St. Patrick’s Day: Vegan No Cheddar Spinach Pie recipe

Being gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free makes coming up with a good cheese substitute difficult. When I was simply dairy free, nut or soy recipes allowed me to enjoy “cheesy” dishes like lasagna or pizza. Once I had to cut out nuts and soy, I was a bit stumped. I still had great pizza- olives were tasty and generally safe, and sunflower seed pesto was my friend. But the cheesy element was just not quite there. Luckily I can still have nutritional yeast, and recently I was inspiredby several recipes online to come up with this everything free, yet still tasty smoky cheesy sauce. Since the only non-dairy milks i can have right now are hemp and coconut and hemp milk makes a weirdly rubbery-tasting sauce, this recipe is alternative milk free, with a base in nutritional yeast and quinoa flour. It’s half gravy-inspired, half uncheese-recipe-inspired… and is so good that I couldn’t stop myself from dipping into it all by itself. It really sings as a “cheesy” topping for veggies. And just last night I used it to make something I hadn’t had in a very, very long time- a luscious and super addicting spinach pie, perfect for a green Saint Patty’s day. This recipe is best suited to a vegan palate- or at least, someone willing to accept a less than traditional “cheese.” DH and my dairy-free mother both enjoyed it, and DH commented that in pie, the cheese smelled like nachos. Mmmm, nachos. Let’s see, if i deep fry some homemade millet or sorghum tortillas in chips… top with sunflower seed refried ‘beans’… add some Smoky un-cheddar… we just might have another use for this recipe! Got any more ideas? Share in the comments!

Shared as an entry in Gluten-free Wednesdays

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!
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!

Vegan Cheesy Basil Acorn Squash Recipe
1/2 baked fresh acorn squash
a few tablespoons fresh basil, julienned

1/4 recipe Smoky un-cheddar sauce
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Either scoop out baked acorn squash flesh OR slice into attractive serving slices. Sprinkle with fresh basil and smother with smoky un-cheddar sauce. Add some more fresh ground pepper, to taste, and enjoy!

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10 Responses to “St. Patrick’s Day: Vegan No Cheddar Spinach Pie recipe”

  1. This looks so good!
    I miss cheese…
    I can’t tell you how glad I am that you forge ahead with creating these recipes. Your successes are inspiring and they also have saved me from hours of horrid experimental kitchen flops :)

  2. Valerie (m.) Says:

    Can you have red lentils? I’ve had some good cheese substitutes made with them. I can e-mail you a recipe for pasta with red lentils, chard, and ginger, that is very wonderful, fairly hypoallergenic, and sort of cheesey. Let me know if you’d like a copy of it?

  3. It sounds great the ‘cheese’ might be good as a pasta or lasagna saw, using g/f pasta of course. So creative, am going to give this a go.

  4. Looks delish. I’m trying the recipe this week for my visiting quasi-vegan, highly allergic mom! I wonder how this would taste on dehydrated kale chips?

    Have you discovered Daiya vegan cheese yet? I heard about it from a friend in SoCal and just found it at a Bay Area Whole Foods. Soy free and it melts.

  5. Have you seen or tried Daiya vegan cheese? It is soy and nut free, made from cassava (tapioca). Really, really good. I’ve ordered it from vegan online shops but it is now supposed to be available at Whole Foods.

    I’m sure your recipe is great. I’ve never tried anything from your blog that wasn’t. I just thought I’d tell you about Daiya just in case it is something you can eat.

  6. [...] Looking for more allergen-free un-cheese recipes? Try my Smoked un-cheddar sauce recipe [...]

  7. Sea, thanks so much for sharing this as part of Gluten-Free Wednesdays. Having recently gone dairy and soy free it always inspires me to see what amazing foods other people come up with without using those ingredients. I haven’t yet tried nutritional yeast, but thankfully Daiya is soy free (and nut free).

  8. [...] Acorn Squash with Portobello Mushroom Stuffing Beet Green and Chard Spinach-less Pie Dairy Version Non-Dairy Version Nutritional Yeast Vegan Gravy Vegan Onion Rolls Elana’s Brussel Sprouts with Roasted [...]

  9. [...] St. Patricks Day Recipes, including one for Irish Soda Bread (yummy) and Peppermint Patties Vegan Spinach Pie Recipe from the Book of Yum Karina’s Delicious Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread Recipe Vegan Colcannon Casserole at Manifest [...]

  10. [...] St. Patricks Day Recipes, including one for Irish Soda Bread (yummy) and Peppermint Patties Vegan Spinach Pie Recipe from the Book of Yum Karina’s Delicious Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread Recipe Vegan Colcannon Casserole at Manifest [...]

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