It’s raining today. That’s not so significant, since I do live in Oregon, but this is our first real rainy day of the winter to come. Don’t get me wrong, Southern Oregon is considered the “banana belt” and though not tropical in the least, we do have more good weather than most of the rest of Oregon and it’s stunningly beautiful!
So why did I start this post with a weather report? Because this isn’t mist-of-a-new-season kind of rain, this is full-out-stay-indoors kind of rain and for some reason when it’s raining like that, I crave comfort food.
I know some of you reading this will say I shouldn’t find comfort in food — but I do — and I’m long past judging myself for it. I only have two rules…
- don’t eat mindlessly
- make my food choices serve my body, as well as my soul (in other words, HEALTHY COMFORT!)
This Isn’t Swanson’s Chicken Pot Pie
When I was a kid and my parents would go out on a date, we kids got a babysitter and a frozen Swanson’s pot pie of our choice; beef or chicken. Oh how I loved those little pies with their golden crusts and the juicy gravy oozing out of the sides! We never got to have them except on “date night”, so they were very special in my little girls heart.
As an adult, I found them less than satisfying, but in my memory bank, pot pies rock!
Well here, my friends, is a pot pie that delivers all the “comfort” I’m looking for and even adults will love it!
- 3 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed (pleeeeze don’t use canned peas!)
- 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed baking potato (I leave the peel on, but do as you please)
- 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed sweet potato (again, I like the peel for the extra fiber, but peel them if you choose)
- 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed celeriac (celery root)
- 1 cup (1/2-inch-thick)slices parsnip
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen pearl onions (thawed)
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces) divided
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk (skim milk)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (if using dried, see Substitution Solutions)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Bring broth to a boil in a large Dutch oven.
- Add peas and next 5 ingredients (through onions) to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes.
- Add chicken; cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Remove chicken and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.
- Increase heat to medium.
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
- Place all but 1 tablespoon flour in a medium bowl; gradually add milk to bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
- Add milk mixture to broth; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Stir in chicken mixture, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Spoon mixture into an 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on a work surface; roll dough out and place over chicken mixture, pressing to seal at edges of dish.
- Cut small slits into dough to allow steam to escape; coat dough lightly with cooking spray.
- Place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until pastry is browned and filling is bubbly.
Note: You can substitute the frozen puff pastry with 2 or 3 sheets of Phyllo dough (add one quick spray of non-stick spray between sheets and to the top sheet). Your results will be more like the pie pictured above.
YIELD: 8 servings
CALORIES 388 (30% from fat) / FAT 13 g / CARB 45.7 g / FIBER 4.4 g
Do you eat for comfort? Are you okay with it? What are your favorite healthy comfort foods? What comfort foods would you like help on making healthy?