Mini “Chick’n” Pot Pies

I am the only vegetarian in my family (for now) so I often have to make a separate meal for myself, and I often try to make a comparable meal to what the rest of my family is having.  So when they were having homemade chicken pot pie, I decided to attempt to make my own.

I didn’t Google any recipes for this one, I just decided to see what I could come up with on my own.  So while at the store getting the pre-made pie crusts for their meal, I looked for what I could use as the crust for mine.  I knew I wanted to make mine in a muffin tin, so biscuits seemed to be the best option.  I found some little biscuits in a miniature version of those exploding tubes (you know the ones) and thought they would be perfect.  There were some made by the leading brand, but being the frugal shopper I am, I opted to go with the store brand which was about half the price. There were five mini biscuits in each tube, so I grabbed two.  I already had the rest of the needed ingredients on hand, so I headed home to get started.

This recipe couldn’t be any easier, and it comes together so quickly you can make it any night of the week.  Also, the results are so pretty you could certainly serve these to any guests at your dinner table.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this one.

mini-pot-pies-1

Mini “Chick’n” Pot Pies

Yields 5 individual pies

Ingredients

2 cans refrigerated mini flaky biscuits

1 cup vegetarian chick’n pieces or strips (any brand)

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 can cream of mushroom soup

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add chick’n pieces and heat until no longer frozen.
  3. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add frozen vegetables and heat until no longer frozen.
  5. Add cream of mushroom soup and heat until warm.
  6. Open biscuits.  Stretch one mini biscuit slightly, place it in the bottom of an ungreased muffin tin and press up the sides.  Repeat with half of the biscuits.
  7. Fill each biscuit cup to the top with the chick’n and vegetable filling.
  8. Top each biscuit cup with another biscuit, stretching slightly and pressing along the edge to seal.
  9. Poke the top of each biscuit with the point of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
  10. Bake in oven for time and temperature specified on biscuit can, or until golden brown.
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Chicken Noodle Casserole

 

Chicken Noodle Casserole 2

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Serves: 6 to 8 Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes Bake Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pkg egg noodles, cooked according to instructions
3 frozen chicken cutlets
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small pkg mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 – 2 cups frozen peas
1 – 2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook egg noodles according to package directions and drain. In a large casserole dish, combine noodles with cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and one cup of vegetable broth.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken cutlets, salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

4. Add about 1/4 cup vegetable broth to skillet and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the skillet with a rubber spatula. Pour pan drippings over noodle mixture and stir to combine.

5. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to skillet, add onions and a little salt, cooking until just tender. Add mushrooms, peas, garlic powder, pepper and parsley, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Pour vegetable mixture onto the noodle mixture and combine.

6. Dice or shred the chicken cutlets and add to the noodle mixture, stirring to combine. Add additional broth as needed to moisten.

7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Baked Nacho Mac & Cheese

Baked Nacho Mac & Cheese 2

During the colder Winter months, I tend to crave warm comfort foods, which for me is a list which includes things like vegetable stew, cinnamon oatmeal, warm nachos, and mac & cheese.  I decided to combine a couple of these favorites into one dish, and it’s a new favorite!  My entire family loved it, and I’m sure yours will, too.

I wanted to make a casserole dish which combined nachos and mac & cheese, so I got some simple ingredients together and gave it a try.  I have to say, I will definitely be making this one again in the near future.  I wish I had more shredded to cheese to use in the topping, but it was delicious even with the little I had.  I have increased the amount here in the recipe, but you can add it to your liking.  I didn’t want to completely cover the tortilla strips, so that they would remain crunchy and that worked perfectly.  If you add more cheese it may affect how crunchy they stay.

This recipe is very simple and comes together quickly, so you can throw it together on a week night after work.  From start to finish this dish took me about an hour until it was on the table.  I hope you’ll give it a try with your family, and feel free to add your favorite nacho toppings to the dish.  I served it simply with sour cream, but it would be delicious with some shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and raw onion as well.  You can also add a layer of beans if you like.  Just experiment with it and make it your own.  You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Baked Nacho Mac & Cheese 1

Baked Nacho Mac & Cheese

Serves: 8 – 10

Ingredients:
1 pkg meatless crumbles (I used Simple Truth brand)
2 pkgs taco seasoning or sauce (I used this brand)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 box elbow macaroni
1 can or jar of your favorite nacho cheese sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup dairy milk or non-dairy milk
1 pkg tortilla strips or about 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can sliced jalapenos (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Cook box of macaroni according to package directions .

3. While your water is coming to a boil for your pasta, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until tender and translucent.

4. To the skillet, add meatless crumbles, diced tomatoes and taco sauce (if using powdered taco seasoning, also add about 1/4 cup water). Cook until heated through; remove from heat.

5. When pasta is done boiling, drain and place in a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Add the can or jar of nacho cheese sauce and milk (as needed to thin); stir until evenly coated. Spread an even layer of macaroni across the bottom of the dish.

6. Top macaroni with your meatless taco mixture and spread evenly. Do not mix with the macaroni, just spread it across the top.

7. Add an even layer of tortilla strips/chips to the top of the casserole. Spread shredded cheese evenly over the strips/chips. Top with olives and jalapenos (if using).

8. Bake in oven, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown (be careful not to burn the chip layer).

9. Serve with sour cream and any of your other favorite nacho toppings. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake

I have been wanting to try a pasta dish with a red pepper sauce for a while and I recently came up with the idea for this one.  It’s a little different than the usual tomato or cheese based sauces you see, and lends itself nicely to a baked pasta dish.  The sweetness of the red peppers pairs so nicely with the tangy notes of the ricotta, creating a wonderful mix of flavors in each bite.

It may seem like a lot of ingredients and too many steps to make this dish, but the two sauces come together quickly in your blender or food processor, and it’s just a simple rinse in between blending them.  Boil the pasta, saute some onion, thaw and squeeze-dry some spinach and it can all quickly be tossed together and poured into a casserole dish.  Top with some mozzarella cheese and you’re good to go!  The sauces can even be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for a couple days.  So this can be a fairly quick mid-week meal that is satisfying and filling, and will most likely yield leftovers.

This recipe is vegan and hearty, and delicious as is, but can also be adjusted to fit within your family’s own tastes and dietary needs.  Even if you don’t follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, I think you should give this recipe a go as it is written here.  You may just be pleasantly surprised at how much you love it.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake 3

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients:
1 box spiral pasta, cooked to package directions
1 – 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 yellow onion, chopped and sauteed
Almond ricotta cheese (recipe below)
Roasted red pepper sauce (recipe below)
2 cups shredded non-dairy mozzarella cheese
Parsley flakes for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the pasta, spinach, onion, ricotta cheese, and red pepper sauce.

Place this mixture into your casserole dish (deep round or oval casserole dish, or 9 x 13 rectangular casserole dish).

Cover the top with the shredded cheese and sprinkle with the parsley.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and allow to cook an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and browning beautifully.

Serve with your favorite crusty bread and enjoy!

For the Almond Ricotta Cheese:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Simply place everything in a blender and blitz until super creamy and smooth.  Stop and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if needed.

For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
(credit for this sauce goes to a member of the facebook group What Fat Vegans Eat)

Ingredients:
1.5 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 4 hours and drained
1 roasted red pepper jarred in oil (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 red onion
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional) – see note below
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Place all in a high-speed blender or food processor, and process until silky smooth.

*Note:  Nutritional yeast is NOT regular active yeast.  It is deactivated yeast that adds a nutty/cheesy flavor to vegan dishes.  It can usually be found at health food/organic food stores or online.  It is not essential in this dish and can be omitted.