Monday, May 30, 2011

Enchilada. Vegan Enchilada.

The other night, when presented with my usual 7 p.m. question "so, what do you want for dinner?" my partner responded with "I don't know...something Mexican-y?" I, not being in the mood for tacos, and just having had chili two nights before, had to think of something different. "Quesadillas?" he offered, but no, I did not want quesadillas. However, the thought of tortillas presented me with another idea. Enchiladas!! But not just any enchiladas. I found a crazy cream cheese jalapeno sauce and chicken recipe that sounded like it would be pretty delicious and creamy....without the cream cheese or the chicken. So, I set about to make vegan versions of these tasty-sounding enchiladas. For a non-creamy filling, I also decided to use the vegetables in my refrigerator along with some black beans to make some spicy bean and veggie enchiladas too. To top them off, I made some enchilada sauces. But did I stop there? No. There must be dessert! So I came up with some enchilada-like pineapple coconut layer cake creation. Here, at this post, you will find all of these things. Two types of enchiladas, enchilada sauces, and pineapple coconut enchilada "cake"! So, check it out and enjoy!

We'll start with sauces, because you will need these prepared by the time you bake your enchiladas.

Spicy Habanero and Mint Green Tomato Salsa
 (this salsa is really good as just a normal salsa for chips too)

3 green tomatoes, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 habanero, diced
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 leaves of mint, chopped
1/2 of a jalapeno, diced
1/2 of an onion, diced

Mix everything in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth (but still slightly chunky). Enjoy! (note: this salsa tastes best if you let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, as this gives the flavor time to intensify)

Spicy Tomato Cocoa Enchilada Sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups of water
2 red tomatoes diced up and pureed in a food processor (or 1 can of tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon each of red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne

Combine all of the dry ingredients, add enough water to make this a thin paste (about 1 cup). Now, pour into sauce pan, add the rest of the water, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the tomato puree. Bring to a boil over medium heat--still stirring constantly. (You can add more spices here if you like). Remove from heat and set aside for enchiladas!

Vegan Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Spicy Tofu Enchiladas

Jalapeno cream cheese and tofu with red sauce, same with green tomato sauce, and then black bean and veggie filled with red sauce

2 large jalapenos, diced
1 onion, diced
1 8 oz package of vegan cream cheese 
1 teaspoon each of: cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin
1 teaspoon of hot sauce of your choice (I use Caribbean hot sauce)
2 tablespoons of vegan butter
7 wheat flour tortillas
1 block of tofu

1. Prepare the tofu. I freeze mine first and then let it thaw. After this, dice it into cubes and mix up a bowl of soy sauce (1/4 cup), vegetable oil (1/2 cup), garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and onion powder. Now, soak your tofu in this marinade for about 30 minutes. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Tofu marinating, pureed tomatoes, and onions and jalapenos diced  
2. Now, heat the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook the onion and jalapenos in the butter for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the cream cheese in chunks and stir until it becomes creamy and not so solid. Now, add the spices (to your taste--I tend to always use lots of spices). Stir well, cook for another couple of minutes. Add the baked tofu, and mix well. Remove from heat.

3. Now, prepare two baking dishes: one with a little of the green tomato salsa in the bottom and another with the red sauce in the bottom (or you can just choose to use one of the sauces, use your store-bought sauce, or however you want to do it, really). I was able to fit 3-4 tortillas in each baking dish. So, what you will do now is pour a strip of filling down the middle of your unfolded tortilla, then roll up the bottom ends and then roll up from right to left, keeping the already folded ends rolled inside (like rolling a burrito). Place each enchilada in the baking dish with sauce, folded edge down. Now, pour sauce on the top of your enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Black Bean and Vegetable Filled Enchiladas

1 can of black beans
1/2 of a zucchini, diced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 tortillas

1. In a sauce pan heat the butter on medium heat, then add the onion, jalapeno, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the zucchini are soft and the onions are translucent. Now, add the black beans, cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Prepare a baking dish by pouring a small amount of the red tomato sauce in the bottom. Now, place a strip of filling down the middle of your unfolded tortillas, and then fold like a burrito (as described previously). Place each tortilla folded edge down in the sauce. Pour sauce over the top, bake for for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and enjoy!

Finally, DESSERT!

Vegan Pineapple Coconut Cream Cheese Enchiladas

5-6 small corn tortillas
1 cup of pineapple chunks, slightly pureed (still chunky), or 1 can of chunky pineapple puree
3/4 cup of coconut shreds
1/2 cup of sugar
4 oz of vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup of raisins

Mix the cream cheese with 1/2 of the pineapple mixture, add the raisins, and 1/2 cup of coconut.
In a sauce pan, heat up the remaining pineapple puree, add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring consistently, over medium heat.
In a baking dish, pour some of this pineapple puree mix.
Now, fill the middle of each small corn tortilla with the cream cheese and pineapple mixture, and roll it up. Place each filled and rolled tortilla, folded edge down, into the pineapple sauce. I layered my tortillas, 3 on the bottom and then 2 on the top, in a crisscross pattern. Now, pour the remaining pineapple sauce on top, sprinkle with the remaining coconut and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (until the tortillas on top become slightly browned and the coconut is slightly toasted).

Enjoy your enchilada feast!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Art of Samosa, featuring vegan burfi for dessert

My partner has been making samosas since he could walk. He has the master folding technique down and could probably make them with this eyes closed. I, however, was never even able to fold together an effective pyramid in fifth grade geometry. In fact, while in India a couple of summers ago, I took a cooking class to learn how to make momos (delicious Tibetan style dumplings). The making of the vegetables went well, the rolling out of the dough was slightly iffy (I'm of the opinion that perfect circles can be rolled out only by those with true magical powers), but the folding of the momos, which really shouldn't have been so hard, was an all-out catastrophe. My partner was folding away--the master of folding dough that he is; I, on the other hand, was crying, with my head on the table, making the poor cooking teacher feel entirely awkward. My, erm, lack of skill aside, however, I really wanted some samosas on a fine summer day about a week ago. Also, I've been toying around with the idea of making burfi for some time now (burfi is sort of like Indian-style fudge). Thus, with my cooking partner, Vegan Steven along, we decided to embark on the magical adventure of making samosas and almond burfi. I found it was not too terribly difficult and both turned out quite delicious. (Side note: my unattended dog consumed 11 out of 15 samosas in a matter of 30 seconds--so, if you have a dog, lock her away, or you will end up sad, angry, and out of samosas).

Mixed Vegetable Samosas (makes approximately 18 samosas)


For the Dough:
1 cup of all-purpose flour (I use wheat flour)
1/4 cup of chapati flour, or atta, (wheat and barley mix flour--you can find this pretty cheaply at any Indian store)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I ended up using slightly more, as my flour was still a little dry after I mixed it)
about 1/4 cup of water

For the Filling:
3-4 potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until soft
about 1 1/2 cups of mixed vegetables of your choice (I used corn, sliced okra, peas, lima beans, and diced carrots) boiled until soft
1 green chili pepper diced
1 teaspoon each of cumin seeds, coriander powder, garam masala, mango powder, turmeric, and salt
oil for cooking

1. Prepare the dough: Mix all of the dry ingredients together, then add the oil, mix well, now add the water and knead well (you may need to add more water or oil--more water to get your dough to hold together, more oil if your dough is dry). Knead for about 2 minutes, to make sure it is smooth and pliable, now, cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

2. While the dough is hanging out, prepare your vegetables. Boil your potatoes, boil your vegetables. Now, heat some oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, add the chili pepper, let cook for about a minute. Now, add the mixed vegetables and spices. Stir and let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Now add the potatoes (I also add more spices here). Cook for about 3-4 more minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.

3. Now, we are at the tricky part. Take your dough ball, separate out 9 small spheres. Take each sphere and roll it out into a nice circle (haha, yeah right--as close as you can get is fine). Cut your circle in half. You should end up with 18 half circles. Now, watch this video from Manjula's Kitchen on how to fold samosas, or what I say next will make no sense.  What you will do now is get a little bowl of water out. Lay the half circle out across your hand, using your finger (from the other hand) coat the non-circular edge of the half circle with water. Now, roll this edge towards the circular edge, forming a cone. Pinch together the rolled edge to make sure it is well sealed (if you do not seal your samosas well it will ruin your oil!!!). You should have dough resembling the shape of an ice-cream cone. Now, put about 2 teaspoons of filling into the dough, add water to the unsealed edge, and seal it tightly by pinching the dough together. Place on a plate for frying. Repeat this step for all of your dough half-circles.

4. In a frying pan (or a cast iron wok if you happen to have one), heat about 1 cup of oil on medium heat. Make sure it is hot before you begin frying! Okay, now, take each samosa (individually) and fry it until it is golden brown--turning frequently. Fry all of the samosas, and voila! you have delicious vegetable samosas.

The only picture I have of the samosas before my dog ate them

Now! Onto dessert!
Vegan Almond and Pistachio Burfi

1 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 cup of pistachios
1 1/2 cup of sugar
cardamom powder
1/4 cup of almond milk
2 tablespoons of vegan butter (Earth Balance or somesuch)

First, grind the almonds and pistachios with the almond milk in your food processor. (You may need to add more milk to make sure that the nuts are well ground--you want to end up with a paste sort of consistency).
Now, add the sugar and mix well in the food processor.
Heat the butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
Add your almond-pistachio paste to the frying pan, and stir continuously for about 10-15 minutes, until your paste starts to become thicker and more like cake batter. Add a pinch of cardamom--about 1 teaspoon--at this point. Keep stirring. The paste will solidify slightly and start to leave the edges of the pan as you stir.
Now, remove from heat and stir for about 3-4 more minutes.

stirring, stirring, stirring

Grease a pan of your choice (I used my glass baking dish) and pour your cake-batter almond pistachio paste into the pan. Let cool for about 20-30 minutes, and then garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios, and then cut into squares.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The most amazing chili ever made.

You may think that your mom or your grandma makes the best chili in the world--or maybe your dad, who knows. However, the truth is that they do not. How do I know? Because THIS is the best chili ever made. I discovered this recipe one evening when I really needed some some chili and I didn't feel like going to the store. I ransacked my kitchen, pouring through the cabinets and the refrigerator, until I found what I needed. Below, you will find what I discovered and you too can make the best chili ever made.

Amazingly Delicious Veggie Chili

5-6 okra, washed and sliced
1/2 cup of diced onions
3/4 cup of freshly diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 cup of corn (either from a can, or I used leftover boiled corn on the cob and shaved the corn kernels off of the cob)
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 package of veggie crumbles (I use Yves brand)
Spices: I used chili pepper powder, cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and Caribbean hot sauce
1 cup of fresh salsa 
1 cup of crushed corn tortilla chips
1/2 cup of vegan sour cream (or real sour cream if you prefer)
1 cup of Mexican mix cheese (you can use Daiya or real cheese--it's up to you)
oil for cooking

In a frying pan, heat about 1/4 cup of oil on med heat. Place the onions in the frying pan, cook for about 2 minutes--until the onions are translucent. Now, add the okra and the Caribbean hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you want). Fry this for a couple of minutes--you want the okra really well done, or it will be slimy. Now, add the tomatoes and the spices. I added about 2 teaspoons of each. Stir well and cook until the tomatoes break down and start to form a soupy mixture. Now, add the corn and jalapenos. Stir well. You can add more spices here, I like to because I like my food pretty spiced up. Turn the heat on low and stir occasionally while you prepare the veggie crumbles.

Thaw out your veggie crumbles. In a pot heat about 1/4 cup of oil on medium heat and add the crumbles, stirring them until they are broken apart and well...crumbled. Add the same spices as before (once again, I added about 2 teaspoons of each). Now, add the black beans and the kidney beans. Stir occasionally. Once the crumble mixture has heated through, add the veggie mix you made in the other pan. Mix well and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Now, in a separate dish, spread a layer of chili (about 1/2 the chili) on the bottom, add a layer of your cheese, spread another layer with the rest of the chili, add the rest of your cheese, now add the sour cream, add the crumbled tortilla chips, and then fresh salsa.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Macaroni and (not)Cheese!

A while back during a study potluck that my medical school partner was having, one of his friends from class brought this amazingly delicious macaroni dish. It was so good that I hardly realized it was vegan. But, good news: it was! So, during the most recent potluck hosted by the Vegans and Vegetarians of the Tri-Cities I decided to try my hand at making homemade creamy vegan "cheese." Below, you will find my recipe for baked Macaroni and (not)Cheese with broccoli and zucchini on top.

Baked Macaroni and (not)Cheese with Broccoli and Zucchini Topping

1 block of tofu (I use Twin Oaks brand)
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
3/4 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
1 can of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of cashews, minced
garlic powder, onion powder, dill, thyme, salt, pepper to taste
3/4 cup almond milk
1 head of broccoli, chopped up
1/2 of a large zucchini, diced

In your food processor or blender add the tofu and almond milk and blend until it the tofu is mostly pureed. Now, add the pumpkin and continue to blend until you have a nice, creamy mixture. Now add the yeast flakes, the garlic, and other spices. Continue to blend. Finally, add the cashews and blend until you have a nice creamy mixture.

Cheese is ready to go!

Pre-heat the oven to about 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, boil your pasta (I used rigatoni) and steam or boil your vegetables. Once your pasta is soft (after about 8 minutes of boiling), drain it and place in a baking dish. Pour the cheese on top and mix well. Now, drain your vegetables, mix them with salt and pepper and place them on top of the pasta and cheese. You can mix the cheese over the vegetables slightly (to make sure they are all nice and cheesy too). Bake until the vegetables and cheese on top are slightly browned and the cheese is bubbly. I baked mine for about 25 minutes.


When Life Gives You 10 Lemons for $2...

So, a little while back I was meandering around Earth Fare, absorbing all of the beautiful colors of produce and the fine smell of wholesale herbs and spices, when BLAM! right in front of me appeared this massive crate of Meyer lemons. Affixed directly in front of this magical crate was a sign that read: "Meyer Lemons: 10 for $2". Clearly, I had no choice but to purchase them. You know, like 30 of them. So I did. Once I got them home, however, I realized I had a problem: what was I going to do with this huge ol' sack of Meyer lemons? Upon careful thought I realized that I was sadly out of orange marmalade (delicious recipe by a friend of mine here), so DING! I had an idea: make LEMON marmalade! I got online, googled around a little bit, realized that I wasn't entirely crazy for thinking that lemon marmalade sounds delicious, and created the recipe below. So, if you are a fan of marmalades, I do highly recommend this one. It's sweet, a little bitter, and overall tasty.

Vanilla Meyer Lemon Marmalade:

10 Meyer lemons
6 cups of water
6 cups of sugar
1-2 vanilla bean pods, or about 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract

You will also need:
A cheesecloth
Some sterilized jars (I used 5 8 oz Ball brand jars)
A candy thermometer
I also recommend a funnel to assist with pouring the marmalade into the jars

Chop lemons and remove seeds and any white membrane that you come across (I found that quartering the lemons worked best, then you could just cut the white membrane directly off of the center of each quarter, and pop the seeds out after that, then you could chop up the lemons further without encountering either seeds or membrane)
Place the seeds and the membrane pieces in the cheesecloth
Add the water and the chopped lemons to a large pot. Tie up the cheesecloth, with the seeds and membrane inside, and place this inside the pot also. Bring to a boil.

Seeds and Membrane in the Cheesecloth                    Tied-Up Cloth

Boil about 25-35 minutes, until the lemons are soft. Remove from heat.
Now, remove the cheesecloth from the pot, and let it cool off. Once it is cooled you can squeeze out any remaining pectin and place this into the pot of lemons.
Add the sugar and extra pectin to the pot of lemons, and bring to a rapid boil on medium high heat. Boil about 20-35 minutes. Add the vanilla after about 15 minutes of boiling. There are two tests to know when your marmalade is ready: first, you can place a plate in the freezer (while you are boiling the lemons) and when you think it is ready, you can drop a bit of marmalade on the frozen plate. If it isn't runny and wrinkles to the touch, then it is ready. A more scientific method is to use the candy thermometer. The marmalade is done at 222-223 degrees F.

Make sure your jars are ready!
Here is how to do this:
While your lemons are boiling, wash and dry your jars and jar lids with warm soapy water. After they have completely dried place the jars on a cookie sheet and bake them at 200 degrees F in the oven for at least 10 minutes. Bring a pot of water to boil and boil the lids and rings in the water.

Carefully funnel marmalade into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4" of space between the top of the jar and the marmalade. Dry the lid and ring off, and affix these tightly to the jar. Do this for each jar until you run out of marmalade. You should hear the jars pop during the next few hours, this means that they are sealed.

Let your marmalade sit overnight (at least) and then enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eastern European Night

So, after eating at a Ukrainian restaurant in New York City several months ago I have had a goal of making plum dumplings. They were soooo delicious, hearty, wholesome, a little sweet, fruity. Perfection. So, when my vegan friend came over one night and we were hungry and feeling a little creative, we ran to the store to grab some canned plums. Then we realized we probably should eat something more dinner-like also. So, the idea of vegan pierogies was created! (Because, what better to go with plum dumplings?)

So, below, find my recipes for vegan sauerkraut and potato pierogies and then vegan plum dumplings for dessert!

Vegan Sauerkraut and Potato Pierogies

For the dough:
1/4 cup of oil
8 oz of vegan sour cream
3 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder

For the filling:
1 can of sauerkraut
2 cups of mashed potatoes (I boiled about 4 medium sized potatoes and mashed them with garlic)
5 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup of diced onions
salt and pepper to taste

1. Make the fillings: boil and mash your potatoes, stir in 1/2 cup of onions and 3 tablespoons of butter with the potatoes, add salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan (on med-low), add the sauerkraut, stir in the onions, add salt and pepper, cook for a few minutes (until everything is heated through). Now, you can combine the potatoes and sauerkraut into one filling (which is delicious!) or you can use the sauerkraut and potatoes each as separate fillings. I did all three (I had one bowl of sauerkraut and potato filling, one bowl of sauerkraut filling, and one bowl of potato filling). 

2. Make the dough: beat the oil and sour cream together, set aside. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, stir this into the sour cream mixture. Knead until you have a relatively firm, but soft, dough.  I let my dough sit, covered, for about 10 minutes.

3. I have these handy dough cutters and folders, where all I have to do is cut a circle out of my rolled out dough, place the circle in the center of the dough folder, add the filling, sprinkle some water on the edges of dough, and fold. However, if you do not have these handy dough folders, you can easily fold your pierogies by hand (I just am really bad at this). So, what you need to do is roll out your dough to about 1/4" consistency, and then cut circles of about 2" in diameter out. You will then hold a dough circle between your thumb and forefinger, place about 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough circle. Now, line the outer edges of the dough with a little water, and fold together. Use your fingers to pinch the outer edge of the dough, to ensure that it is well stuck together. Do this until you run out of dough.

The first picture is of a dough circle in one of my handy dough folders. The second picture is of pierogies that have already been folded, and me adding filling to another.

4. Fill up a large pot about 1/2 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pierogies, 4-5 at a time, and boil until they float to the top (3-5 minutes). We then melted some vegan butter with minced garlic in a bowl to serve as a dipping sauce for them.

A cooked pierogi!

 Now, for dessert!

Vegan Plum Dumplings:

(for the pastry)
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of oil
2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening or vegan butter
1 cup of mashed potatoes

(for the filling)
1 can of pitted, whole plums

(for the sauce)
1/2 cup of vegan butter
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour

1. Drain the can of plums, saving some of the plum syrup to add to your sauce later. Set aside and make the dough. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add potatoes (mix in with a fork or dough cutter), and then add the oil and shortening/butter (also mix in with a fork or dough cutter, until well incorporated). Knead until you have a firm, soft dough. Let sit for about 10 minutes, covered.

2. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick, and cut circles out of it like you did with the pierogies. Take one whole circle, put the plum in the middle of it, then add another circle on top. Wet the edges of the two circles where they will meet, and pinch them together tightly all the way around. Do this until you run out of plums.

Putting plums in dough circles!

3. Fill a pot about 1/2 full with salted water and boil. Boil the dumplings for 5-7 minutes. Remove from boiling water, strain. Now, heat oil in a frying pan (I used my cast-iron wok), and fry the dumplings until they are golden brown.

Frying the dumplings, after they have been boiled
4. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a frying pan, stir in the sugar and the plum syrup you saved earlier. Stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes, until the sugar is incorporated. Now, add the flour, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the dumplings in a large bowl, make sure the dumplings have been well coated.

Serve and enjoy!

Our meal!

Mediterranean One-Crust Pie to Keep You Warm (and Full)

First of all I need to give you some excuses as to why I've been slacking on my job of helping you find delicious vegan/vegetarian meals. I started graduate school. And I think that sums it up. So, in the 30 minutes extra I have per week, I have been taking naps, or showering, or something like that. However, I think it is important to continue my mission here, and, thanks to an arthritic-induced day at home, I am here to give you some new recipes. I know you will love them.

So, for starters, I received this pretty amazing book for Christmas from one of my friends, it is simply called "Vegetarian" (subtitle: "Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Recipes Chosen from Around the World") consultant editor is: Nicola Graimes. The book is pretty amazing. It is not, however, entirely vegan friendly. So, I have been working through it and "veganizing" many of the recipes I have made.

In the midst of a cold, snowy January day, in order to enliven our souls and eat some vegetables, I decided to veganize a recipe entitled "Mediterranean One-Crust Pie." Let me tell you! This is one of the best meals you will eat in your life (if you're all about some veggies). We loved it!

So, without further adieu, my vegan version of the Mediterranean One-Crust Pie:

1 1/4 pounds of eggplant (cubed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-5 asparagus, cut into 3-4 pieces each
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans, or chili bean mix (drained)
1 cup of pitted black Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons of cornstarch, dissolved in 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of water
salt and black pepper

(note: You can use any vegetables you think would go with this; the original recipe called for red peppers--which I hate--but did not use asparagus, mushrooms or tomatoes. I found that they added a delicious taste, though. So, really, play around with this.)

(for the pastry shell)
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter

1. Preheat the oven to 425; now, to make the pastry: sift the two flours together, using a fork or dough cutter mix in the vegan butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Mix in cold water (by the tablespoon, maybe about 8 tablespoons total) until you can form a firm dough with the flour mixture. Knead the dough for about a minute on a floured surface, wrap it up and let it refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Make the filling: cube the eggplant, place it in a strainer, salt it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse it and dry it. While the eggplant is sitting go ahead and mince your garlic, and wash and cut your asparagus. Now, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Fry the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes, add the asparagus, garlic, and oregano, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring consistently now. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms, let cook for a couple more minutes. Add the beans and olives, let cook until everything is fully heated through, stirring frequently, and then set aside to cool.

3. Now, roll out your dough to about a 12" round. Place your dough in a lightly greased pie pan, or on a lightly greased baking sheet (if your dough is pretty firm and can hold its own). Brush some of the cornstarch mixture onto the dough. Now, add the filling and gather up the dough to mostly cover the filling. It should be like a little basket or bowl, holding the filling in but open on top. Brush the outside of the dough with the remaining cornstarch mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden. Add oregano and salt and pepper to the pie when it comes out of the oven.