Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie, or: To Feed an Ironman, or: M Dot Pot Pie

Hello, all!! Dave had two things to celebrate this weekend: a great race result and a few days of leniency within his diet. We both watch what we eat, but he’s been watching his intake like a hawk for quality and quantity approaching his last tri of the season…. and it paid off!! Now, time to undo all of the hard work.

Ironpie

To welcome him home from his out-of-town race, I wanted to make some hearty and comforting meals without completely blowing his clean-eating efforts (or contribute too much to my recent lazy gal on the couch syndrome). This was the richest of the dishes I made, due to the double pie crusts. If you want to lighten this up, feel free to make a different crust, use only one, or serve this filling over brown rice or with mashed potatoes. If you do make a double-crust pie, though, congratulations! Your dish is delicious.

DEEP DISH CHICKEN POT PIE

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp canola oil 
  • 2 lb bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 cups skim milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp chicken base or bullion, to taste
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pkg Pillsbury Pie Crusts (2 ready-o-use roll out crusts), at room temperature 
  • several dashes white pepper

Directions:

In a large stockpot, boil chicken breasts in 6 cups of water until they are cooked and no longer pink. Reserve about 4 cups of the cooking water. Set chicken aside and let cool. Open a beer with a favor from your cousin’s wedding. Yum. Dont’ you feel better?

you’ve got to cool it now… oooh, watch out

When the chicken is cooling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Set your crusts out in their packaging and let them come to room temperature. Heat oil in the same large stockpot over medium heat, and add onion, thyme, and sage, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent but not browned. Add the frozen (stay with me here) bag of vegetables to the pot, the chicken base or bullion, and about a half cup of the reserved cooking water.

chop chop chop

While that mixture is thawing and cooking, chop the parsley and cooked chicken. In a small bowl, whisk the 3 tbsp flour into one cup of milk, and add the flour slurry, along with the chicken and parsley, to the veggies. Stir well. This is going to get very thick very fast. As soon as the flour mixture and chicken are incorporated, add the other cup of milk and another cup of cooking water. Stir this all together and give it a taste for seasoning. You may add more milk or water at this point to reach the filling the consistency that you’d like. Remove this mixture from heat and set aside.

filling, ready to go

Remove your first pie crust from its packaging, draping across the bottom and pressing up the sides of a deep-dish pie pan. I used a disposable foil pan and it worked perfectly. Pour the filling right into the crust, smoothing out with a spatula and leaving a slight buffer near the top of the crust. Drape the other crust over the filling, crimping to meet the bottom crust. Vent this top crust in any design you’d like using a butter knife. Allow me to suggest the Ironman logo… ha! Cover the edges of the crust with some foil strips so they don’t burn, and put the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet.

unbaked, vented pie

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes, removing the foil strips at about 45 minutes. Bake until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and until your kitchen smells amazing. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve to all hungry athletes under your roof.


Quickie: Chicken Avocado Omelette, or: “One Way To Use Grilled Leftovers” (gf)

Today’s breakfast was fast, easy, healthy, and used leftovers! Fast, easy, healthy are pretty much the qualities I look for in cooking a perfect meal, and I was able to use some extra grilled chicken from earlier in the week. Be still my thrifty, beating heart. Here’s an idea for how to use those summer leftovers of your own- don’t forget that steak would work well, too!

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CHICKEN AVOCADO OMELETTES

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 eggs
  • 1 leftover chicken breast, heated and cubed
  • Half an avocado, sliced
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded cheese of your choice

Directions:
Whisk 2-3 eggs for the first omelette. Pour into heated omelette pan. Cook until edges are firm, then lift edges with a spatula to allow runny egg to flow under and cook. Sprinkle with cheese as desired, and add half the cubed chicken. Fold in half. Cook for a minute more, then slide onto a plate, garnishing with avocado and pico de gallo. Repeat and serve. Delicioso!

As we ate this morning, the possible moral dilemma of eating chicken and eggs at the same time came up. Is it wrong? The chicken, the egg? Together? Like a really delicious punch line to the classic joke? We didn’t decide. Probably out of guilt, since we had polished off both chicken and egg. I can say that if it is wrong [and topped with buttery avocado] I don’t want to be right. Enjoy!


Chicken Thighs Braised in Marinara (gf)

Hello! I haven’t posted in a while- we’ve been moving into and getting settled in our new home! It’s been a very exciting month, but moving always means meals out and cereal for dinner for a while. Instead of posting bowls of Kashi and soy milk, here’s the first meal I cooked in our new kitchen:

CHICKEN THIGHS BRAISED IN MARINARA

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:


Quickie: Mexican Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl (gf)

Whipped this up the other night when I was craving taco-style flavors but needed to enjoy them in a healthy way. It’s quite simple, and you could substitute other veggies or a different grain to fit what you have available in your pantry. This made quite a bit of food, so remember that the recipe can be halved easily. Enjoy!!

nutritious and delicious

MEXICAN CHICKEN & QUINOA PROTEIN BOWL

Ingredients:

  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp homemade or store-bought taco seasoning 
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Salsas, cilantro, sour cream or greek yogurt to top Read More

Chicken and Rice (gf)

Okay, so this is my more nutritious and virtually fat-free version of a home style favorite, chicken and rice (I’m always after comforting, rich-tasting dishes that won’t burst our belts). This has everything you need in one bowl- lean meat, healthy carbs, lots of veggies, and a TON of flavor. And as with traditional homey dishes, it just tastes better and better when served left over.
For times when you need to make a healthy, complete meal that can be stretched for days, this is a great bet!

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CHICKEN AND RICE
Ingredients:

  •  1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat (1-1 1/2 lbs)
  •  1 leek, well-cleaned and white/light green parts chopped into rings
  • 3 cups carrots, small dice
  • 3 cups onion, small dice
  • 3 cups celery, small dice
    OR two large containers produce department pre-chopped mirepoix or soup starter, equalling 5-6 cups of veggies
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium chicken base (or 1-2 tsp bouillon if you don’t have base)
  • 3 c water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 bags Steamfresh fully-cooked frozen brown rice…. MAN, I love those things

Read More


Lotsa Chicken Casserole

Surprise, surprise… another busy night and the need for a quick dinner. After speaking to my mother on my way home, I was compelled to make her tuna casserole; upon arriving home, I realized I had ingredients for a new spin on this old favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: lotsa chicken casserole! Behold the chickeny goodness:

LOTSA CHICKEN CASSEROLE

(uber adapted from Anne Rivas)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Trader Joe’s white meat chicken, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can healthy request cream of celery
  • 1 can healthy request cream of mushroom
  • 2 cups frozen peas and corn, slightly thawed (I used about 2 cups). You could just as easily use other veggies here; spinach and artichokes sound delish!
  • 10 oz whole wheat egg noodles
  • Milk
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to boil; add noodles and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until quite al dente. *Under-cooking the noodles a bit here is no sin, as they’ll be baked later, and no one likes mushy noodles. Read More