I’m a big fan of classics. Classic movies, classic books, classic foods.
I like that one too. Basically anything that can stand the test and keep on winning over and over again, anything that can be made and remade by masses yet continue to forever be unchanged. This healthy food movement has really tested a mega load of classics, hasn’t it? We’ve got healthier Mac ‘n’ Cheese, we’ve got noodles being made from vegetables and very much sans gluten, cheeses made from nuts and seeds. Even simply adding coconut oil to the ingredient list in the place of butter.
There are all kinds of really amazing substitutions being made around the world in celebration of healthy, healing, whole foods. It’s magnificent, really.
With the holiday season so super quickly approaching (gosh isn’t it funny how December just whizzes by?!) there are people out and about all over the place gearing up. Glimmering shimmering lights, baking & decadent sweet making, gift giving – the works. In honor of the coming festivities, I have been thinking up different ways to impart a healthy and holistic vibe on everything that is Christmas. Classic Christmas.
As someone who makes a huge effort to not get caught up in the consumerism that has encircled this time of year, someone who has a fairly no-nonsense approach to gift giving. I am projecting this more simple attitude out on the recipes of the season as well, keeping to the basics and instead of getting fancy just sticking to what’s proven itself in the past as timeless.
Tourtière. A classic French Canadian meat pie that has a rich savory filling spiked with warming festive spices all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. A vegetarian’s take on traditional doesn’t always sound appealing to those of a more carnivorous mind and belly. I get it. Remember how I said earlier though, that when something is a classic it’s got the uncanny ability to be made and remade while remaining completely unchanged? Yeah, this is what I’m talking about. Tourtière. Vegetarian tourtière.
This recipe is simple, it’s amazingly tasty and it isn’t filled with all kinds of chemical laden crap. Bonus, it doesn’t take very long to prepare and it can be made in advance, so basically it’s a must if you’ve been invited to a vegetarian (or a traditional meat eating) family dinner! It’ll stop skeptics in their tracks, just you watch.
- Invite friends and family over for a healthier Christmas menu. You don’t need to exclude your favorites, just add a couple of really nourishing dishes to go along with the whole shebang. Inspire by doing!
- If you wrap using paper – wrap gifts in recycled newspaper, craft papers and non dyed wrapping alternatives. Sure it’s not as glittery and pretty, but you could always jazz it up with some natural twine & draw white snowflakes on it. Tie in a twig or branch to the bow, really let the natural wintery elements shine
- Give more time, and less material gifts. The holidays are truly j about family and sharing!
- Hand make a foodie gift or two. Something like homemade seed crackers to accompany the brie, gourmet homemade truffles and chocolate bark. Put it all in a basket with a nice bottle of wine, and voila!
- Stay safe, be responsible and celebrate well.
2.5 Cups Mushrooms (I used dried morel with fresh shiitake and crimini)
3-4 Stalks of Celery
1 Yellow Onion
2 Yellow Potatoes
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 3/4 Cups Homemade or Organic Vegetable Stock
1 Cup of Water
5-8 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Place a large stock pot on the stovetop and turn the element on fairly high. You’re looking to get the pot nice and hot while it’s empty, so leave it to heat. Meanwhile dice the celery and the onion, cube the potatoes and turn the oven to 400. Once the pot is ready, arrange the whole mushrooms in a single layer (you’ll likely have to repeat this step a few times) on the bottom. If they sound squeaky touching the bottom then you’ve got the pot heated enough. Turn the element down to medium and dry roast the mushrooms in that single layer until they start to have an aromatic nuttiness. Transfer to a bowl and continue until all mushrooms are soft and dry roasted. While the mushrooms are cooling add the celery and onion to the pot with the coconut oil. Quarter the mushrooms (if using crimini or button) and add them back to the pot. Finish it up with the nutmeg and the allspice, then the vegetable stock and water. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.
Once the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes are soft remove from the heat, squish them in the pot with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon. Chunky is good, no need to get them into a full mash. This will thicken up the remainder of the sauce. Add the thyme and apple cider vinegar to taste, as well as a touch of salt if necessary.
3 Cups Flour of Choice
1 Cup Cold Water, as needed
1 Cup Cold Coconut Oil (or butter)
Fresh Ground Pepper
Arrange all crust ingredients first. Measure the water into a bowl, cut the cold coconut oil into chunks and get the flour+fresh ground pepper (a fair bit, as long as you dig pepper) into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives start with 2 hunks of coconut oil and begin blending into the flour. Using a tablespoon measure out one or two tablespoons of water at a time. I used about 11 total to form the dough. Control how much you use with each cut, continuing to add water and cubed coconut oil until you’ve formed a crumbly mixture that’s starting to stick together. Once you see the crumbly bits sticking, start kneading it into a ball. Separate the ball into two pieces the place them in the fridge to firm up for a few minutes. Once set, flour a flat surface and begin rolling out one ball of dough into a thin sheet. Place the sheet over your pie plate and fit it to the sides. Using a rolling pin, roll across the top of the pie plate – this will cut the dough to form the bottom crust’s lip. Re-flour your surface, then roll the second ball out to form the top of the crust. Set aside.
Fill prepared pie crust with mushroom filling, gently shaking the filling into the very edge of the crust. Top with the second sheet of pastry, pinching the edges to form a seal. Brush with water and cut four small ventilation holes on the top. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow it to set for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with roasted tomatoes, garlic oil and maple syrup!