Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 3: Nut Roast and Spinach Pie Recipes

Welcome to our third post for our Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving event! Today Kalinda of Wheat-free Meat Free shared her recipe for a Thanksgiving Mushroom Nut Roast that would be a hearty and protein packed vegetarian entree. I have only made a few of these vegetarian meatloaf type recipes, but I don’t know why I don’t make them more. They are so satisfying and easy to personalize with your favorite ingredients and flavors. They also have a fun kind of vintage feel to them. It might be kind of fun to make a vegan or vegetarian vintage supper one night with veggie nutloaf, slices of homemade gluten-free white bread, some crunchy salad with tomatoes, and some green bean casserole, don’t you think? Kalinda suggests pairing her nutloaf with some Spiced Cranberry Sauce and for those in the renegade carb-loving camp, she recommends her Cornbread Stuffing. I love that Kalinda has a recipe for cornbread from scratch. I used to use the Whole Foods Gluten-free Cornbread Mix, but they always ran out around holiday time and have since discontinued their gluten-free baking mix line, so I’m in the market for a cornbread from scratch recipe. Thank you, Kalinda!

For my daily contribution, I thought I’d share one of my favorite vegetarian entrees that I often make for dinner parties including Thanksgiving. This is a recipe that I first enjoyed in my college days before I discovered Bette Hagman. My diet was pretty plain those days. I was thrilled when my best friend came to visit from Wisconsin and made me a gluten-free rice pie crust with a beautiful smiling sun in the bottom. Then she filled the crust with an amazing cheesy spinach filling. That weekend we ate spinach pie, and homemade falafel, and all sorts of good vegetarian foods, and at the end of it I couldn’t figure out why (at that time) I ate meat at all. All that veggie food was tastier to me than any of the meat stuff, and I had become seriously troubled by the ethics of eating animals after I brought home a dear little house Rabbit I named Hazel Moon and got to know how sweet and intelligent rabbits could be when kept outside of a cage. Shortly thereafter I became a gluten-free vegetarian, and never regretted it.

Over the years at the Book of Yum I’ve made many variations of a classic spinach pie. I’ve made it cheesy, and not cheesy, rice-based and rice-free, with non-dairy milk and with homemade vegan un-cheese. Here are two of my favorites. The first one is cheesy and has a variation for those who just hate rolling out pie crust and don’t want to buy a pre-made one. The second one is vegan and allergy-friendly with a homemade crust made from healthy quinoa and amaranth flour. It is a bit fiddley but worth the effort if you need to avoid a lot of allergens. Amazingly, despite all the things that aren’t in it, it still tastes great and emulates its dairy counterpart. I hope you enjoy!

Go to our Thanksgiving Vegetarian Event Headquarters to see links to all of our contributor’s recipes. See you tomorrow for another new vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe and another classic Book of Yum Thanksgiving dish!

If you are a vegetarian, when and how did you become a vegetarian? If you aren’t a vegetarian, what factors have encouraged you to consume more vegetables and fruits in your diet? Share in the comments! I want to hear your stories!

Caramelized Onion and Garlic Spinach Pie
2 bags or 2-3 pkgs of fresh spinach

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. margarine or butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbsp finely ground brown rice flour
3 or 4 cups lowfat milk
1 tbsp or more garlic powder (or to taste)
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

GF Pie crust (I used Whole Foods GF Bakehouse)
Garlic mashed potatoes
with extra cheese if desired

Bake GF pie crust for 10-20 minutes, according to recipe, at 375 sprinkled with garlic powder.

Cook spinach in a dutch oven with a little water and then drain in a strainer. Cut into bite sized pieces and reserve.

Melt/heat olive oil and margarine in nonstick or cast iron pan. When margarine has barely melted but pan is hot, add onion and, after a minute or so, add pressed garlic. Don’t let burn, but try not to move around too much so that they get all caramelized and yummy. When they look translucent and a little brown, add brown rice flour and mix into a paste, letting brown as a roux for as long as desired, but without burning. Add milk slowly, one half cup at a time and whisk in so you get a smooth sauce. Let it thicken and continue adding milk gradually. Add garlic powder to taste (really, taste it) and, when you have a nice white sauce, turn off the heat and add your cheese. (You can use more or less cheese, to taste.)When cheese has melted, add your spinach and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour into prepared pie crust
Pour into pie pan OR gratin dishes. Take garlic mashed potatoes (if you have plain mashed potatoes, melt 1 tbsp margarine and combine 1/2 tsp or more of garlic powder, then stir into potatoes) and put into ziploc bag with hole cut out one corner to make a pastry bag. Sprinkle Spinach pie filling with any seasonings (i sprinkled paprika) and then gently put pressure on bag with mashed potatoes to release stream of crust, curling it on top of the spinach filling. Squish down until flat and top with additional cheddar cheese if you want.

Bake pie for 20-25 minutes or so, or until top is brown and looks firm. It will be somewhat liquidy until it cools, so don’t worry.


Gluten-free Vegan Smoky Uncheesy Spinach Pie Recipe
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup Organic Palm Oil shortening such as spectrum
2 tbsp dairy free milk of choice (plain hemp, rice, or almond)

2 or 3 bunches spinach (3 bunches for just spinach, 2 bunches if you add 1 bunch of beet greens), blanched, drained and diced
3/4 recipe of my smoked un-cheddar sauce

Combine flours, salt, and shortening in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process until all ingredients are combined and it starts looking mealy. Add your dairy-free milk and process again. It should start to form a ball. Using a spatula, scoop out your dough ball and shape into a nice ball in your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. (You can rush this step but dough will be more persnickety.)

Meanwhile, prepare your spinach and make the smoked un-cheddar sauce. Mix the two together in a bowl and reserve.

Preheat oven to 375.
Place your chilled ball of dough in a gallon sized, freezer-safe ziploc bag. Roll thinly to cover the whole interior of the bag. Cut out the sides of the bag and peel back the top. Place with remaining bag side DOWN over an inverted pie pan (a). Place another inverted pie pan (b) on top of the naked dough and flip your tins so that they are right side up. Remove pie pan (a). Carefully peel back the remaining ziploc bag sheet to reveal a pretty pie crust.

Pre-bake pie crust for 5-10 minutes. Don’t worry if it cracks on the bottom- it will taste just as good as a gorgeous, uncracked crust and no one sees anything but the top part of the crust.

Fill with your blanched and drained spinach in your smoky un-cheddar sauce. Bake for 20 minutes or until top looks set and lightly browned.

Serve and enjoy!

Tastes great cold the next day!

Gluten-free dairy-free soy-free Smoked un-cheddar sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 of a large onion, minced
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Earth Balance soy-free margarine
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Heat olive oil on medium in nonstick pan and saute your onion until it turns translucent. Then add your nutritional yeast and quinoa flour, toasting lightly. Lower the heat to medium-low, and whisk in one cup of water that you slowly add to the pan. When you have a nice smooth sauce, add your soy free margarine and tomato paste, mixing thoroughly. Season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Let sauce thicken until it gets to your preferred “cheesy sauce” texture. Add water as needed if the sauce gets too thick. Take off burner and enjoy!

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4 Responses to “Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 3: Nut Roast and Spinach Pie Recipes”

  1. Thanks for cooking up this idea and being our gracious host!

  2. [...] 2: Rosemary-Thyme Gluten-free Roll (with vegan option linked) GF Veg Thanksgiving Episode 3: Spinach Pie (with Vegan Allergen-friendly Recipe) GF Veg Thanksgiving Episode 4: Apricot Glazed Brussels [...]

  3. Thank you for making such beautiful food, Kalinda. It looks great!


  4. Perfect dishes for Thanksgiving–that nut roast pic is stunning! Must make :D

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