This is the time of year when lots of people go on diets or at least make resolutions to lose weight. It’s a January, post-holiday-binge thing. Some people are successful at it and some aren’t. Some go on crazy fad diets and some take themselves to nutritionists or weight-loss specialists.
I’m no expert about any of this. But I do know that Ed and I occasionally discuss whether either or both of us has to shed a couple of pounds and then we think about how we can do that and still stay happy and well fed.
We are carnivores who appreciate a meat-filled dinner. But recently I have been doing some meatless mondays because we both agreed that it might be one way to cut calories and fat and help us stay healthy and at the right bulk.
I know it can be tough for lifelong carnivores who, like us, grew up on a meat-starch-vegetable way of eating to think that a vegetarian meal can be filling and delicious. I’ve heard so many knee-jerk reactions against the suggestion, kind of like the reactions when the subject is gun control or voter ID requirements.
Okay. People should eat what they like. For food, any food, to be welcome, whether you’re on a diet or not, it has to taste good and look good. And vegetarian meals may not be for everyone. But all I can say is that Ed and I have eaten some wonderful meatless dinners recently. A few years ago I would never have guessed that when I served Vegetable Pot Pie for dinner that Ed would tell me to make it again, soon.
He gobbled this whole dinner up as enthusiastically as he has when I served braised Short Ribs and Moroccan Spiced Roasted Chicken Breasts.
This dish will be a go-to from now on.
Vegetable Pot Pie
2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 cup cut up cauliflower florets
1 cup cut up broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 sheet puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the vegetables and set them aside together. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and peas, sprinkle with parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and mix the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle the flour over the ingredients and mix gently. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and mix the ingredients. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is slightly thickened. Spoon the ingredients into a 6-cup casserole dish (or use individual ovenproof dishes). Roll the puff pastry sheet to fit the top of the casserole. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and puffed. Makes 4 servings