Thursday 30 June 2016

Garlic & Moringa Clean Eating Pastry + Chicken Pie - 30 Days Wild - Tasty...Thursday?

   For my final Tasty Tuesday-Turned-Thursday, I decided to make something different. I love pie, but I don't love how unhealthy pie crust can be, or the calorie-count. If made with the right fats - because we do need to eat fat, as our bodies use it to protect organs and cells - and the right carbs, it can be great, however, and an easy way to cut back on the pie crust if you count calories is to make pot pies which removes the need for a body crust, meaning you only need to make a lid! Which is what I did.
   Using whole wheat flour for its amazing nutritional values and fibre content, extra virgin olive oil for healthier fat (everything you've heard about cooking with olive oil is nonsense and taken out of context - olive oil only becomes unhealthy when heated if it is heated to extremes, which standard household kitchens are incapable of doing), semi-skimmed milk for its calcium and reduced fat (but not fat-free), and moringa for its protein and nutritional values (hello, nature's multivitamin!), and garlic for flavour, I made what I consider to be the best clean eating pie crust I've ever tasted - because it tasted different. And good.
   For the rest of the pie, I was cheeky and revisited the lemon spiced chicken I made last week, but I loved it, so did the family, and it was an easy pie filling option. I used locally-sourced and organic ingredients once again.

Serves 4; 250kcals each
For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive/coconut oil
1/4 cup semi-skimmed milk
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp moringa (I used Aduna)

For the lemon spiced chicken pie filling:
400g organic chicken, diced
100ml chicken stock or chicken gravy
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
zest of 1 lemon
dash of olive/coconut oil for frying

4 ramekins, about 5-6cm deep by 9-10cm across
leaf-shaped cookie/fondant cutters - I used a set of ivy leaf cutters.

1. Mix the flour, moringa and salt in a bowl to combine it all, then add the garlic, milk and olive oil and mix by hand until you have a firm dough.

2. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper. It's quite strong, so you can roll it about 3-4mm thick.

3. Use leaf-shaped cookie or fondant cutters (I used the largest and smallest from a set of ivy leaf plunger cutters) to cut the pastry. The indent from the plunger didn't come out too clearly so I didn't expect it to show after cooking, so a plunger or veiner isn't at all required.

4. Set the leaves aside on a sheet of parchment.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/gas mark 5 and set your ramekins on a baking tray.

6. Heat a pan over medium heat and add a dash of oil. Add the diced chicken and fry for 5 minutes.

7. Add the spices and lemon zest and stir the chicken to ensure they're covered in the mix, then fry for another 5 minutes or until thoroughly golden.

8. Divide the chicken between the ramekins and add the gravy or chicken stock to fill the ramekins. It won't boil or bubble over, though it may rise slightly and dribble a smidge out from the sides. I filled mine almost all the way, leaving only about 5mm at the top.

9. Take your leaves and start layering them to cover the top of each ramekin. Use a little bit of water on the underside of each leaf to help them adhere to one another.

10. Set in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove and serve immediately - careful, the ramekins will be hot!


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