How To: Healthy Breakfast – Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie for #ChileBrunch

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits From Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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Pie for breakfast? Sign me up!

Now wait a second. Isn’t this a so-called “healthy recipe” blog written by two registered dietitians? What’s the deal here?

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This ain’t no ordinary pie! One of our most popular breakfast recipes is the baked peanut butter and apple oatmeal. Have you made it yet? You should! It’s hearty, loaded with peanut butter, dense and doughy, and most importantly, delicious. So that got me thinking, why not change things up a bit and make a breakfast that would catch everyone’s eye, even that of the 3 year old with the ever changing taste buds. And oatmeal pie was born! #kidapproved

It also so happens that this said 3 year old has recently fallen in love with plums. So once I heard about this fantastic contest hosted by fellow dietitian Christy Brissette of 80 Twenty Nutrition and Fruits from Chile to develop a brunch recipe, I knew exactly what the star of this breakfast pie would be.

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If you’ve ever strolled through your store and grabbed a plum or two, chances are you were probably picking up fruit from chile. Same goes for your nectarines, grapes, and peaches. The plums I bought were perfectly juicy and also beautiful – check out that colour! The perfect pie topper.

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I paired the plums with a good serving of almond butter – not only does it add some extra staying power to your usual oatmeal, the almond flavour pairs so well with the sweet plums. With some ground flax for fibre, an egg for protein, and a hint of brown sugar, this pie is perfectly suitable for your breakfast meal. I don’t like my morning bowl of oats to be super sweet, but if you wanted to add some more sweetness, top your slice with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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I scattered some walnuts on top for some extra crunch, but they are totally optional. What’s not optional? The plums! Serve up a slice as is, topped with an extra dollop of almond butter, a spoonful of yogurt, or some more of those delicious fruit from chile plums. Totally fancy enough for your next brunch party and easy enough for a mid-week breakfast treat.

Before you know it we will be serving you cake for dinner! Crazy town!

Dara

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Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie

Serves 5-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 Cups almond milk
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup plums (thinly sliced)

Optional

  • 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

Note

This pie could also be baked in an 8 x 8 pyrex baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. It won't be a pie, but it will still be delicious!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, flax, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl combine almond milk, egg, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add almond butter and stir again until evenly incorporated.
4. Pour mixture into pie plate and evenly place plum slices on the top. Sprinkle with walnuts and bake for about 30 minutes, until brown and cooked through.
5. Serve topped with additional almond butter and plums, yogurt, or a drizzle of maple syrup.

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How to: Make your own – Shortcut Chicken Pot Pie

I’m in a chicken pot pie phase. If that can be a phase.

I hope it’s a phase everyone has to go through in life because, damn, it’s awesome.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of posting a chicken pot pie recipe for such a long time. It’s one of those recipes that when made from scratch, takes a whole lot of steps. And while totally worth it, it doesn’t really fit the How to Eat MO of simple, easy, fast.

Until now.

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My little cheater short cuts for this recipe are:

a. Use fully cooked, store bought rotisserie chicken.

b. Use store bought puff pastry

These two little pot pie hacks mean this fabulous homestyle classic can be in the oven in less than 30 minutes and on the table within an hour.

Giving you more time to read, relax, do some yoga or catch up on Netflix. Or if you’re me, (and let’s face it, probably you too), scoop dog poop, clean crusty food off the floor, fold laundry or scrub a toilet bowl. The glamour of it all!

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However, who needs glamour when you’ve got chicken pot pie? Not I.

This is a very basic pot pie recipe.  The flavour comes from the veggies and whatever broth you decide to use.  If you’ve got some homemade stock in the freezer, even better!

You can even make your own with the leftover rotisserie chicken carcass and freeze it for your next chicken pot pie.

Then you too, will officially be in your own chicken pot pie phase.

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Don’t be shy to switch up the suggested filling, either.  Parnsip, squash, turnip or sweet potato could easily replace (or complement) the carrots or potatoes and spinach or arugula (chopped up) could easily work instead of peas for some greenery.

You can even switch up the shortcut. Above, I’ve pictured another pot pie made in a store bought frozen pie crust.  They come in packs of two, so use one as a base and the other as a top. We’re basically pastry chefs now.

And pot pie connoisseurs.

Erin

Shortcut Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Small onion (chopped)
  • 2 Medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 Small thin skinned white or red potatoes (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (meat from 1/2 - 1 chicken)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed on the counter for about an hour or overnight in the fridge)
  • 1 egg plus 1 Tbsp water (beaten)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F
In a large pot over medium heat, heat canola oil and butter. Add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes and cook until they are softened but still have 'bite', about 7-9 minutes.
2. Sprinkle flour over softened vegetables and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes until flour is well absorbed. Slowly add chicken broth, while stirring and cook for 2-3 more minutes until sauce is thickened.
3. Remove from heat and add chopped chicken and peas, stirring until well combined. Transfer filling in a 2-2.5L baking dish. A 8"x11" lasagna type pan or an oval Corningware dish works well.
4. Sprinkle some flour over a clean dry surface and roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle that will slightly overlap the edges of your baking dish.
5. Dip your finger in some water and rub the rim of the baking dish to moisten. Top the baking dish with the rolled puff pastry pressing down along the entire rim to secure it. Cut a few holes for the steam to escape with the tip of a knife. Brush the surface of the puff pastry with egg wash.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until pastry has puffed (it will be more noticeable around the edges) and browned. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

How to: Make Your Own – Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Galette

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This recipe came about as a result of my anxiety over a whole whack of veggies that were getting a little wilty in the fridge.

You know the ones.  They were supposed to be the stars of a beautiful, fresh, Instagram worthy salad last week. And then you worked late. And then you said “screw the salad”. And then you ordered curry chicken rotis.

Next you know, it’s a week later and they’re looking like sad, wrinkly old man veggies.

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Good thing I’m not ageist. Those sad, wrinkly old man veggies still have a lot of potential! Thanks to roasting.  The fountain of youth for vegetables.

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I’ve been meaning to try making a galette for eons. It’s basically a rustic open face tart.  You can use any old pastry recipe to make the crust, but another must-try on my long list of ‘things to make’ is pastry made with canola oil. My Canadian-produced, heart healthy oil sweetheart.  Here’s a little lesson in food science to explain how it works.

And work, it does!

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The most important step is freezing the canola so it acts like a fat that would normally be solid at room temperature (butter/ lard/ shortening).  The other important step is using a food processor to help bring together the dough quickly (before the canola melts).

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Be sure to have all of your ingredients ready to go and leave the canola in the freezer until the last minute.

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You’re looking for a crumbly texture.  This will mean you’ve achieved cutting the frozen canola into little tiny pieces, which will mean a nice flaky pastry.

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As for the roasted vegetables, use what ever you have on hand.  Somewhere in the 3-4 cup range (roasted) is what you’ll need.  I added frozen kale because I had small bit leftover in the freezer and I thought the tart needed something green. But you can leave it out, if you must. You crazy cat.

The layer of hummus makes it meal-worthy.  Do not leave it out m’k?

You know what would also be awesome, though? Cheese.

Obvs.

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Gorgeous, right?

Erin

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Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Galette

Serves 4-6
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Website Canola Pastry courtesy of Canola Eat Well

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium yellow, red or orange bell peppers (seeded and chopped)
  • 227g crimini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 Small white or yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup frozen chopped kale or spinach (thawed and squeezed of excess water)
  • ⅓ cup your favourite hummus

Canola Pastry

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅔ cup canola oil (frozen until solid - at least 2 hours or overnight)
  • 1 Large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ cup ice water

Note

This tart can be enjoyed with any type of pastry.  Puff pastry would be delicious and would cut down on prep time.  Simply thaw and blind bake for 10 minutes before topping with hummus and veggies.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions with canola oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet (or two) and spread out evenly in one sparse layer. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the pastry. In a large food processor, add flour, salt and baking soda and pulse a few times until combined. Combine the egg, vinegar and ice water in a small measuring cup.
3. Working quickly, break canola oil up into a few pieces and add to flour mixture. Pulse a few times until it begins to break up further.
4. With the food processor running, pour egg/vinegar/water mixture through the chute. Turn it off as soon as everything is combined, about 10 seconds.
5. Transfer crumbly dough out onto a floured work surface. Bring dough together and form into a large ball (do not knead or overwork the dough, work quickly). Cut large ball in half and form two equal balls. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (within 2 hours). If you don't use the second pie dough immediately, transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge for an hour or two before rolling out.
6. Roll out one dough ball to a 12-14 inch diameter (it's okay if it's crumbly and rustic looking around edges). Carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet (use a little water on your finger tips to patch up any crumbly bits that fall off in the transfer).
7. Spread hummus over crust leaving a 2" border around the edge. Cover with roasted vegetables, and crumble kale/spinach over top.
8. Working in a clockwise fashion, fold crust border over vegetables. Brush the crust with egg wash (optional: this makes it nice and shiny) and return to oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive or canola oil before serving warm or room temperature.

How To: Seasonal Cooking – Savoury Zucchini and Ricotta Pie

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I’ve had this recipe for a savoury zucchini pie bookmarked for quite sometime. The torn magazine page has been sitting in a pile of “recipes to be tried soon” for so long that this pile should now be called “recipes to be tried in a very long time.” The thing is I’ve been afraid, very afraid. What in a recipe from one of my favourite cooking magazines could cause me to feel such fear?

Homemade pie crust.

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Homemade bread? No problem. Homemade pizza dough? Easy. But there is something about homemade pie crust that has me shaking in my boots. Until now that is.

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This pie crust came together in literally 5 minutes. After I had finished I kind of looked around and thought, that’s it?! Yup, that is it! I must admit it was a bit crumbly, so instead of rolling it out I simply pressed it into my pie pan. Worked like a charm. It also uses olive oil in place of the traditional butter so it’s heart healthy to boot!

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This pie is so unique and impressive looking, it is perfect for summer entertaining. But in reality, it is the definition of a “quicky meal.” It is light tasting and filling at the same time – exactly what I look for in a summer dish.

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All it needs is a simple salad and dinner is served. Say goodbye to your pie nightmares and say hello to savoury pie dreams.

Dara

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Savoury Zucchini and Ricotta Pie

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 Cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Small zucchini (cut crosswise into thin circles)
  • 3/4 cups low fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 1 egg
  • handful fresh basil (to garnish)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

You can prepare the pie dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake your pie. If you can find summer squash, use it to replace half the zucchini.

Directions

1. In a food processor dump the flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse two times. Combine 1/3 cup oil and water in a small bowl and with food processor running, pour in slowly. Process until dough is crumbly.
2. Place dough on a floured surface and knead a couple times. Form into a small disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine zucchini and remaining olive oil. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan, thyme, lemon zest and juice, and the egg. Season with salt and pepper.
4. When you are ready to bake your pie, remove the dough from the fridge and press into a 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Spread ricotta filling evenly along the bottom and lay zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, in a circle on top.
5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and garnish with torn fresh basil leaves.

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Simplest Blueberry Pie

 

It’s the time of year when much of Ontario’s produce is coming in to season all at once.

And I can’t shove it in fast enough.

Example: 3 peaches, a 1/2 pint of blueberries and 2 plums have crossed my lips in the last 2 hours.

I recognize I have a problem.

I just. can’t. stop.
Blueberry PieThe thing is, blueberries taste like real-life blueberries right now.  Nothing like the vaguely sweet ‘berries’ found out of season.

Perfectly sweet and tart at once, so fresh they nearly pop when you bite in to them and chock full of bright flavour.

There is truly zero room for improvement.

Blueberry Pie This is an ideal pie recipe for fresh in-season fruit because it leaves the majority of the fruit intact, using a light syrup to mould it into pie form.

This also makes it a healthier choice while in no way compromising the delicious factor.
Blueberry PieFor a really easy option go ahead and use a pre-made pie crust.  If you’re slightly more ambitious and want to try one of your own, the one I have pictured is as simple as it gets.

Blueberry PieA whirl of graham crackers and toasted almonds combine with a small about of fat and an egg white to produce no-chill, no-roll crust with a healthier nutrition profile than a standard crust.

Blueberry PieThe entire pie also comes together in less than 30 minutes. Less than 15 if your crust is pre-made. Beat that Rachael Ray.

Blueberry Pie

For all you non-bakers out there who fear making dessert for dinner parties or potlucks, bookmark this page ASAP.

I found this recipe myself last year when I was in a last minute panic to make an easy and quick dessert.  It has never failed me since.

Erin

Blueberry Pie

Simplest Blueberry Pie

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Website By Rose Levy Beranbaum from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust (pastry or graham)
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (divided)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoon water (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt

Note

The crust recipe I used came from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/blueberry_tart_with_walnut_crust.html

I replaced the toasted walnuts with almonds.  This was my first time testing the recipe and while delicious, it feel apart on me during serving because I didn't use the correct baking pan.

Directions

1. Add 1 cup of the blueberries and 1/2 cup of water to medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch and remaining water and set aside.
3. Once boiling, remove cover turn down to a simmer and stir for 3 minutes until blueberries have popped open and the juices begin to thicken.
4. While stirring, add the cornstarch mixture, sugar, lemon juice and salt to the pot of blueberries. Simmer for another minute until the sauce becomes shiny and translucent. Add the remaining blueberries immediately and stir until well combined.
5. Transfer warm blueberry mixture into pie crust and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours.