Raise your hand if you, like me, used to love it when your mom was too busy to cook dinner and handed you off one of those little pot pies that you cook in the oven? The only problem for me with that little pie…and I mean the ONLY problem…was that those lil’ things took forever to cook!
But how I loved them! On a particularly long day my mom would throw one in the oven and when it was done she’d serve it to me with a glass of red (yes red…not cherry…not “tropical punch” but red…) Kool-Aid and trudge off after some headache medicine.
I have fond memories of these little pies, partly because they are the perfect package of comfort food and partly because I knew once my mom fell asleep I could stay up late and watch whatever I wanted.
So anyway, here we are post-WLS. And while pot pies are not THE most egregious thing I could eat, I feel like there’s room for improvement here. Besides…anything with a crust almost ensures I can’t eat a whole portion of it. So here’s what I came up with.
Nik’s “Lil’ Baby” Pot Pies
Crust (makes more than you need but freezes well):
1 c. Carbquik
¼ tsp salt
1 stick of reduced calorie baking spread or butter (I used Blue Bonnet Light), chilled and cubed
Ice cold water (get 1 cup but you won’t use it all)
Optional (but it made it oh so much better for me): a dash of garlic powder and ¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese
Note: Some folks have asked me if it’s ok to sub Atkins Baking Mix for Carbquik. Absolutely! The Atkins Mix works just fine with the exact same measurements. The Carbquik is just my personal preference in this recipe!
1 large chicken breast filet, cooked and shredded (or you can use a can of chicken breast meat)
1 can of mixed vegetables, drained and rinsed
1 can of light cream of chicken soup (I used Fit & Active)
¼ – ½ c. skim milk
Optional: a few scoops of Any Whey unflavored protein powder(how much depends on how many pot pies you make…see below)
Equipment: If you’re looking to use all your filling, you’ll need either, eight 2 oz. ramekins, six 4 ounce ramekins. Or you might also invest in larger ones(8 oz.) for the fam (in which case, depending on the size of your family, you might double both the crust and filling recipe!
Making the Crust
I know what you’re thinking. “Nik, you want us to make frickin’ pie crust???” Just breathe…this is so ridiculously simple that you won’t believe it. First off, you’d do this the night before you want to make the pot pies. And there’s only four easy steps.
Step One: Combine the Carbquik, salt and any other seasonings.
Step Two: Cut in the butter. It is IMPORTANT that the butter be cold. I usually freeze my stick of butter and cut it into cubes. I use a biscuit cutter but you can also use a food processor. Mix the flour mixture and butter until it is the consistency of small peas (although mine look more like dandruff…just sayin..)
Step Three: Add cold water (again, the cold is important), tablespoon by tablespoon until you are able to get the mixture into a dough ball. For me, this took about 4 tablespoons of water, but it really does depend on a lot of factors INCLUDING the humidity where you are.
Step Four: Wrap your little dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to put it all together.
Making the Filling
This is the about the easiest pot pie filling you’ll ever find. Four ingredients people! (milk not shown below)
To make the filling you’d combine your chicken, veggies and soup in a sauce pan.
Then add as much milk as you need to just slightly thin it out. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Add protein powder after removing from heat and make sure it is thoroughly mixed in.
Cut your dough ball in half (it takes half the dough ball to make the crusts for four pies). Using a rolling pin, roll your dough out to the desired thickness. Use the appropriate size biscuit cutter to form a round disc (my ramekins required a medium biscuit cutter).