Since everyone needs a warm and comforting dish mid-winter I’m bringing you these Mini Pot Pies with Black Lentil, Fennel and Thyme! These pot pies are exactly as they sounds; a blend of vegetables including fennel, celery, carrots, and potatoes with lentils and herby thyme – it’s a hearty and comforting veg-packed dish that’s healthy too. So you can feel guilt-free about succumbing to your yearning for pie. (And because eating salads all January isn’t going to fly with everyone else you’re cooking for.)
So, how did we make this classic dish healthier?
First, by cutting the amount of pastry in half. For this pot pie I’ve layered only the top with pastry. And contrary to belief it wasn’t because I forgot about that bottom layer; it was intentional. Typically, it’s the pastries in these dishes that are the most unhealthy part of pot pies, and so by lessening the amount we’re letting the veggies and beans take precedent. And let’s be honest – it’s the top layer of pastry that we all really love; with it’s flaky and crunchy golden outer. You know that saying, “everything in moderation”? I’m a strong believer in it! Case in point with this pie! And besides, the bottom layer of pastry is sort of a soggy mess – so best to skip it if you’re looking for a lighter dish.
Second, these pot pies are made as individual serving sizes, meaning that we have better portion control. I am the first to admit to having no will-power when it comes to seconds. Put a whole steaming pie in front of me and be prepared to grab your fencing gear before coming to the table. I’m ruthless with a fork! So these pot pies, in individual ramekins, serves two purposes; 1. to allow for better portion control, and 2. to save on hospital visits after jabbing Mitch for the slice I had silently proclaimed as my own. I mean, I did cook the pie, doesn’t that give me some sort of hierarchy for seconds? Say no more; these individual sized pots allows everyone to indulge guilt-free (and fear-free). My ramekins are the Ikea ones, called VARDAGEN Pie Plates, which are 4 inches wide and 2 inches high. If you have these, or something similar, then you’re in the safe zone.
And thirdly, this dish is veg and legumes packed; making for a really healthy dinner. There’s no heavy cream or butter here. But a healthy mix of veg seasoned with herby thyme to make it pop in taste and flavour. Because healthy and delicious can co-exist! To make the pies simply cook your veggies and lentil in a saucepan, transfer to ramekins, top with a layer of pie crust (store bought, pre-thawed) and pop in the oven for an hour. One episode of Gilmore Girls later and you’ve got a golden and bubbling veggie pot pie that even the Lorelai’s would eat their veggies for.
Hope you enjoy. 🙂
Mini Pot Pies with Lentil, Fennel, and Thyme
- 1 sheet puff pastry frozen, thawed
- 1 cup lentils black or green, cooked
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 fennel small
- 3 celery sticks
- 3 carrots peeled
- 3 russet potatoes
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp neutral oil for painting pie crust
- sea salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Dice onion and garlic, and chop fennel, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Add coconut oil to saucepan and bring to medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 mins, stirring occasionally until veg becomes translucent in colour.
- Add fennel carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme. Season with more sea salt and pepper and let veg sweat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Then add lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and soupy (20 mins).
- Lay sheet of pie pastry on flat surface and cut 4 circles to be 1-inch wider than ramekins. (To do this turn ramekin face down onto pastry and lightly trace around them with a knife to be one inch wider).
- Pour brothy veg into ramekins and top each with puff pastry. Pinch the ends of the pastry with your forefinger and thumb, working your way entirely around the edge of the pies for a textured effect. Lightly paint pastry with olive oil and cut three small slits in the centre of each pie.
- Transfer mini pot pies to oven to bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, then reduce heat to 350F (180C) and bake for another 30 minutes.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE – NUT-FREE