Pastry is never considered ‘healthy’ but the idea of eating a varied and balanced diet is.
Choosing when and how to eat certain foods is the key to maintaining a healthy and positive lifestyle. Whilst pastry may not be top of your health list it’s the challenge of creating a balanced meal around it. I was inspired to make this after browsing the pies section in Asda. There was nothing I could think of as ‘healthy’ apart from a butternut squash and lentil pie. Not one for buying off the shelf I set about to make my own style on this popular vegetarian ready meal.Remember,
A varied diet is a happy diet.
Pie’s and tarts, no matter how healthy. Are an occasional treat and with this recipe, I’m sure you’ll be counting down the days to eat this again. I have added different spices and vegetables to my pie but there’s of course, a list of alternatives for you to choose from!
Spicy Lentil And Butternut Squash Pie
- 1 Red Onion, caramelised
- 100g Mixed peppers, Roasted
- 1 Carrot, Diced
- 1/2 Courgette, Diced
- 1 Sweet potato, Cubed
- 1/4 floret of broccoli
- 2 Tomatoes, Roasted
- Organic Quinoa 50g
Spices; tsp of everything; Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Chilli, brown sugar. Half a tsp of Coriander,Salt,pepper, ginger
Soak your lentils over night if you’re including them. This gives them a soft shell and helps them to cook quicker. You can also add them to a slow cooker with your vegetable mix and spices so the flavours fuse.
Prepare your vegetables. Removing the skin from your sweet potato and dicing into 1″ cubes. Along with your mixed peppers, carrot , celery and red onion. Add your onion to a small frying pan with 100ml of water and reduce them until caramelised.Add everything to a deep dish and roast for 45 minutes-1 hour. Add your tomatoes to a separate tray so they can roast separately and produce a deeper flavour.
Not only am I awful at creating pastry, I’m horrendous and using gluten free dough. Which is why I rarely make pies and puds. I love baking but It never produces ‘pretty’ food. Which is a huge shame when you run a blog that depends on images.
Once your pastry is made you can form your tart or pie base and add it to the oven with blind baking beads for 10-15 minutes. Bring out to cool and along with your vegetable mix. Add your spice mix to a separate bowl and cover your veggies in your flavour mix. You can do this by adding water or oil and coating them thoroughly. Once your veggies are covered you can add them to your pie dish and roast for a further 10 minutes until hot.
*Feel free to add more spices to your mix, I just enjoy the rustic flavours of the roasted vegetables. Especially roasted Sweet potato and tomato. I also keep the coriander fresh on top for serving as it has a stronger flavour and I love coriander!
Alternative pies; How about Adding pesto instead of the spice mix? Or, Try slow roasted butternut squash with spinach and feta. Or even a mini cheese and broccoli pie, for a light lunch or as a side dish. Don’t fancy quinoa, try lentils for a heartier dish!
Filling your pie with hearty root vegetables and a healthy side dish makes this meal a balanced and filling accompaniment to your weekly menu. Not to mention the added bonus of getting the kids to eat their veggies you also get the fulfilment of home baking at such a wonderful time of year. Tom has the week off work and we really enjoyed whipping this up together. Home baking, if you have the time, is always a treat. It offers you more options for your food and reduces the additives that are often hidden in your meals.
Pies are so versatile and are super filling this time of year, just make sure to fill them full of healthy veggies! If you enjoyed the versatility of this scrumptious pie mix why not leave a comment below, let me know..What’s your favourite winter treat?
I am no longer including calories in my savoury recipes, unless it is a high fat or high carbohydrate dish there is no reason for you to worry about your calorie intake. A balanced diet should bring you below your intake for the day and this won’t tip you over your goals. You’re safe with me!