Food and cooking, Kid's Health topics, Lifestyle

Dairy free Chicken and Vegetable Pie

Gosh my family love a good home-made pie.  But seriously, who doesn’t??

I think the obsession all started with my husband Troy, who I made a pie for many, many years ago before we were married.  Now I am not entirely sure what rock he had been living under, it was like he had never eaten a home made pie before.  For at least a few months afterwards, he became obsessed with eating everything made as a pie: chicken pie, steak pie… then came stir-fry pie, casserole pie, pasta bake pie, fried-rice pie, ice cream pie, hot dog pie… it was crazy.  And now, 12 years later it continues to be our “in-house” joke.  Now let’s be clear… he never actually MADE a pie himself.  These were just the insane suggestions he would make to me whilst I was cooking us dinner as he gave a running commentary of my food prep – and suggesting that I encase whatever dinner I was preparing in pastry (**eye roll**  face palm **). Yup.  This is what I live with.

Then someone bought us a pie-maker for an engagement or wedding present… Oh dear god.   (**yes Dr Kate… that was you and George! Ha ha! Thanks for that! ;D )

Anyway, the rugrats seem to have inherited the pie-obsession gene from him.  Like many kids I suppose, they will totally smash anything that is wrapped in crispy puff pastry (**note: this is a gold nugget parenting cooking tip!).  I was a bit disappointed when recently we discovered that dairy products exacerbate my daughter’s eczema (it’s pretty bad).  It meant so many of the foods she loves, she suddenly couldn’t have.  Thankfully I seem to be navigating my way through the dairy-free food world pretty well now, after a staunch resolution to NEVER compromise on taste even if our food has to be dairy-free!

Imagine my surprise however, when someone told me (I think it may have been Dr Kirsten???) that some of the store-bought ready-rolled pastry brands are DAIRY-FREE.  Now I’ve got to admit, I have only ever ONCE made my own puff pastry (many years ago), and I swore I would never do it again. Mainly because it took aaaages, AND a whole heap of blood, sweat and tears, to produce a pastry that was really nice… but not all that different to the stuff you buy ready made in the shops.  ANYHOO, even though I couldn’t believe it (the recipe I had used had HEAPS of butter in it) – I went and checked the side of the packets and lo and behold – IT’S TRUE!  HALLELUJAH!!

This pie is really yummy.  We did it last night.

I doubled the recipe to make 2 pies – so we have dinner ready for tonight too 😉

My kids also love to be involved in the cooking process… ironically though, I just get sooo frustrated with the mess and chaos that results from that when I just need to get dinner made. My compromise is that I let them cut out puff pastry shapes with cookie cutters to decorate the tops of the pies at the end.  They love it, and are so much more willing to actually eat the pies (and all their veggie-packed goodness) when they have helped “make” them.

 

INGREDIENTS

  1.  1 sheet of ready-rolled Pampas short crust pastry
  2.  1 sheet of ready-rolled Pampas puff pastry
  3. About 4-5 chicken thigh fillets chopped up
  4. Vegetable/olive oil for browning chicken/onions etc
  5.  200g of diced bacon
  6.  Half a cup of frozen peas
  7. Half a cup of frozen corn (or more if you want)
  8. 2-3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  9. About half a cup of chopped up broccoli florets (this is what I used yesterday but use whatever veggies you fancy – think chopped beans, cauli, zucchini, carrot, pumpkin, parsley, coriander etc etc.  Again, this creamy recipe lends itself to my old trick –> cauliflower boiled, pureed and stirred into the sauce – kids can’t taste it and won’t pick it out!)
  10. 1 medium-large sized brown onion, chopped
  11. 1 beef stock cube and 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in about a quarter cup of boiling water (you can do all beef or all chicken stock – totally up to you)
  12. A small tin of coconut cream (ie about 250mL, not the standard 400mL ones) – if you want a non-dairy free pie – just use normal cream (but I actually think the coconut cream is yummier!)
  13. 1 heaped tsp of corn flour mixed in a little bit of cold tap water (like… I dunno, maybe 50mL)
  14. Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1.  Line your pie dish with baking paper and blind bake your SHORTCRUST pastry base (see this old post of mine about how to blind-bake your pastry base) and remove to await filling
  2.  Whilst base is baking, heat some oil in a large fry pan (I use my wok because it needs a bit of depth) and brown your chicken and bacon
  3.  After a little while, add your onions and potatoes (add any other hard vegetable eg carrot, pumpkin etc that needs a while cooking)
  4.  Once chicken is 3/4 cooked, add stock and coconut cream
  5. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer
  6. Add your broccoli florets, frozen peas and corn
  7. Simmer for about 10-15 min, until the chicken is cooked through, your potatoes soften and the cream has reduced slightly
  8. Add your corn flour and water to thicken the gravy
  9. Season with pepper and salt to taste (I find because of the stock and bacon, you don’t need much salt – but suit yourself with this)
  10. Pour your pie filling into your blind-baked base
  11. Cover the top of your pie with puff pastry (I like to wrap it round the edge of the base if I can as it does tend to shrink back with baking) and cut a small cross in the centre for steam to escape
  12.  (Let your kids) Decorate the top of your pie with cookie-cutter puff pastry shapes (that you let the kids cut out!)
  13. Pop back in the oven for a further 15 min – until golden brown on top
  14. Serve with a side salad, with chips or on its own!!

 

Sooooo looking forward to having pie number 2 tonight!!

Hope your family (and you) enjoy this as much as we do!

Don’t forget to take a pic and show me how you go!

 

Till next week, eat well and stay well,

 

xxDr Megs

 

 

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