What’s your plan for making this Monday meat-free? Will you opt for something familiar and simple? Or will you venture into new territory and try a recipe that you’ve never made before?
The puffed pastry tarts I put together over the weekend look a bit fancy, but they are anything but difficult to make. The recipe is as I made mine, but the beauty of putting turning your meal into tarts, is that you can put just about anything on the pastry, and have a yummy meal. The basic formula is something like this:
prepared protein + sauteed mushrooms + roasted or sauteed veggies + puffed pastry = delicious meal
The key things to do include:
- making sure that most of the moisture is cooked out of each component, so the tarts aren’t soggy
- veggies and the protein should be cooked, because you don’t want the pastry to burn, before the filling is cooked
- vegan cheese will make these tarts spectacular, and you don’t need much to achieve something totally tasty
There is also the option to turn the tarts into hand-pies, by folding the squares of pastry into triangles, around the filling. Moisten the edges of the pastry with a bit of water, and crimp the edges together with a fork. To make them like this, you’ll need four sheets of pastry, rather than two (or halve the filling ingredients). Here’s my recipe:
2 sheets of thawed puffed pastry*
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tbsp vegan butter, divided
1 cup frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen, sliced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, then crumbled
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos, or soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup vegan cheese shreds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Saute the mushrooms in a tablespoon of the butter and with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, until they have released their moisture and started to brown. This takes 8-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of slices and the size of your pan. Transfer the mushrooms from the pan to a large bowl. Add the broccoli to the pan, and saute until heated through-about 5 minutes. Then add the carrots to the pan, with the broccoli, and saute another 5-7 minutes, until the carrots are also heated through. Move the broccoli and carrots to the bowl.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining butter. When the butter is melted, add the onion, and saute to your likeness. I prefer onions browned, so I sauteed about 15 minutes. If you don’t mind a hint of onion crunch, you can cook them for as little as 2-3 minutes. Add the crumbled tofu, Braggs, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, dill, and mustard powder. Stir everything together and allow to cook, until there is very little moisture left in the pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the tofu and cheese to the bowl, with the veggies, and toss everything together. Spread the puffed pastry out on a very lightly floured surface. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into four squares. Lay them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place a scoop of tofu and veggies in the center of each square (about 1/2 cup). Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the puffed pastry is as brown as you like. Serve hot. To reheat leftovers, warm them in a low oven or toaster oven. Microwaving leftovers will result in tough, soggy pastries.
*If you haven’t thawed the pastry in the fridge, overnight, be sure to get it out of the freezer, at the start of meal prep.