Chicken pie is a real favourite comfort food, but those on sale are nearly always made with factory-farmed chicken (unless you are a on very expensive budget) and yet it’s perfectly possible to make a lovely chickenless pie, from everyday ingredients. Try this vegan chicken pot pie from this book.
Use vegan butters with no palm oil. Use a reusable baking liner or unbleached parchment paper. Keep recipes away from pets, due to toxic ingredients.
Not eating chicken is not being ‘against British farmers’. Firstly, most chicken sold in England is not from free-range farmers but from big factory-farms that care more for profit than animal welfare. And based on how many people eat chicken, there is not enough land for everyone to eat free-range. So even if you’re not veggie, eating less chicken (and paying more when you eat it for better welfare) is the best option. Good for your cholesterol too. And of course – chickens!
Some chefs pooh-pooh using fake meats, but as long as they are free from palm oil in sustainable packaging, there’s nothing wrong with it. What you eat is your business. Just be sure to recycle any packaging (most supermarkets now accept all soft packaging along with plastic bags).
make your own palm-oil-free pastry
Most chickenless pies have a puff pastry topping. But nearly all ready-made pastry contains palm oil (use is harming the habitats of orangutans and other endangered creatures – there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil). So make your own instead – all you need are a few ingredients, a hard surface and rolling pin. Keep fresh dough away from pets, as it can expand in the stomach.
To make a simple pastry (mix 250g of flour with 1.5 teaspoons of salt, add 125g of chilled cubed vegan butter and rub in). Pour over 2 teaspoons cold water to make a dough, adding a little water to right consistency. Knead into a ball, then chill for 20 minutes. Use a tea towel to stop it drying out and freeze leftovers for up to 3 months (defrost in the fridge, knead again and roll out).
simple chickenless pie recipes
Vegan Chicken Potato Pie (Domestic Gothess) uses soy-style chunks in an oat creme fraiche sauce with lots of veggies. You can sub vegan chicken for tinned butter beans, if you prefer.
This vegan chicken mushroom leek pie uses Future Farm plant-based chunks for an easy recipe with few ingredients.
This vegan chicken leek pie uses Meatless Farm plant-based chicken breasts. Serve with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and steamed greens.
pies with palm oil (not orangutan friendly)
The two main brands of vegan chicken pie on sale contain palm oil. Yet the perfect local replacement is rapeseed oil, which would support British farmers (and avoid carbon emissions of importing an oil from Indonesia). Goodness knows why the Vegan Society approves brands made with palm oil, writing that ‘it’s not possible to boycott products containing it’. Of course it is, just eat your own food and don’t buy foods that have it. Greenpeace says the ‘sustainable palm oil’ logo is as useful as a chocolate teapot and has no legal proof – they much prefer foods to be certified palm-oil-free.
Certifying ‘vegan foods’ that contain palm oil is helping to spread the lie that animals are not harmed to make it – they are. Some orangutans have been shot and burned to death, to clear land for palm oil. One brand quotes how Greenpeace agrees sustainable palm oil is good (in fact, they say quite the opposite).
Even buying the highest level of RSPO certification doesn’t guarantee that palm oil is produced economically, socially and sustainably. Critics have repeatedly stated that the certification system is severely lacking and too lenient towards its members. And while progress has been made in recent years, the scheme is still accused of enabling illegal expansion into peatlands, the onsite killing of elephants, child labour and even corporate greenwashing. Somewhat Greener
Consumers are being conned by ‘certified sustainable palm oil’, a phrase that’s bandied about by supermarkets and big brands attempting to distance themselves from deforestation. But the phrase is utterly meaningless, because the body responsible for certifying palm oil is made up of some of the most destructive growers and producers in Indonesia. This is a henhouse insurance scheme, run by foxes. Greenpeace UK