2 more days until Chicago! Can you tell I’m excited? The last time we were in Chicago was about a year and half ago for our anniversary. Time sure does fly.
Since then, we’ve given up old habits. We’ve ventured into vegan cooking, gave up drinking alcohol, and have just made healthier life choices overall. I’m only telling you this because indulging in pork belly hash browns, decadent sausage-filled pizzas, and fabulous artisanal cocktails was such a big part in what we knew as our Chicago experience. However, I’m very excited for us to see the city in a new light beyond the haze.
In particular, we’re both very excited about all the vegan restaurants to try out.
Here’s our list of Chicago vegan restaurants we plan on scoping out:
- The Reuben at Chicago Diner,
- Soul food plate at Ground Control
- Vegan donuts at Stan’s Donuts (dangerously placed at our train stop)
- And of course Chicago’s OG seitan maker, Upton’s Break Room.
We’re also looking forward to:
- Vegan ramen at Wasabi
- ·Doing all the tourist things!
Okay enough about Chicago (until next week!), let’s talk about this super easy, 1-hour vegan potpie. That’s right folks, a potpie that is both cruelty-free and delicious. I promise you won’t even miss the chicken or horse meat in it. Oh, in case you weren’t aware, horse meat was approved for consumption by the FDA. Gross! Anyway, this dish doesn’t have any of those lovely animals in it, but it is filled with all the usual comfort food suspects: peas, carrots, onions, potatoes, and the surprise guest, fennel!
After sautéing the vegetables, all you have to do is sprinkle with flour and some Italian spices, stir in the vegetable broth, cover with puff pastry and pop in the oven for 30-minutes or so. Boom. Easy as that. Who doesn’t love gravy with a side of vegetables and some delicious non-dairy, buttery crust? #droolin
Try out this potpie recipe, but feel free to add whatever veggies you’ve got hanging around in the ‘fridge. Just make sure you always keep the onions and garlic in the mix. Some variations I’ve tried in the past include: butternut squash, kale, adding white beans, and various root vegetables. In fact for a future recipe I’d love to try root vegetable based mini-potpies!
Where are your favorite places to eat in Chicago? Let us know in the comments below!
1-hour Veggie Pot Pie
- 1 tbsp olive oil or vegan butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 sheet puff pastry defrosted
- 1 russet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs (I used a mix of basil, thyme, and oregano)
- salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium cast iron skillet. Add onion, fennel, and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic. Cook for another minute. Add mushrooms, potatoes, peas, salt/pepper, and Italian herbs. Cook until mushrooms have softened, about 6-8 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Stir to coat and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add in broth, stirring constantly to make a smooth gravy mixture. Cook for additional 5 minutes until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat.
Lay puff pastry over skillet to cover all the sides. Cut off access, but also let some of the puff pastry hang for a rustic look. Put skillet on baking sheet, just in case filling boils over skillet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until puff pastry top is golden. Brush with additional tablespoon of butter.