What do you do when you’ve had a long day at work, and you just want your dinner to cook itself?
You make a delightfully creamy savory vegetable cobbler topped off with adorable little biscuits! This is comfort food at its best. Just think: chewy salty seitan, succulent cauliflower, slight sweetness of the lightly caramelized onion and carrot, tied together with a creamy gravy and thyme studded buttery biscuits that tantalize your tongue. This is more subtly flavored than some of the other dishes featured on this site, but its simplicity really highlights the flavors of the vegetables and herbs used in the recipe.
This dish is so simple, and can easily be adapted to use any of the extra vegetables or herbs lying around in your fridge. Don’t like seitan? Not a problem! Substitute tempeh, tofu, or some beans. As this is a one-pot meal, both the preparation and clean-up are simple. The biscuits are a nice change from the more traditional rolled crust, as they bake at a higher temperature for a much shorter time (the quicker it’s out, the sooner it finds its way to your belly!). I find this style of dish to be on my regular rotating menu. Not only is it easy to make, but its leftovers are well suited for bringing to work for lunch
Thyme Biscuit Bake
2 tbsp vegan margarine
3 tbsp flour
2 cups soy milk
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium shallots
8 oz. seitan (one package)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 head cauliflower
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can use only AP flour, if preferred)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried thyme)
1/4 cup vegan margarine
Preheat oven to 425 ºF
Prepare the sauce:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and add the 3 tbsp of flour. Let the mixture bubble, stirring occasionally until the mixture darkens and smells toasty.
2. Whisk in the soy milk, add the bay leaf, rosemary, marjoram, mustard powder, salt, pepper. If using dried thyme, also add it here.
3. Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes until thick. Stir in the fresh thyme.
4. Remove from heat, set aside, remove bay leaves and taste and adjust seasonings.
Prepare the filling:
1. In a casserole dish (or large skillet), heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add shallots and carrots, saute 6-8 minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize.
3. Stir in the seitan and saute an additional 8-10 minutes, until browned. Deglaze the pan with the tsp of vinegar.
4. Add the cauliflower, cover and steam for about 8 minutes until the cauliflower is beginning to soften, stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, prepare the biscuits (see below).
5. Remove from heat, stir in sauce. If using a casserole dish, at this point all you have to do is plop the biscuits on top and bake. Otherwise, transfer filling mixture to the container you plan on baking the dish in.
Prepare the biscuits:
1. Add the tsp of vinegar to the soy milk and set aside to curdle (5-7 minutes).
2. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, thyme.
3. Cut in margarine.
4. Mix in the curdled soy milk.
Take biscuit dough in small amounts, slightly larger than golf ball size, and gently form into a round shape. Plop on top of the filling mixture. Transfer the entire thing to the oven, and bake at 425 ºF for 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I had some left over biscuit mixture after topping off my casserole dish, so I went ahead and formed a couple extra biscuits, put them on a baking sheet, and baked ’em for 10 minutes at 425 ºF. You can avoid this by making slightly larger biscuits, or letting them touch when you put them on the dish. If you end up with extra however you can snack on them while waiting for the dish to cool!