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Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe

As part of my weekly meal planning, I also list down a few lunchbox treats. Muffins are a big winner in our house. They are easy to make (usually one bowl), and they freeze perfectly. Because of this, they are often on my prep list as part of my weekly meal plan. This Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe is a new addition to my muffin repertoire.

I share my Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe, using frozen mango pieces and applesauce. The muffins are fluffy and tender and full of goodness. Easy to make and a great lunchbox treat.

I discovered it by accident. I had some leftover frozen mango pieces, and I had just made fresh applesauce from my leftover apples for the week. Thinking those flavours would work well together, I whipped up these muffins. And my oh my – they are yum.

This Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe is actually based on a very simple basic muffin recipe. You can completely swap out the mango, apple and coconut for any of the following:

  • Apple and Cinnamon (use applesauce or chopped apple, with a tsp of cinnamon)
  • Pear and Sultana and Cardamon (use chopped pear, 1/4 sultanas and a 1/2 tsp of cardamon)
  • Orange and Poppy Seed (use the rind of the orange, with a few heaped tablespoons of poppy seeds)
  • Raspberry and Coconut (use frozen raspberries instead of the mango and applesauce)
  • Blueberry (replace the mango with blueberry and skip the coconut)

This is why I love muffins. This very basic recipe can be swapped around to suit what you have in your kitchen. I often make apple muffins at the end of the week – just to use up what is left in our fruit bowl. I nearly always have frozen berries in the freezer, so I can very quickly whip up a batch using just my pantry items. It is the recipe that just keeps on giving.

Hints and Tips

At the time, I made 6 giant muffins – but they would easily work in a 12 muffin pan. I will sometimes stretch this out to 16 or 18 muffins too – they are just smaller than normal, but they fit better in my toddler’s lunchbox.

I also froze mine – and they defrosted perfectly. They have been a great way to introduce mango to my little one, and also to see us eat a little more in our diet as we’re not big fresh mango eaters.

Mango and Apple Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown or raw sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk can be non-dairy
  • 1/2 cup rice bran or coconut oil
  • 1 cup mango pieces, slightly defrosted
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease your chosen muffin pan (either a large 6 cup or a 12 cup). I grease mine with a little rice bran or coconut oil.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk and oil. Add the mango and applesauce, and the flours, coconut and bicarb - and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix (this is what keeps the muffins light and fluffy). 

  3. Spoon evenly into your muffin pans. Bake for 20 mins or until golden on top and cooked through. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack. 

I hope you give this recipe a try. Please share your pictures on Instagram and tag me (@theempoweredcook) in your post with the #theempoweredcook hashtag. I would love to see how you go.

 

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A to Z of Vegetables: B is for Broccoli

Welcome back to the A to Z of Vegetables series. You can read the rest of the series here. Today – we’re up to the letter B, and I’ve chosen Broccoli. Why? Because very few people in my house love broccoli – and I feel it needs some extra love and attention.

The Empowered Cook shares the A to Z of Vegetables: today is B is for Broccoli - including health benefits, recipe ideas and a personal loved recipe for broccoli.

We buy a head of broccoli every week. I eat it for breakfast with scrambled eggs, in my salad at lunch and in a multitude of ways for dinner. My toddler on the other hand, not so much. He will find the tiniest little floret of broccoli hidden in his mash potato. It is like he has a super power for finding this stuff. But – I persist. I always serve it to him, in the hope that he’ll eat it.

Health Benefits

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable – just like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It is now a commonly held understanding that these sorts of vegetables are high in cancer fighting properties. Broccoli in particular, is also reported to have many other health benefits like better wound healing, liver protection, and improved fertility. Not to mention, it is delicious and versatile in the kitchen. And – you only need to eat about 2 spears to have this count as one serve in your 5-vegetables-a-day quota.

Have I convinced you to add this to your shopping list yet?

Recipes to Inspire

Cheesy Broccoli – this combo is fast and delicious

Green Curry Broccoli Soup – I know this might sound weird. But really – give this a try. Please. And then let me know how much you love it.

Broccoli Noodles – I think this could be a great recipe for young kids. I haven’t made this – but I love everything that Heather at Beauty That Moves makes, so I’m confident this is a winner. Will be adding to my meal plan soon!

My Favourite Broccoli Recipe

I have always loved broccoli. And when I discovered roasted broccoli – oh my. A whole new level of love opened up for me. This recipe now forms part of my weekly prep. I use the roasted spears in my salads for lunch and I throw a few in with my scrambled eggs in the morning. Roasting the broccoli adds a wonderful depth to the sometimes bitter broccoli – and once you add a few extra spices, it takes on a life of its own. Enjoy.

Roasted Broccoli Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 

  2. Chop your broccoli into individual florets. You might like to chop the larger ones in half or quarters - until they are all about the same size.

  3. Scatter these onto your baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.

  4. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then, using your hands, gently toss the broccoli to coat it with the oil and seasonings.

  5. Place in the oven and cook for 20-30mins. Keep an eye on it - and when it is nice and brown around the edges, remove from the oven and serve immediately.

  6. Note: you can store this in the fridge for about 3 days. Add to salads or reheat for a later dinner. 

 

 

A to Z of Vegetables: A is for Asparagus

A is Asparagus in the A to Z of Vegetables. Do you like it? Do you eat it? How often? It occasionally makes its way into our house – primarily on my breakfast plate. I am the only fan of asparagus in this household – but it is such a powerhouse, that I chose this for my first A to Z of Vegetables candidate. Join me as I explore the alphabet of vegetables. 

The Empowered Cook shares the A to Z of Vegetables: first up: A is for Asparagus - including health benefits, recipe ideas and a personal loved recipe for Asparagus.

Health-wise asparagus is packed with vitamin A (think eyes, skin and immune system), C and K (think bones). It also contains folic acid – great for pregnant mummas. Asparagus is also a natural diaretic – and as a result is nature’s way to rid the body of unwanted toxins through an increased urine output.

According to BBC Good Food, 5 spears of asparagus will count as one portion of your 5-a-day. In Chinese Medicine, asparagus “helps to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol and is useful in vascular problems such as hypertension and arteriosclerosis”. (Healing with Whole Foods, pg. 536*).

David Wolfe references the fibre in asparagus, and also the thiamine which acts as a natural energy boost. He has 10 great health benefits over here, if you need more reasons to give asparagus a try.

Looking for some ideas? You could try this Creamy Chicken Asparagus Braise – a delicious and hearty option for asparagus lovers. 

The recipe that I will share with you today is one that is close to my heart. It is a simple recipe, but it has served a purpose in my life. When I was caring for my Mama, there wasn’t much that she liked to eat. Chemotherapy made everything taste metallic and the nausea was sometimes just too much. There were a few things that I made, and those few things were on repeat for weeks. Chicken Soup, Savoury Mince and these Boiled Eggs with Soldiers and Asparagus. I’m not quite sure why these worked – you would think the runny egg would turn anyone off – but Mum devoured them. I think it was the nostalgia – everyone loves a toast solider. It was bitter sweet for me – as I buttered the toast, I remembered how she would make me a boiled egg and toast soldiers when I was little and unwell. She taught me how to do this – to care for another. And here I was, caring for her. I do recall the smile as she pretty much licked her plate clean at the end. That made my day.

A simple boiled egg can be somewhat tricky – so read the recipe below for my (or should I say, Mum’s) tried and tested method.

Also, I stir-fry the asparagus on the stove top – but you could just as easily steam it or grill it, or even pop it in the oven. Whatever you like – just as long as they are fresh and still have a little give – so you can dip them in the runny egg.

A Simple Recipe - Boiled Egg, Soldier Toast and Asparagus
Ingredients
  • 1 piece bread (preferably dark rye)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 spears asparagus
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Begin by preparing your egg. You want a boiled egg with a 'runny' yolk so that you can dip your toast and asparagus. To do this - start by placing a small pot on the stove filled with cold water. Add your egg to the water and place on a medium-high heat. 

  2. Carefully watch your pot - and when it comes to a rolling boil (i.e. a lot of bubbles), remove from the heat. Put a lid on and wait 6 minutes. Once 6 minutes have passed, remove the egg and place in your ice water bath for about a minute. Remove and pop your egg in your egg cup - ready to serve. 

  3. Now, heat a small fry pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil.

  4. Add the asparagus to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until al-dente. Tender but still with a little bite to it. 

  5. Toast the bread and lavish it with butter. Slice into toast soldiers. 

  6. Assemble the egg, asparagus and toast soldiers on a plate. (You can also add other things at this point, some grilled mushrooms, bacon, mashed pumpkin). Enjoy. 

 

 

* Affiliate Link. I highly recommend Book Depository – and that is why I have chosen to partner with them as an affiliate. I will receive payment if you choose to shop with Book Depository via this affiliate link.

 

 

 

5 Freezer Meals to Make This Weekend

Do you want dinner on the table fast and with minimal effort? Are weeknight dinners a problem for you? Do you often opt for takeaway, purely because you just don’t have enough time to get a meal on the table? All you need is a few hours – here are 5 freezer meals to make this weekend.

My freezer is our saving grace during the week. With both of us working outside the home for the majority of the week, we often don’t arrive home until 6pm. That means we need to have dinner on the table fast if we are to get our little one to bed at a reasonable time. I use my weekends to prep our meals for the week. And my freezer is stocked with great meals that we can simply defrost and heat up in the oven.

Want dinner on the table fast? These 5 freezer meals to make this weekend will see you feeding your family with ease next week.

Here are our favourite 5 freezer meals to make this weekend.

#1 – Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I whipped this one up last weekend. I had spent the day making chicken stock – so I had a whole lot of chicken to use. This dish was perfect.

And it was SO easy to whip up. It was just an assembly process really. Layer it all in the pan (I use an aluminium foil pan) and then cover, label and stick it in the freezer. All done in less than 15 minutes – and dinner #1 is done.

You can check out the recipe here.

#2 – Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

You can hardly taste the pumpkin in this one – but it is such a bonus vegetable in an otherwise pasta only dish. As a Mama of a little one, any chance I can include another vegetable is a win in my books.

I followed the instructions on this one to freeze it. I made it well ahead of time – and it was still super delicious once we defrosted it.

It does take a little more prep time than the other meals – but it also makes a LOT. I’d suggest dividing this up into smaller freezer meals, and serving this as a side dish with sausages and some green vegies.

You can find the recipe here.

#3 – Four Cheese Baked Penne

This is another one that I whipped up last weekend. It was super simple again – I really love the ‘assembly’ style freezer meals. If you manage your time right, you can prep a whole bunch in just a couple of hours.

I opted to include the additional parmesan and skip the feta in this one – so technically it was a 3 Cheese Baked Penne in my house. But oh yum – it was delicious.

Check out the recipe here.

#4 – Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

I always have this in the freezer. Always.

Honestly – all you need to do is cook up a batch of pasta, reheat this sauce (no need to even defrost this) – and dinner is served.

I make a large batch, and divide up into sandwich size snap lock bags. I lay these flat in the freezer until they are frozen, and then I can stand them upright – kinda like a “library of sauces”.

Definitely give this one a go.

#5 – Burgers

Now this is not technically a meal – more a prep technique. But still – it is a time saver. And you can make a whole lot in bulk – and they’ll last months in the freezer.

All you’ll need to do is have some buns, and some salad items ready – and you can have a burger made for dinner in no time at all.

Check out the method here.

 

Get cracking this weekend – and you can have dinner for next week sorted. These 5 freezer meals to make this weekend will see you stock your freezer in no time.

What other recipes do you like to make as a freezer meal? Tell us in the comments below.

Simple Greens Recipe

I can honestly say that the best thing I have ever done for my health, and the health of my family, is to eat more greens. This Simple Greens recipe is a staple in our home. It is just as its name suggests – simple.

We have this as a side dish, often next to a meat and veg dinner. For example, sausages and mash or meatballs and pasta. It is a versatile dish to include on your weekly mean plan by trying to include more vegetables in your family’s routine.

This Simple Greens recipe is also delicious as part of breakfast. Serve them alongside some sauteed mushrooms and with a poached egg on top. A really great way to get vegetables in at the start of the day!

Looking for a way simple way to eat your leafy greens? This simple greens recipe is for just what you've been searching for - delicious, fast and versatile.

Note

Any leafy greens will work in this Simple Greens recipe. My favourite is to use tuscan kale, but we also often have silverbeet.

Recipe: Simple Greens
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch leafy greens kale, spinach, silverbeet
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
Instructions
  1. Start by prepping your greens. Wash and dry them - ideally in a salad spinner, but if not - dry on a teatowel. Then we need to trim out the some of the hard stems. We want the leafy greens - and only a few of the stems. 

  2. If you are including some of the stems (you definitely can!), chop these rather fine. Keep the leaves chopped large and consistent. Set aside.

  3. Finely mince the garlic and set aside.

  4. Heat a large fry pan on over medium heat. (Note: only start cooking right before you want to serve. They don't take long to cook). 

  5. Add olive oil to the pan, and the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. 

  6. Quickly add the leafy greens to the pan. Stir and mix through the oil and garlic.

  7. Keep stirring the greens - you'll need to do this until they start of wilt and cook. This should only take a few minutes. 

  8. Once the greens are almost ready, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. This is completely up to personal taste, of course. 

  9. Serve immediately. 

 

 

How to Eat Brussels Sprouts

Knowing how to eat Brussels Sprouts is important. No more soggy, boiled sprouts. No one likes those. Brussels Sprouts can be delicious – you just need to know how to eat them.

I grew up with steamed or boiled sprouts. I still ate them. But not many others did.

Today I’ll share my favorite options for how to eat Brussels Sprouts. Even if you try just one – do it. Buy some sprouts and enjoy them. You’ll be surprised.

Three delicious options for how to eat Brussels Sprouts - stir-fry, roast and hash. All easy and fast - to help your family eat their Brussels Sprouts!

#1 – Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

When I was at University, I lived with a Thai flatmate for a while and she made the most delicious sprouts. They were stir-fried with garlic and fish sauce – and served with rice. Wow. I still salivate thinking about them.

You’ll need to chop up your Brussels Sprouts for this one. I chop the bottom off, and then slice into quarters. Yes, the leaves may fall off – but that’s ok. You’ll also need to chop about 4 cloves of garlic.

To cook: start by heating your wok (or frypan) until hot, and then add a dash of oil (I use rice bran oil or coconut). Add your Brussels Sprouts and stir-fry until they are softer but still crunchy. Add your garlic and quickly stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Then season with fish sauce. About a tablespoon is how I like it. Alternatively, you can use some soy sauce.

Serve immediately over some steamed rice.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

#2 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts

While working on the options for how to eat Brussels Sprouts – I knew I needed to include a roasted option. This is probably my favourite way to eat them. Firstly, because it is easy. And secondly, because I’ve had success with others this way. My little one is still pretty hesitant – but he has eaten them this way.

To roast them, I cut the bottoms off, and slice in half. I put these on the tray (lined with baking paper) and then drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can throw on some garlic cloves if you like too.

Roast in a hot oven (200 degrees celsius) until crispy brown on the edges.

I particularly like these served with something creamy. They are super delicious served alongside a creamy pasta – like a macaroni and cheese. Trust me. They are yum.

Also – feel free to simply add Brussels Sprouts to your tray of roast vegetables. Nestled among potatoes, pumpkin and carrots – they are a great addition of greens and another bonus option for how to eat Brussels Sprouts.

#3 – Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Hash

Bacon makes everything taste better, doesn’t it? Adding bacon can entice even the most hesitant family member to try these.

To improve my chance of success even more – I like to make hash. This means shredding everything up, nice and fine and cooking into a big delicious mess.

To make this dish, I shred my Brussels Sprouts in a food processor using the grater attachment. You can finely slice them by hand of course, but the food processor just makes the prep faster.

I also slice some leek (or onion), and some garlic. Chop a few slices of bacon too.

In a hot frypan, add a little olive oil and start to cook your bacon. After a couple of minutes, add your leek or onion. Cook until the onion is soft. Next – add your garlic, quickly followed by the Brussels Sprouts. Now, keep stirring this, but press it down as you cook it. You want the sprouts to fry off in the bacon fat, and to start to crisp up.

This should take around 10 minutes or so.

I like to serve this hash with a poached egg. Again, the runny egg yolk with the bacon becomes the dominant flavour – and the Brussels Sprouts simply become a dose of green in the background. Really yum.

How do you eat your Brussels Sprouts? What do you think of my options? Are you going to give it a go? Add it to your weekly meal plan? Tell me in the comments below.

Simple Playdough Recipe

My Mum taught me how to make a simple playdough recipe. I have her recipe – and the memories of rainy play days. Playdough would often be made on rainy days. Keeping a bunch of kids inside for an extended period of time? Playdough is a great entertainer!

All you need are some very simple ingredients – likely already in your cupboard! – a few minutes, and you are done!

A simple playdough recipe, using ingredients you will likely already have in your cupboard and taking just minutes to make!

My little one has grown more and more interested in playdough, and this simple playdough recipe has been tried and tested in our house.

As I only have one bub, this simple playdough recipe is also perfect for just one amount. Feel free to double or triple or quadruple the mixture.

Note

A note too on the colouring. I try and use natural colours as much as possible. Your pantry and fridge hold loads of options: think cinnamon for brown, tumeric for yellow, beetroot juice for red, carrot juice for orange. I also used a dash of liquid chlorophyll once – and the playdough was a gorgeous vivid green.

You can also buy natural food colourings. Like these ones here. I prefer these over the normal colours you can buy in the supermarket – just a healthier option in my opinion.

Pinterest also has a bunch of ideas to try – check it out here.

Get your thinking caps on, and inspire your kids – in the very least, keep them entertained for a few minutes while you get on with making dinner.

Simple Playdough Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour can be plain or self-raising
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Natural Colouring
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt.

  2. In a separate bowl, add the hot water and oil, and your natural colouring. Mix these to combine.

  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix until a rough dough forms.

  4. At this point, you might need to add a splash more water or a touch more flour - you want the playdough smooth but not sticky or dry. 

  5. Once the liquid has been mixed in, use your hands to knead the mix into a ball. I find the more I do this, the smoother the playdough gets. 

  6. Once done - hand over to your kids - along with some cookie cutters, a rolling pin and anything else you can find. Enjoy the few minutes of peace this brings - or alternatively, join right in!

Recipe: Sausages in the Oven

I grew up with the humble sausages, mash and veg being a family dinner staple. This has continued into my adulthood. My family and I love sausages. We eat them every week. This recipe for how to cook sausages in the oven has meant that we can enjoy these often, but without the hassle of a greasy kitchen! And they are a set and forget kind of meal – an added bonus with a hungry toddler at your feet.

Are sausages a family favourite in your house? This recipe for how to cook sausages in the oven is fast and easy. It also keeps your kitchen splatter free!

I used to fry my sausages on the stovetop. Just a little swizzle of oil, and fry away. This method worked well when I could keep my undivided attention on the frypan, and had an uninterrupted leisurely cleanup at the end of dinner.

Now – with a toddler running around, frying anything on the stove is really just not an option. Plus, our after dinner routine needs to be quick and easy – our priority is to get our little one in the bath, and in his pajamas so that bedtime can happen.

So I came up with this method to cook sausages in the oven. We experimented a couple of different ways – but this is my favourite way to cook them.

Note

The addition of the leek is interchangeable with other onions, but also you can just as easily leave it out.

Recipe: Sausages in the Oven
Ingredients
  • 1 leek
  • 6 thick sausages
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

  2. Cut both ends from your leek. Because we're effectively roasting the leek, we can use both the green and white parts. Make sure to rinse the leek really well (I slice it long ways and then rinse under running water). Slice into 1cm wide slices. 

  3. In the bottom of a baking pan (or casserole dish), drizzle a couple of tbsps of olive oil. Scatter the leek over the oil.

  4. Lay your sausages over the leek. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 

  5. Pop into your oven, and cook for approx. 45mins. You will need to check these and turn the sausages over at least once, half way through. The cooking time will depend on the thickness and size of your sausages - so keep an eye on them. 

  6. Serve with mashed potato, and steamed vegetables. 

 

Recipe: Potato Cakes

This Potato Cakes Recipes uses the simplest of ingredients – and is solely based around leftover mashed potato. Now, leftover mash doesn’t occur very often in my house. It is a family favourite. But I have recently been increasing the amount that I’m making, so that I can specifically have leftovers. We will generally use these as part of the next night’s dinner – but then I discovered these Potato Cakes. And yum – they were a hit.

We made these over the weekend as lunch. I then reheated some on Sunday for breakfast, served alongside mushrooms and spinach and a poached egg. Triple yum. My little one even enjoyed his just cold and straight from the fridge. Getting a little to egg vegies at breakfast isn’t exactly easy – so I was happy with this!

This recipe for Potato Cakes uses leftover mashed potato to make an easy brunch or light dinner focus. A helpful way to avoid wasting leftover mash!

Notes

To make these, you will need cold mashed potato. Ideally leftovers. However, if you wanted to, you could make a batch of mash specifically for these. I’d just suggest doing that in advance, so that you have time to refrigerate and chill your mash.

I also think this recipe would work with other types of mash: sweet potato or pumpkin. You would likely need to increase the flour for the pumpkin ones though. Experiment!

Recipe: Potato Cakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cold mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp rice bran oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cold mashed potato, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, egg and flour. You might need to add more flour - it depends on how wet your mashed potato is. 

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, over a medium high heat. You need enough oil to cover the base of the pan (for a shallow fry). 

  3. Scooping dessertspoons of potato mix, form patties. 

  4. Place patties carefully into oil in the frying pan. Cook for 3-5mins until golden brown. Turn over and repeat on other side.

  5. Drain on paper towel and serve with a fresh salad. Also great for breakfast with bacon and eggs. 

 

Recipe: Chicken and Spinach Pie

It is getting colder here. The autumn coolness is giving way to the chill of winter. This is my favourite time of year – not just for the great layers of clothes and scarves, but also for the cooking. I do my best cooking in cold weather – hearty, wholesome food. This Chicken and Spinach Pie is no exception – it is tasty, easy, and a family favourite.

The Empowered Cook shares her Chicken and Spinach Pie recipe - a hearty, wholesome pie made with leftover chicken and silverbeet, topped with puff pastry.

I make this using leftover chicken. Often this is as a result of making chicken stock – where I’ll be able to use the stock and the chicken to make this dish.

The Empowered Cook shares her Chicken and Spinach Pie recipe - a hearty, wholesome pie made with leftover chicken and silverbeet, topped with puff pastry.

Recipe Note

I have a square casserole dish that I use – mainly because it is the perfect shape for a single piece of puff pastry. Obviously you don’t need to have one like this, but you’ll just need to find a dish that works well with the puff pastry that you have.

Now – on with the recipe!

 

Chicken and Spinach Pie
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 sticks celery diced
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped (stalks kept separate)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded
  • 4 cups silverbeet chopped
  • 1 sheet store bought puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. 

  2. Heat a large pan on a medium high heat. Add your olive oil.

  3. Add onions, celery and parsley stalks to the pan. Sweat (stirring frequently) for around 8 minutes, until soft. Add salt if starting to brown.

  4. Add the bay leaf and garlic, and cook for another minute or two (careful not to burn the garlic). Note: at this point, you can also add any leftover chicken skin (cut into small pieces). This gives it a chance to get a little crispy. 

  5. Add the butter to the pan and give everything a good stir, as the butter melts.

  6. Add the flour to the pan, and cook it out for a few minutes. Stir constantly. 

  7. Next, add the chicken stock and continue stirring. The mix should thicken at this point - so feel free to add a little dash or two of water, if it starts to get too thick. 

  8. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste to adjust. It should be full of flavour at this point. 

  9. Add your chicken and stir through. 

  10. Add your silverbeet and continue to stir. Remember that silverbeet will wilt down quite a lot, so don't be alarmed at the amount at the beginning. Just keep stirring, and it will wilt down to nothing. 

  11. Finally, add your chopped parsley leaves. Taste again and adjust seasoning if needed. 

  12. Place this filling in your chosen pie dish, and cover with the puff pastry. Remember to pop a little hole in the middle of pastry too. 

  13. Place your pie in the oven for around 25-35mins - until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. 

Recipe Notes

Serve this pie with mashed potato. It's also just good by itself though - and super delicious reheated the next day. 

Surprisingly, it also freezes well. Just portion up any leftovers and freeze. Alternatively, freeze the pie filling once cooked - and then simply assemble the pie with the puff pastry on the day of cooking.