Thursday, September 22, 2016

{Slighlty} Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Today is the first day of fall! I LOVE chicken pot pie- especially in Fall. It's warm and hearty filling with that flaky crust..what could be better?! I can no longer have chicken..or wheat due to nursing Wynn, but if you are dairy free, soy free, egg free...or even on no dietary restrictions, this recipe is to die for!
This recipe is for 2 pot pies. Why? Lets be honest. This recipe is so good it will only last a family one meal, so if I am going to chop those veggies and make the sauce I might as well just make a little more and have enough for another meal! If you would like to 1/2 the recipe, feel free to do so.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 lbs baked and seasoned (salt and pepper) chicken, shredded or diced- you could also use a rotisserie chicken if you are short on time
1 1/3 cups diced carrot (or frozen if short on time)
1 1/3 cups frozen round green peas
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup finely diced onion ( i prefer yellow onion)
2 tsp salt
olive oil
1 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 cups of Rice Milk or regular milk
3/4 cups Earth Balance buttery spread or butter
3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 packages of pilsbury brand refrigerated pie crusts ( they are accidentally dairy free!)

Preheat oven to 425. Get pie crusts out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic packages containing the crusts and allow to sit out while you prep other items (they have to sit out for 15 min before cooking).Drizzle bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Saute carrot, celery and peas on medium heat for about 7 minutes or until carrots begin to slightly soften. Add your onion, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon salt and continue to saute until onions are translucent. (The reason you add the onions last is bc they will cook much quicker than the carrots, celery and peas and you don't want burnt onions!) Pour the cooked mixture onto a large plate or in a bowl and set aside.
Wipe your skillet  with a clean paper towel to be sure there isn't any veggies left in the pan, and return to the stove top. Time for your Roux!
 Keeping the heat to medium, add your butter into your skillet and allow to melt. As soon as your butter has melted, start to slowly add in your flour while constantly stirring it around with a wire whisk until all flour is combined. It will be thick and slightly yellow. As soon as you have added all of the flour, begin to slowly add in your milk and whisk continuously to combine. Add in remaining salt. Note- the 1 tsp salt remaining seasons perfectly with the rice milk. However, if you are using dairy milk you may only need about 1/2-3/4 tsp salt. Reduce heat to low. You can always add seasoning but you can't take it away, so start out with 1/2 tsp and go from there :)
Now add your cooked chicken and cooked veggie mix to your sauce. Stir and taste your seasoning. Turn heat off.
Place one crust in the bottom of 2 ungreased glass pie pans, pressing it against bottom and sides (dark pan will work too, you just may need to watch the crust at the end of baking to ensure it doesn't get too brown. If this starts to happen simply cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil around the edges during the last 10 min of baking). Pour filling on top of the crusts. Take the other two crusts, unroll and place on top of your filling and press and pinch around the sides of the pan. If it isn't secured well the filling will seep out. It doesn't have to look perfect!
Use a sharp knife and make a few slits in the middle of the pie.. I usually have some fun and do a heart or another design. Place in the oven and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until crust is starting to slightly brown. Let pie cool at least 15 minutes before devouring..umm.. I mean eating it to allow the sauce to thicken.

Happy Fall!!

Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Corn Free, Oat Free

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quinoa (KEEN-Wah) 101..and a Meatloaf I give a perfect 10!

Quinoa has become a new necessity since my son can no longer have gluten or rice! Not familiar with quinoa ( pronounced KEEN-Wah)? Quinoa is a gluten free grain native to Bolivia and is a relative to Swiss chard, beets and spinach. It has a mild earthy flavor (that can be a little too earthy in my opinion without adding seasoning). Its nutrition value is quite impressive! It has 8g Protein, 5g Fiber, 30% Daily Value of Magnesium, 15% DV Iron, 19% DV Folate and heart healthy Omega-3s. 

There are many ways to incorporate quinoa into your diet. You can eat it seasoned as a side. You can also add it to many recipes. Here are some ideas: add cooked quinoa to smoothies, quiche, chili or stews, swap it for rice in recipes, add it to a salad, swap it for oatmeal in your morning breakfast using normal oatmeal flavors and toppings, add it into your burger meat, add to muffins, use it in breakfast cookies, aaaand use it as a binder for your meatloaf!

I was craving meatloaf this week, but I wasn't sure what to do about not being able to use breadcrumbs. Usually you add milk to breadcrumbs in meatloafs. So, I thought i would try to substitute some cooked leftover quinoa to it and voila! It works perfectly, it adds a TON of nutrition AND you don't even notice a difference in the taste. Not ready to try it? you can easily make this recipe with breadcrumbs ( I will note the change below).

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf
  • 1 lb Jennie O Lean (not extra lean) ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup very finely diced carrot
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp died thyme
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste- tip! I buy a tube of this and keep in the fridge so i don't waste part of a can and can add a little here and there in recipes.
  • 1/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa OR 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg or ener-g egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp replacer mixed in a small seperate bowl with 2 Tablespoons warm water until combined)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
saute onion, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and carrot on medium high heat in a skillet until carrot softens slightly and onion is translucent. Set aside to cool (you do not want to ever incorporate hot ingredients into uncooked meat because it will start to cook your meat!).
Put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. 
Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray ( i use pam grilling).
I HIGHLY recommend getting a meatloaf pan with a removable tray that has perforations to drain fat! I love mine. It drains fat and allows you to lift the entire meatloaf out after it is cooked which is great for presentation and it is much easier to slice! ( i purchased mine at bed bath and beyond)
Place mixture into pan. In a small separate bowl, mix all ingredients for your glaze. Make sure there are no large sugar lumps. If you prefer a sweeter less tangy topping, just leave the mustard out, add 2 more tablespoons of ketchup and one more tablespoon of brown sugar.
Spoon glaze over meatloaf and place in the oven for 50 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Sides: roasted veggies, brown sugar glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, butter beans, green beans, peas.
before it goes in the oven..