When I was 19 I started cooking for myself and thus grocery shopping for myself. I don’t know what happened, but on that first day I went to the store by myself to do an entire shopping trip, I fell in love. Yeah. Love. I’m one of those people who loves grocery shopping. I mean, it’s literally one of my favorite things to do. Oh, you want to go to a movie tonight? Can we go to the grocery store instead? Maybe make some cookies, yeah? That’s me. Okay, maybe I’m not that hardcore, but I do really like going and whenever a new vegan comes my way I often suggest doing a shopping trip together. I’m excited just thinking about it. I think it has a lot to do with finally taking charge of what I put into my body and really appreciating food and variety. After all, these things are important. So, that being said, it’s been about two weeks since I’ve been to the store. I’m very grateful that I live in a country, and more specifically, in a situation where shopping once a week is something I can do easily. But…two weeks is hell for me and I keep missing the farmer’s markets, dammit.
In any case, I decided to walk on the coals and use what I had in house to come up with this delicious one dish wonder. The tempeh in this recipe is reminiscent of ground turkey. And the crust should really be cooked until a nice light, golden brown. It’s okay if the edges get a little burned and crunchy. This is a light dish so, it wouldn’t satisfy a large crowd. If you’re making this for a small dinner party, say, of four, I’d recommend serving soup and/or salad ahead. Enjoy!
3 cups potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8 oz tempeh, crumbled
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
11 oz fresh baby spinach
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Daiya Vegan Cheese Shreds (mozzarella or cheddar)
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie dish.
Peel and shred the potatoes. I used the shredding plate in my food processor to make this go faster. With your hands, squeeze all of the excess moisture out of the shreds, then measure out the 3 cups. It’s really important to squeeze as much excess water out as you can so that the crust isn’t soggy. I used 4 small, red potatoes. The number of whole potatoes you will need to get 3 cups of shredded potatoes depends on the variety and size of the potatoes you chose to use.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 4 teaspoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and reduce oven heat to 325 F.
In a nonstick skillet, saute the garlic in the remaining oil and salt on medium-low for about 1 minute. Add the onions and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the crumbled tempeh, red pepper flakes, oregano, nutmeg, black pepper, and more salt to taste, if necessary. Saute for another 7 minutes. Add the spinach in small batches and, using tongs, slowly turn it until it all wilts. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle a small amount of Daiya cheese on the potato pie crust and along the edges. Top with half of the spinach/tempeh filling, then a sprinkle of Daiya, then the remainder of the spinach filing. Sprinkle the remaining Daiya cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Be careful when plating it as it tends to crumble if you don’t use a lot of Daiya. The more you use, the better it will all stick together. Enjoy!