Tonight (well, it was 3/14, actually) I am hosting a Pi Day dinner to celebrate one of my favorite mathematical constants, 3.14. The menu will consist entirely of pies: broccoli quiche, blue cheese mashed potato and carrot pie, raw vegan mandala pie, mushroom pot pie, impossible lasagna pie, and coconut custard pie. Some of these are recipes worth sharing, so here they are for your own Pi Day celebrations.
Raw Vegan Mandala Pie
1 regular-sized pie
1 cup walnuts
1/2 sweet salad onion
2 sundried tomatoes
1 small zucchini
8 button mushrooms
1/2 bulb fennel
18 cherry tomatoes
small handful babyleaf or mixed fresh herbs
Combine the walnuts, onion and sundried tomatoes in a food processor, adjusting consistency with water until it is a spreadable paste. Salt and pepper to taste.
Using a mandoline, thinly slice rounds of zucchini and distribute evenly across bottom of a pie plate. Spread the walnut paste over the zucchini. Using the mandoline again, slice 6 mushrooms and the fennel into the pie plate. Smooth and press the vegetables a little to make a flat surface.
Prepare the mandala decorations: halve the cherry tomatoes, thinly slice the remaining mushrooms, mince the ends parts of the zucchini, mince the babyleaf or herbs. Of course you can use any other colorful raw vegetable you wish: carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber.
Create concentric circles of vegetables to make the mandala. Chill the pie and serve with extra babyleaf and a simple salad dressing if you wish.
Impossible Lasagna Pie – Vegetarian Version
1 pizza-sized pie
1 cup brown lentils
2 cups water
1 T vegetable stock
1 cup cottage cheese
1.5 cups pasta sauce + extra for serving as gravy
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 T butter
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Cook the lentils in the water and vegetable stock. Allow to cool, then mix with the pasta sauce.
Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Rub the butter in with your fingers until you have a mixture the texture of velvet. Whisk in the milk, water and eggs to make a thin batter.
In the bottom of a deep dish pizza pan or a casserole dish, spread the cottage cheese. Layer in the lentils, ad sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Aerate the lentils with a couple of holes, then pour the batter over everything,
Bake in a 350/180C oven for 30 minutes or until the top is set and golden. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella, and bake another 15 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
Serve hot with extra pasta sauce on the side.