Parsnips are a staple of a British winter vegbox. Beautiful roasted and caramelised in coconut oil and a little maple syrup with some warm indian spices, they make silky creamy soup, and can even bulk out a root veg stew… but what else? I decide to go an the search for another parsnip dish, something which would celebrate these earthy roots. I wanted something versatile, that could be dressed up for dinner, or grabbed on the go for a quick lunch so I started looking for pasty recipes. I found a fabulous recipe on Kitchist, all the basics are there but I decided to alter it, (as I always do) to make it firstly vegan, and secondly to include some legumes, nuts and whole grains to pack a complete protein punch!
So I changed the pastry to a wholemeal spelt version and then I did away with the cheese in the filling and added some chickpeas (or pinto beans in my first attempt which were equally tasty) and some ground almonds and nutritional yeast to create that soft ‘cheesy’ texture and savoury flavour to the filling.
I used this recipe for the pastry, and substituted the nigella seeds for cumin seeds (as I didn’t have any nigella seeds to hand.) The pastry is completely vegan and super easy to make in the food processor, and I quadrupled this recipe to make enough pastry for 9 large pasties (£1.72). The resulting dough is glossy and quite elastic which is perfect for making something like a pasty, where a more crumbly dough would fall apart during construction. This dough is ideal for cramming those last teaspoons of filling into each pasty, without any cracks or bursts. The filling would be equally good encased in a traditional flaky or shortcrust pastry, but would need a little more tender care during assembly.
Makes 8-10 large pasties
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil (20p)
- 2 onions (40p)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic (20p)
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds (12p)
- 1 tbsp of curry powder (8p)
- 1 tsp of turmeric (20p)
- 3 medium parsnips (£1.40)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tin – or 250g of cooked chickpeas (85p)
- 100g (1/2 cup) of ground almonds (£1.65)
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (28p)
- salt and pepper to taste
Either make the pastry beforehand and place it in the fridge, or quickly throw it together while the filling is cooking.
For the filling, chop the onion and fry it in the coconut oil in a large pan for a couple of minutes, then add the finely chopped garlic and the spices.Meanwhile, peel and chop the parsnips into 2cm chunks. After 5 more minutes, add the parsnips to the pan and stir into the oil and spices. Add the 1/2 cup of water and put the lid on for the parsnips to cook through, this should take about 20 minutes which gives you a good opportunity to make your pastry.Once the parsnip is tender, add the chickpeas, ground almonds, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. You should have a semi dry, soft, chunky, scrumptious pasty filling.
Now take your pastry and section it into roughly ten portions, I find it easier to roll out each pasty separately. Roll each portion on a floured surface until it is a circle with roughly a 7 inch diameter. Use a 7 inch side plate as a rough guide and a template to cut around.Next, dollop a generous lump of the filling into the centre of the pastry circle. With a cup of water and a clean finger, wet the edge of of the circle of pastry before folding it over and sealing the edges with thumb pinches or a fork.Place each finished pasty onto an oiled baking tray and brush with milk (plant based) or a beaten egg to give a golden glaze once cooked.bake in a hot oven at 200 degrees for around 25 minutes.
These pasties freeze beautifully, if you are cooking from frozen that will need around 35 minutes in the oven. I make these in large batches as they are a handy lunch or dinner filler to have to hand, it’s just like making your own convenience food.These pasties work out at 71p each including fully organic ingredients and lots of love and quirky mis-shapes, which puts regular supermarket freezer pies and pasties to shame.