What do you love most about the weather getting colder? Anything? It can be easy to get down about the dark, blustery, short days of winter, but here are a few things I love about it (I will be coming back to this list OFTEN as the season advances!).
- Early sunset and long dark nights make a perfect setting for cooking, candle lighting, table sharing, and conversation having.
- Worth stating twice - candle lighting. Try it. Turn off the electricity, and strike a match. Reading, eating, and conversing by candle light can be magical for the soul.
- No guilt in going to bed at 9pm. It's dark - sleep!
- Fires, cozy sweaters, blankets, and good books.
- Red wine.
- And of course; warm, grounding, indulgent eating.
The root veggie pot pie has been about 2 years in the making. It was a tricky one to get right, but I finally nailed it. This is my new and absolute favorite fall and winter comfort meal. The best part about it - it can work for any type of diet - gluten free, vegan, or animal eatin'.
I hope you have a cozy weekend, and enjoy this 'indulgent' little dish.
1 T. - grapeseed oil
1.5 c. - chickpeas or local/organic chicken breast
1 T. - rosemary
1/2 - purple onion, chopped
1 package - shiitake mushrooms
1 large - carrot chopped
2 - potatoes, diced
2 c. - winter squash, diced
1 T. - thyme
sea salt and black pepper
1/4 c. - brown rice or chickpea flour
1 c. - water
1 - vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 c. - full fat coconut milk
1/2 c. - brown rice, cooked
1/4 c. - shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
1 t. - thyme
1/2 t. - paprika
pinch - sea salt and black pepper
- Rinse brown rice and bring to boil in a saucepan with 1 c. water. Cover and simmer - set the timer to 45 minutes then on to the next step!
- In a large skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium heat. Add chicken (if using) and/or chickpeas, and rosemary; cook chicken until no longer pink, cook chickpeas until slightly crisp; 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Add a bit more oil, then throw in the onions, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, squash, thyme, sea salt and black pepper. Add a couple T of water, then cover, stirring frequently, until soft.
- Next, add flour and cook, stirring CONSTANTLY for 1 minute. Then add broth and milk, stir well, and bring to a simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine rice, cheese (optional), paprika, thyme, sea salt and black pepper in a bowl.
- Stir chicken or chickpeas back into the veggie mix, then transfer to a lightly oiled 9-inch pie dish.
- Scatter the rice mixture evenly over the top, then pop in the oven and bake until bubbly - about 30 minutes.