1/2 cup vegetable stock (or water, or even soy or almond milk)

For the Wellington case:

750 grams of vegan pie crust

About ½ cup flour for rolling out the dough

I buy frozen pie shells because they’re so inexpensive (and I cannot find just vegan pie dough). I let the shells thaw for at least 20 minutes, then use my hands to wad them up into a ball and then roll them out on a floured surface.

If you’re inclined to make your own pie dough from scratch, here’s an excellent recipe.

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The mushrooms
Heat your oven to 395F.

Place the mushrooms on a baking tray, stem side up. Sprinkle with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes then set aside and allow them to cool.

Leave your oven on.

While the mushrooms are roasting and cooling, make the filling and prepare the crust.

For the filling

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add the diced onion and fry until it’s translucent.

Add the thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Add a cup of white wine and cook on low for about 10 minutes, letting the wine bubble and reduce in volume almost entirely. Add the brown sugar and let the mixture caramelize.

Transfer this mixture to a large bowl.

Place the pecans and bread in a food processor and whiz into crumbs. Add to the bowl of onions.

Place the chestnuts and mushrooms in the food processor and whiz until they are like crumbs. Add to the bowl with the onions and pecan mixture and pour in the broth. Stir everything to combine and set aside.

Sprinkle flour on a clean smooth surface and also dust a rolling pin with flour. Take half of your pie dough and roll it out forming a rectangular sheet.*

Place this dough sheet on a large rectangular cookie sheet.

Spoon the mushroom-pecan-chestnut filling running length-wise down the middle of the sheet of dough. You will need to mound the filling and compress it into place with your hand.

Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with more flour and roll out the other half of the pie dough to form another rectangular sheet. Place this sheet on top of mushroom-filling mound to form the top crust of your Wellington.

Trim off the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife to form an oval. You can use any excess dough to cut shapes to decorate your Wellington with.

Seal the edges of the dough where the crusts meet with a fork.

If you’re decorating your Wellington with dough shapes (hearts, leaves, stars etc.), add them to the Wellington now. You can adhere them with a little bit of water dabbed onto the Wellington and the dough shape with the tip of your finger

Use a knife or fork to cut slits or holes into the Wellington to let steam escape.

Cover your Wellington in foil and bake for 20 minutes at 395C (See? I told you not to turn off your oven for a reason). After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking the Wellington for 10-20 minutes more depending on your oven. You want a golden finish, with no burning.

Use a bread knife to cut your Wellington into slices.

*Super lazy, easy, just as yummy option if you use premade pie shells like I do– leave two of the pie shells in their pie pans. Fill each pie shell with half the mushroom-pecan-chestnut filling. Roll out the other two pie shells and cut them into tops for the pies. Use a fork to seal the top and bottom crusts. Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake your mushroom Wellington as per the directions above.

Samosa Pie – when East meets West, it’s the best

SamosaPie.jpgI love samosas and I love pie. Here’s the perfect marriage of the two with all the deliciousness of samosas and none of the fiddling with dough or deep frying.

A samosa pie is an impressive dish to serve up and guaranteed to make your mouth happy. Don’t let the list of ingredients or steps deter you; this is one worthy creation!



2 already-prepared, vegan pie crusts* left out to thaw for about 15-20 minutes.

1-2 Tbsp flour for rolling your dough

1 Tbsp flavorless oil – I use peanut oil

4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 small onion, diced (1/2 cup)

1 medium carrot, diced (½ cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup of chopped spinach

1 cup of cooked chickpeas (if using canned, drained and rinsed)

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

2 tsp. agave nectar or sugar

2 Tbs. unflavoured plant milk (I use almond milk)

The spices

1-2 teaspoons coriander seeds (if you hate coriander, use cumin seeds)

1 tsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp garam masala

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cumin

⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional



In a large pot, boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. That will take about 15 minutes. Drain them and roughly mash them so that they are still quite lumpy.

While the potatoes boil, measure all your spices into a small bowl or cup.

Pre-heat your oven to 375F.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the onion, garlic and carrots until the onion is translucent. Push the onion/carrot mixture to the side of the pan and place the spices in the centre of the pan. Heat the spices until they become fragrant then turn off the heat and mix the spices in with the onion/carrot mixture.

Add this mixture to the mashed potatoes. Stir in the broth, frozen peas, chickpeas, spinach, soy or almond milk and sugar or agave and mix everything well.

Spoon this mixture into an 11” deep dish pie plate.

Using your hands wad the two pie crusts into a dough ball. Dust a rolling pin with flour and working on a floured surface, roll the dough out until you have an 11” disk.

Place this disk onto the samosa pie filling and press down the edges of the pie crust to seal in the pie. Use a knife to cut a few slits in the top of the pie crust to let steam vent.

Wrap the edges of the pie crust in tin foil so they don’t burn. The edges always seem to brown faster than the centre of the pie.

Bake your pie for 30 minutes then remove the foil from around the edge of the crust. Bake another 45 minutes. Let the pie stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with bottled tamarind sauce.

*Vegan pie crusts are quite common and use vegetable oil or vegetable shortening instead of lard.

Here’s an excellent recipe and instructions on making pie crust, if you’re inclined to bake right from scratch. It really isn’t hard at all and only takes a few extra minutes!


Fennel and leek quiche



I get a farm box delivered every week; its contents are always unknown and can pose some interesting food combinations. This week there were leeks and a beautiful bulb of fennel. Together? Why not? Here’s my fennel and leek quiche which absolutely delighted everyone who tasted it!

It’s quick and easy to make but you do need a food processor.


1 pie crust – I purchase mine already made, but you can find many excellent vegan pie crust recipes. Here’s one I recommend.

12 oz package medium-firm or firm, silken tofu

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca powder

1 Tbsp tahini

1 Tbsp miso

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp A-1 sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about ¼ tsp)

1 bulb fennel, stalks and fronds removed, and the bulb cut into slices

2 leeks cleaned, cut in half and sliced with just a bit of the green included (about 1” of the green)


Preheat the oven to 350.

Put the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, tapioca powder or cornstarch, tahini, miso, A1 sauce, turmeric, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, smooth thin paste-like mix. You may need to add up to ½ cup water to get a smoother paste.

Sprinkle the sliced leeks and fennel crust. Pour the tofu batter over top evenly and smooth out.

Bake for 60 minutes. Allow the quiche to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.



White bean pot pies – savoury, creamy, comfort


I have always loved pot pies but haven’t eaten one in years once I learned of all the nasty things that go into the crust and filling. But on this chilled winter weekend, I just had to have a pot pie.

In case you’re new to this blog, there a few things you need to know about me. I eat vegan food. I can’t roll things (nothing – not a rug, not a burrito) and I’m lazy. Well, I think of it as time and energy efficient.

So if I can make these pot pies, any one can! They are easy and no-fail and most of all comfort food at its finest. They’re also made with ingredients you likely already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry.

You can mix up the vegetables you use in these pot pies. I’ve included a very traditional blend, but I think sweet potatoes, parsnips, fennel or even cabbage could be interesting. You could even use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables.


1 ½ cups white beans (navy or great northern beans). That’s one 15 ounce can drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 carrot sliced (I think a small sweet potato peeled and cubed would make a great substitution)

1 rib celery finely sliced

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup frozen green peas

¼ cup flour (you will need a little extra too for rolling out your dough)

3 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup white wine (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried mustard

1 tsp salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp A-1 Sauce (a/k/a brown sauce) or vegan Worcestershire sauce

Pie crust – see note


Note: I used plain, store brand, no-name, pre-made, frozen pie crusts – enough for 2 bottom crusts. I let the shells thaw for about 15 minutes and then manually wadded them into a dough ball. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, I rolled the dough out onto a floured surface until I had a ¼ inch thick square. I measured out the pie crust lids by using the bowls I baked the pot pies in as a form of cookie cutter. I inverted the bowls onto the dough and cut out the circle size I needed to make the pie crust lid.

Here’s an excellent recipe and instructions on making pie crust, if you’re inclined to bake right from scratch. It really isn’t hard at all and only takes a few extra minutes!

I used 4 ceramic bowls, but you could also use ramekins or make one big pie or mix it up however you feel.

To make the filling

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized Dutch oven or sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the onions are getting translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for another minute or two.

Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are all covered and the flour cooks slightly – about 1 minute. Add the wine, if using, and the broth and all the seasonings. Stir well to make sure you have a smooth broth and bring to a boil. Once the filling boils, reduce the heat and let the broth simmer for about 10 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf.

Line a large cookie sheet with foil and place your baking dishes on the foil lined cookie sheet. You don’t have to do this, but it makes it MUCH easier to put your small pot pies in the oven and take them out again. The foil means you don’t have to clean the cookie sheet.

Fill each bowl equally with the pot pie filling. Top with a piece of pie crust cut to size. If your pie crust goes right to the edges of the dish, cut a slit in the crust to let steam escape.

Bake for 35 -40 minutes.

These pies will keep for 3 days in the fridge. You can reheat them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes OR microwave.

You can freeze these pies once cooked. To reheat them, let them defrost in the fridge first.