As a busy mum, I'm always trying to find new ways to create dishes that are quick, easy and most importantly nutritious for my young family of, occasionally, fussy eaters. I'd like to share a few of my tricks with you!
Firstly, my motto is 'simplicity' and my aim always is to make things with whatever is available to me.
Secondly, avoid waste.
Thirdly, instead of following recipes requiring specific ingredients, I buy produce that are in season and reverse the process. This way I avoid waste, and my pantry/fridge function more like a display area rather than storage - allowing me to see what is there and get inspired.
Finally, I always make extra portions of a dish, or a part of the dish, that can be used the next day to make a new meal, speeding up the process! For example, extra rice makes a stir-fry, pasta makes a warm salad or pasta bake, and my favourite; all sauces, stews, curries and left over vegetables are turned into a delicious 'Leftover Pie'. The bonus is that even the less favourite meals become a hit, when turned into a pie, and all you need to do is to make the pastry!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
2 cups of plain flour (I use 1 cup organic wholemeal spelt and 1 cup whole grain, but you can use your choice of flour)
A good pinch pink Himalayan rock salt
180 gm ghee (for vegetarian filling, otherwise use coconut or olive oil)
1 tsp of rice syrup or any syrup of your choice (optional)
1 egg or 1 tbs flaxseed meal, combined in 3 tbs water until gelatinous
5 tbsp water
1 tbs herb of your choice finely chopped (optional depending on your filling)
Zest of 1 lemon
If you have left over stew or curry, just thicken it up with a bit of flour or mashed potato/ potato salad (if you happen to have any left over) and add 1 or two types of vegetable. Parry's Mung Daal or Tamika's Black Lentil & Red Bean Stew for example, make an amazing filling the next day - just thicken it up and add vegetables.
In the image above, I've used lentil & zucchini stew from previous night, added broccoli (small pieces mixed through, whilst thickening it with some wholemeal flour), decorated with sweet potato and potato. In the pastry, I used sage and on top of the potatoes, I used thyme with cracked pepper.
Left over vegetables work really well too, all you need to do is cut them to smaller pieces (add fresh vegetables if needed) and in a bowl blend with fresh herbs, cheese, a bit of almond/coconut/rice milk (of your choice or vegetable stock), 1-2 tbs of flour, season and add to your pastry. Make sure the filling is wet but not runny!
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, syrup if using, and ghee for the pastry.
Using your hands, combine well until it represents fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the middle and add the egg/flaxseed mix and water. Combine well with your hands until a dough begins to form.
Knead the dough very lightly and wrap in some paper or cling wrap. Put to one side or in the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour. '
Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees Celsius while making the pie.
Take out the pastry and knead lightly.
On a floured board, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large round circle around 2-4 mm thick.
Place the filling into the dish and decorate with slices of potato, sweet potato, mashed potato or other vegetable(s) of your choice.
Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and cracked pepper.
Bake for 1 hour until the pie is golden brown.
I hope this inspires you to turn leftovers into a delicious new meal.
My last tip - keep it simple, use ingredients that compliment each other, be creative and enjoy!
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