January is a weird month for me. It starts off well – I’m inspired, positivity is seeping from my pores, I’m attacking new projects, I’m getting shit done. Then I stumble, I wipe myself off and am back at it, but there’s something amiss. My confidence is shaken and before I know it, I can’t quite remember what I was fighting for. What was making me tick for those couple of weeks? Where did that drive come from? Can I get it back? Please?
Maybe the days of endless grey skies and rain might have something to do with it. Or maybe it’s just that my body is saying relax, chill, take it easy. Have a beer, go out with friends, watch 3 episodes of Luther all in a row. And make a good dinner. A cozy dinner that feels like a warm blanket of niceness. A dinnertime hug. This smoked tofu and vegetable pot pie is just what your body needs.
I know, the ingredient list looks long and probably seems complicated. Think of it as a stir fry (easy, right?) with a biscuit top. No pie dough skills required. The vegetables are what I had on hand at the time, though you could certainly change things up to suit your own vegetable drawer. I used frozen organic butternut squash, peas and corn to make things super simple. I had fresh green beans on hand, but the frozen kind would be equally good. Don’t stress! The vegetables and tofu bathe in a lovely cream sauce which is simply that a sprinkle of flour and some vegetable stock and almond milk. Done and done!
Years ago – let’s be real, here – decades ago, when I read the Moosewood cookbook cover to cover, I would spy the words “smoked tofu” in a recipe and wanted to know more. But somehow, back then, I couldn’t easily find it in my local markets. But now, smoked tofu is quite commonplace and I’m surprised that this is my first time using it. And, yes, it’s as good as I imagined. If you don’t have smoked tofu on hand, try adding some smoked paprika or chipotle powder instead. I’m not the sort of person to have a bottle of liquid smoke on hand, but I’m sure that would work too. The smokiness here is fantastic and really helps to elevate this dish into super-fantastico territory. So pick some up at your local market.
elsewhere: Need a wholesome treat? What about a golden apple cake that makes January a happier little place. Go get the simple recipe over at Poppytalk.
smoked tofu & vegetable pot pie
When I made this, I had some extra biscuit dough leftover which is always a nice surprise. You could bake it up alongside the pot pie, or save it for the next day’s breakfast.
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t crushed red chilies
1 pkg smoked firm tofu, diced into 1″ cubes
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, sliced/diced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 c fresh green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
1 c cooked butternut squash, diced (frozen is fine)
1 T sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 t sriracha (optional)
2 T flour
3/4 c vegetable stock
1/2 c almond milk (any dairy or non-dairy is fine)
1/4 c frozen peas
1/4 c frozen corn
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
4 t baking powder
1 t sugar
1 t dried parsley
1/2 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 c butter, cubed (earth balance or other vegan butter)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese or daiya (vegan cheese)
1 c almond milk (any dairy or non-dairy is fine)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add in onions, garlic, salt and chilies. Let everything sweat for a bit and then add in the cubed tofu, celery, carrots, green beans, oregano and mushrooms. Sprinkle with the dried oregano.
Let saute for 10 minutes and then add in the butternut squash, soy sauce, sriracha (if using) and sprinkle with flour. Stir until flour coats everything. Pour in the stock and milk and let things thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in the peas and corn and then pour mixture into a deep oven-proof dish. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare your biscuit dough. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, parsley, salt and garlic powder. Add in the butter work it in with your fingers until it’s blended in with the flour and looks like oats. Stir in the cheese until well mixed and then pour in the milk, stirring lightly with a wooden spoon.
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out until your dough is about 1 inch thick. Trim dough to the size of your dish and gently place on top of your tofu & veg filled oven-proof dish. Alternately, just drop spoonfuls of dough onto the top of the mixture and pop it in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until biscuit topping is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling.
This sounds fantastic – it might be the mid-January hug that I need, too!
Yum! I see a future home for some of the winter veggies I’ve been piling up. I’m so glad I found your blog, and I look forward to digging through the archives!
Even if you feel as if you are not winning in the progress dept. this pot pie looks like a winner! I have had smoked tofu before and really liked it. I also have a bottle of liquid smoke which I seldom use but i’m still holding onto the bottle for that one recipe where I can use it.
I’m no expert on getting things done, believe me you’d be shocked if you knew what I’ve been up to lately (ahem, nothing) and how long my ‘to-do’ list is. Just take it in strides. Pat yourself on the back for having accomplished what you have so far. You’re allowed to have your down-time. As for me, I need to start making some dough 😉
We love pot pie and this one looks like a winner! A great use for smoked tofu and wonderful to have left over biscuit topping for breakfast the next day.
Vegetarian pot pies make my day! I love this mix of veggies and given my love of that smoky flavor, I can’t believe I’ve never tried smoked tofu! Need to add it to my grocery list…
I think we all have those stumbles and blah moments come the end of January. The only thing to do is to pick ourselves up and get back to it!
Why is it that we have such a dang hard time relaxing? The other night I “allowed” myself to watch 15 minutes of The Bachelor. After I nearly vomited in disgust (at the show), I gave my head a shake and got back to my to-do list. Ha ha…thankfully that to-do list involved eating chocolate frozen yogurt smothered in Nutella. 🙂
mmmm! I make this type of pot pie quite often. such good comfort food 🙂 The addition of the smoked tofu sounds divine.
OMG, yum Jeannette!! Can’t wait to make this! xO
That long ingredient list doesn’t scare me one bit! Pot pies are one dinner dish that I always forget about and should really make once ina while. This one sounds yuuuuumyyyyyy!
Leah, it’s the perfect kind of belly hug!
emmycooks, thank you! Hope you enjoy poking around here 🙂
Bijoux, thanks friend. My progress is fine with my work, but it’s all those awesome ideas that I have sorta took the backseat. Must get motivated again.
A&T, thanks, I think so too.
Yes, Joanne, you’ve got to give it a try!! It’s awesome. I was really impressed with how it tasted. And thanks for the reassurance too.
Amanda, oh yes, The Bachelor. Sigh, we all suffer…
Thanks Ashley, glad you approve!
It’s true, it’s not scary, Rachel. Glad I didn’t scare you 🙂
Moosewood Cookbook is on my desert-island cookbook list. My mom had a copy she always turned back to when I was growing up, and when I went off to college 15 years ago (cough cough cough, someone gave me a copy as a high school graduation present. And yet I’ve never sought out smoked tofu. Love this recipe. It really does seem like a warm hug on a blustery January day.
I love how you described this as a stir fry with biscuit topping, that does indeed make it sound less daunting to make than a pot pie. 🙂 The smoked tofu in this sounds delicious. I love smoked tofu but for some reason rarely buy it.
“A dinnertime hug.” What a perfect description!
I adore pot pies and this would be so perfect for cold, dreary NYC right now! Thanks!
Oh WOW! This looks like the pot-pie of my dreams! Thank you!
I made this. The stew inside the pie is tasty, and the ingredients stand out from one another as they aren’t covered in milk/cream, as you’d normally find in a store-bought pot pie. However, the topping was unappetizing. I made it by dropping spoonfuls of the batter on top, so it was thicker than yours. I might have preferred an un-spiced biscuit topping, to let the internal spices shine.
Also, the peas and the corn aren’t in the instructions.
I love vegetable pot pies, but I’ve never thought of adding smoked tofu. I am definitely including some next time around. Thanks for the great idea!
Mmmm, I love biscuit-topped pot pies! This looks so yummy. And smoked tofu? To die for! What a great addition.
Oooh, Molly, I love that book so much too! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Ashley, I think if you’ve never made a pot pie it can seem overwhelming, but it’s not at all. Just an extra step!
Christine, so good for these cold days!
Nicole, glad you agree.
Robert, glad you enjoyed it – I do enjoy a thinner topping which is why I rolled mine out. And thanks for catching the missing instructions. Peas & corn, added. Thanks!
Katie, I loved the smoked tofu here. It adds so much flavour!
Thanks, Cozy Herbivore!
It’s funny, I used to love pot pies as a kid, and then somewhere along the way decided I didn’t like them anymore. Only recently, when I tried one at this place in Chicago called Pleasant House (where that is pretty much all they serve), my love for pot pies was totally re-ignited! Ever since, I’ve been craving them — thank you for the great looking recipe!
LOVE this idea! I’m totally going to have to try it.
DramaticP, I felt the same way about pot pies as a kid. I hated them too. But I do love them now and this smoked tofu one is pretty yummy 🙂
Thanks $35, enjoy!
This looks so good and hearty – I love it! Smoked tofu is surprisingly hard to find in our stores here. I ate it constantly when we lived in London and I miss it.
I made this a couple of nights ago. I subbed the veggies I had on hand (used fingerling potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas and broccoli) and used plain old tofu fried first in canola oil and soy sauce in place of the smoked tofu. I was deep into the dough making when I realized I didn’t have any cheddar, so I used some 5-cheese Italian I had around. It turned out fantastic. Such a wonderful recipe!!!
Thanks Dana, I’m pretty close to a local tofu shop so I can now find it so easily. It’s a great product and I’m so glad I can find it now. Surprised that it’s tricky to find in Seattle!
Malika, glad you enjoyed this dish and I love your substitutions. Thanks!!
oh, my, you may have just conceived of a way for me to like tofu!
I hope so, Dmarie, tofu is awesome. And so is this pie 🙂