You may have seen in my newsletter a couple of weekends ago, that I was recently in the Dandenong Ranges for the Wellness Breakthrough, along with 8 other health and wellness experts and 45 superstars ready to make some major changes in their lives! (Missed my newsletter? Subscribe here) I spoke alongside Cyndi O’Meara and Damian Kristoff about gut health, natural nutrition and how to heal the body with food.
During my workshops, I talked about taking favourite family recipes and changing them to make them healthier, or suitable for special diets. One of the recipes I demonstrated was Chicken Pot Pie, something that has always been a big favourite in our home.
Over the past few years I’ve been making chicken pot pie with various flours and dairy substitutes, but now that we’re on the GAPS diet I needed it to be grain free and starch free as well.
My family love my new grain free version of chicken pot pie, and everyone who’s tasted it is surprised there’s no grains in the crust and the filling is dairy free! There’s nothing quite like serving a hearty pie you know the whole family will enjoy – especially one that’s so naturally delicious, and so easy to create.
There’s a couple of variations for the crust. You can use almond meal, or use seeds for a nut free version, or use a mixture of both. Just play with it and see what you prefer. Some of my family love it with all almond meal, some find that a bit rich and prefer part seeds, part almonds. The colour of the crust will be darker than the photos if you use seeds.
You can also vary the vegetables in the pie – I used ones we can have at the moment on GAPS (we can’t have starchy vegetables), but if you’re okay with starches you could add sweet potato/potato/parsnip/corn… whatever you like.
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 60g duck fat (or ghee/butter if you can have dairy)
- 800g cauliflower florets
- 150g leeks, white only, sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 320g chicken broth (or water + 2 Tbspn chicken or vege stock paste)
- 600g raw chicken, diced (or if using cooked chicken, add later)
- 200g pumpkin, thin slices, 1 cm pieces
- 200g peas
- 200g carrots, diced
- 300g almond meal (or a mixture of blanched almonds, sunflower, and pepita seeds, milled 10 sec/speed 8)*
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 30g duck fat or lard (or ghee if you're not dairy free)
- Approx. 12 ramekins
- Place all pastry ingredients into a bowl and mix 20 sec/speed 4. Remove from bowl, wrap in greaseproof paper, and chill until filling is ready.
- Place onion and garlic into bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 5. Add duck fat or ghee/butter and cook 3 mins/Varoma/speed 1.
- Add remaining cauliflower sauce ingredients into bowl, place Varoma dish on top and add vegetables. Poke a hole in the centre for the steam to get through.
- Place raw chicken on Varoma tray, spreading out evenly, then place in position with lid on top. (See below for pre-cooked chicken.)
- Cook 20 mins/Varoma/speed 1. Stir vegetables and break apart chicken with spatula, poke a hole for steam, and cook another 7 mins/Varoma/speed 1.
- Remove Varoma and place chicken and veges in a large mixing bowl. (If using pre-cooked chicken add now.)
- Blend cauliflower sauce 30 sec/speed 9. Add to bowl and mix through veges. Set aside.
- Roll out pastry to 2mm thick on a Thermomat or silicon mat, with a piece of baking paper on top of dough so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin.
- Cut circles to fit tops of ramekins with a blunt butter knife. (Cut gently on silicon mat - don't use a sharp knife!).
- Fill ramekins about 3/4 full with filling, and top with pastry circles. Place ramekins onto baking trays, and bake in 180C oven for approx 25 mins, or until browned.
- * I prefer to use activated nuts and seeds - soaked and dehydrated - as they are easier to digest. If using activated nuts and seeds for the pastry, and milling them yourself, you will only need about 250g as they are lighter than raw.
- * You can make this NUT FREE by using all pepitas and sunflower seeds instead of almond meal.
- * If you don't have time to make individual pies, you can pour the filling into a large, rectangular baking dish, roll out pastry into a rectangle to fit dish, place on top and bake 25-30 mins, until done.
Don’t forget to check back next week as I’ll be sharing with you another dish that utilises the delicious and versatile Cauliflower and Leek Mash!