Crust-free Chicken Pot Pie (v) (gf)

Crust-Free Chicken Pot Pie (gluten free & vegan) | The Hip Vegetarian | @hipvegetarianThe other day I was looking at my round white potatoes and thought hmmm, they might work well as a crust replacement for a chicken pot pie.

So last night I fired up the stove, cut my potatoes in thin slices, fried them until they were golden and used them as the crust for one of my favorite entrees.

Inadvertently I made my pot pie vegan, because I was out of cream; and quite honestly, I didn’t miss the cream AT ALL. The pot pie still had great flavor for the gravy.

Usually I use flour as a thickener, but this can easily be converted to gluten-free by using corn starch.

To cut down on fat, I saute my onions, celery and garlic in water instead of oil or butter.

The great thing about a chicken pot pie is that you can use what ever you have on-hand in the refrigerator or freezer. Peas, pearl onions, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, corn — whatever little bit you need to use up — just throw in your stew.

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

2 medium Round Potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bag, Morningstar Chicken Strips, Meal Starters
1/4 cup, Water
1 medium Onion, chopped
3 ribs Celery, diced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 carrots, chopped
4 tablespoons, Cornstarch
1 cup Dry White Wine
2 cups, Broth
Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon, Thyme
1 cup, frozen Peas
2 cups, Mushrooms, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 baking dish.

Slice potatoes into thin slices and lightly fry in a skillet until golden. Line the bottom of casserole dish with a layer of potatoes. Set the rest aside.

Fry chicken strips until golden. Set aside.

Saute onion, celery, garlic and carrots in 1/4 cup of water until soft. Add water add needed during sauteing. Stir occasionally.

Add wine and vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Mix corn starch in a little bit of cold water, until it’s disolved. Add to mixture on the stove and bring to boil for 2 minutes. Stir to prevent lumps from forming.

Bring to a boil. Add thyme, peas, mushrooms. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, 5-9 minutes. Add chicken and remove from heat. Pour mixture in baking dish and layer the top with remaining potatoes.

Bake until bubbly; approximately 20-25 minutes.

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Way Better Snacks — One of the Best Tortilla Chips on the Market

Not often do I come across a new chip and think “Amazing!”

That was my first thought when I starting munching on the new chips from Way Better Snacks. I was intrigued that these chips are made with sprouted grains vs. the usual corn tortilla chips I’m used to buying. I was even more impressed with the simple ingredient list on the back of each bag.  I could pronounce each ingredients and actual knew what was being listed.

The ingredients for the Sweet Potato Tortilla Corn Chips consist of: Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Sweet Potato,Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Chia Seed,  Pure Sea Salt.

I also liked the nutritional value for each serving.  Each serving is 11 chips; 130 Calories; 7g fat; 0.5g Saturated fat; 2g fiber; 0g Sugar; 2g Protein.

I wasn’t the only fan who liked these chips. My family did too. One evening my boys hung out on the deck eating a variety of Way Better Snacks. My four and two year old gobbled them down.  In fact the oldest told his Dad to “get his own” when my husband dipped his hand into the 4 year old’s bag.  We had a lot of find trying different salsa’s and seasoning with the chips.

These chips are hearty. Not only are they wholesome, they are thick too.  Take a avocado straight from it’s skin and spread it onto one of these chips, and they won’t break. Making it wonderful to use for appetizers.

What makes these chips better, (according to the company), is that sprouting has been known to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and aid in digestion. When germination occurs, “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are reduced or eliminated. Every serving has over 400 mg of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The broccoli and radish seeds contain sulforaphane glucosinolate, the natural antioxidant found in broccoli.

But here is what’s best about Way Better Snacks — all their chips are:

All Natural
Vegan
Certified Gluten Free
Non GMO
Certified Kosher
Excellent Source of Whole Grains
Low Sodium
Contains: No Trans Fat, Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives

Honestly I can’t think of a chip that’s more perfect.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some recipes that go wonderfully with Way Better Chips. So be sure to check back to get some new ideas to use with this tortilla chip of the future.

Way Better Snacks provided the product for review however all opinion are 100% The Hip Vegetarian’s.

Way Better Snacks come in six different flavors: No Salt Naked Blues; Simply Sweet Potato; Simply Sunny Multi-Grain; Simply Beyond Black Bean; Simply Unbeatable Blues; Simply So Sweet Chili. Photo:

Pesto Zucchini Wrap

Pesto Zucchini Wrap

This summer I’ve been fixing lighter, yet great tasting meals…or at least I’m on the hunt for such things.  Here is the recipe for a Pesto Zucchini Wrap that is just absolutely declicious — it’s one of my favorite go-to recipes.  The great thing about this wrap recipe is that you can add or subtract what ever you like.

Your husband not of fan of olives? Presto! Don’t even add them to his wrap, but double them up on your’s. As simple as that.

This is also a great recipe for vegans, and you can also use gluten free wraps for those who are glucose intolerant.

Pesto Zucchini Wrap

Whole Grain Tortilla Wraps
Pesto
4 Zucchinis, grated
2 Sweet Onions, caramelized
16 oz package Mushrooms, sliced
20 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Kalamata Olives, sliced
1/2 cup Pine Nuts
Olive Oil
Salt

Place onions in skillet with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tbl spoons of butter and saute on low for about 1/2 hour or light brown.

Shred zucchini and place in a bowl and drizzle with salt and olive oil. Mix and let sit to marinate.

 

Once onions are caramelized, mix in mushrooms to saute. Cook long enough to cook of the moisture from the mushrooms.

 

With each individual wrap, spread about 2 tablespoons of pesto on the wrap. Then layer the rest of the wrap with onions, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and pine nuts.

Fold wrap in half or roll, serve and savor the flavors.

Quick Southwestern Wraps

Here’s a quick and easy dinner for the uninspired.

My mother-in-law whipped this up when we were visiting her last summer. We loved these so much that we brought the idea home with us.  What’s easier than heating up some refried beans, spreading them on a tortilla wrap, and then adding your favorite toppings?

This could also be converted to a gluten-free meal by using torillas like ones made by Food for Life.

You can also spice up the taste by using flavored torillas that can be found on your grocery aisle.  We like the sun-dried tomato tortilla wraps.

Make an assembly line of ingredients and let your children choose and assemble their own wrap. I find that if my children can help “make” the meal, then they are more likely to eat it.

Also, if you warm your tortilla up in the skillet first, it’s less likely to tear apart when you start to wrap it around the filling.

The ingredients are flexible, like a taco salad.  Choose what you and your family will eat. However here’s a simple guideline to get you started.

Southwestern Wraps

Tortilla
Refried Beans
Cheese
Red Bell Pepper
Yellow Bell Pepper
Onions
Fresh Spinach
Sour Cream
Salsa

Wrap up ingredients in up snug as a bug in a rug. Eat. Enjoy.

 

Tropical Gazpacho

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It’s still hot here in South Central Texas. And if you’re still sweating away the days while waiting for fall to arrive, try this nice cool Tropical Gazpacho recipe I found in the Whole Foods‘ app.  It’s best made ahead of time and chilled overnight, giving the mixture a good opportunity to let its flavors seep together.

And though the original recipe says this serves 6, I must admit it serves more around 10-12. I’m never able to use all the pineapple juice, so I’ve learned to buy the juice in the large 16 oz cans and then freeze the extra juice.  The cans are much less expensive than the jarred pineapple juice.  Same suggestion for the tomato juice too.

Ingredients

2 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped pineapple
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Method

Combine the tomato juice, pineapple juice, mango and pineapple in a blender and pulse 5 to 8 times, or until just combined; the mixture should be slightly chunky. Transfer pineapple mixture to a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, lime juice, zest, salt and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Ladle gazpacho into bowls and serve.

You’re Welcome, Mr. President

Apricot-Coconut Balls

One of my favorite candy recipes during the holidays is Apricot-Coconut Balls. I picked this up out of the 2004 Better Homes & Garden Christmas Cookies magazine.

The magazine notes that White House Chef John R. Hanny developed this no-bake cookie for President and Mrs. Nixon. This was one of their favorites.

I’ve made these delicious babies for the past six years, and they are a favorite amongst my friends. I’m told that they are reminescent of the days of old.

Enjoy.

Apricot-Coconut Balls

1 cup Dried Apricots
1 cup Flaked Coconut
3/4 cup Chopped Nuts
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
2 1/3 cups sifted Powdered Sugar

1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Place apricots, coconut, and nuts in a food processor; cover and process until finely ground. Transfer ground mixture to a medium bowl. Add lemon peel and juices; stir until combined. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Stir until firm.

2. Form into 1-inch balls; roll in remaining powdered sugar. Place balls on prepared cookie sheet. Allow to dry at room temperature for at least 4 hours. If desired, sprinkle balls with additional sifted powdered sugar before serving. Makes about 30.

TO STORE: Layer between waxed paper in an airtight container, cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

** I add extra lemon juice to make the full mixture moist enough to form into balls **