Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reusable ingredients = Relaxing Evenings

As promised, here is an idea for using up the leftover meat that we stuffed our acorn squash with yesterday.  It's so easy, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it yourself... pot pie!  But wait, this recipe is actually easier than pot pie- we will call this one 'pseudo pot pie' with beef and vegetables.

What makes this so easy?  We already have our meaty filling that we will just doctor up slightly to make it more suitable for pot pie.  Also, instead of a pie crust, we are going to use low-fat biscuit mix (I used Heart Smart Bisquick).  The prep work for this recipe is short and sweet.  The pot pie does take a bit of time to bake, 30-40 minutes depending on your recipe.  But this is the perfect amount of time to get dinner in the oven and fit in a quick workout or run :)

Pseudo Pot Pie with Beef and Vegetables

2 Tb olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced (or 1/2 medium)
4 cloves garlic
2 Tb flour
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2 cups skim milk
1/2 beef mixture (leftover from stuffed squash- see previous post)
Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups low-fat biscuit mix (such as Heart Smart Bisquick)
1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9x9 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the carrot and onion and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic, reducing heat to medium-low and cook about 2 more minutes.  Stir in flour and cook about 2 minutes stirring continuously.  This combination of flour and fat (the oil) is called a roux*. 

Once flour is evenly coating the veggies, pour in the milk and Worcestershire; turn heat up to medium.  Add the beef mixture and stir until milk thickens (it should be slightly less thick then cream of chicken soup**).

Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Spread evenly in casserole dish. 
To make biscuit topping, stir milk into the biscuit mix.  Spread evenly over top of filling.  Place in preheated oven and cook until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.  Let pot pie rest for about 5 minutes before cutting so the filling can thicken up. 
 I served this with roasted veggies- just cut up broccoli and carrots into bite-sized pieces.  Sprinkle with olive oil and a little bit of salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Spread evenly on baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick spray.  Put the veggies in the oven for the same amount of time you cook the pot pie to make it extra easy!

* A roux is a mixture between flour and fat- it is typically used to thicken cream sauces.  Usually you use equal parts flour to fat.  The amount of thickness depends on the amount of liquids added.
**If sauce is too thin, mix 1 Tb flour with 1 Tb cold water and stir into the mixture. Alternately, if sauce is too thick, you can thin out by adding a bit more milk.

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