My mom loved to cook and had many specialities up her sleeve when it came to the kitchen, a few being: old world Italian meat lasagna with sauce that simmered for days, gumbo flecked with seafood surrounded by a rich roux, and creamed chicken – poached chicken drenched in full-fat seasoned cream. I used to drool over them. Now, it just makes my insides hurt. However, my almost-New Year’s goal this year is to re-make them all into healthier veganized classics. It begs be done.
This recipe began as a vegan hybrid of Chicken Pot Pie and Creamed Chicken. The sauce came from Creamed Chicken inspiration, and I meant for it to go fully in that direction. However, after I added the celery, I found kale stems lurking in the back of the fridge. And, chopped them up. Then, I found the carrots I had planned to add, but forgot about. And, they went in. Then, I found chickpeas, and… I wanted to add some frozen peas that I bought this week, but I left them in the freezer of a friend’s apartment. It’s a long story. But even still, they would have been excellent in here. And so, veganized “creamed chicken” morphed into veganized “chicken pot pie” without the crust. Mmm – pour this over rice and watch “When Harry Met Sally.” You’ll feel like you’re ten again. It’ll be fun.
Purely Vegan Positively Chickenless Almost Pot Pie
For the base:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions (I used brown, but feel free to substitute white or sweet)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced kale stems
3 cups diced carrots
1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 Tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (also known as: Garbanzo Beans)
salt and pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
1 cup vegan sour cream (Store bought or homemade – recipe for that coming soon!)
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable bouillon, “Chicken flavored”
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch (also known as Tapioca Flour)
2 and 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Place a large saucepan (also referred to as a “Dutch Oven”) over medium heat. Add oil, onions, celery, and kale stems. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, thyme, and tarragon. Cook until carrots are tender. Add chickpeas to the remaining ingredients in the pan and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.
Place all ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to base ingredients in the pan, stirring occasionally. Cook until bubbling and thickened. Remove from heat. Allow to cool and serve!
Makes: 4-6 servings