Monday, November 3, 2008

"Pie" Surprise

Typically, when I attempt to throw together a recipe from things that just happen together in my fridge, I end up with an eatable, but equally forgettable end product. However, last night, I made up a recipe that turned out something that was a delight – one which I am going to continue to make often.

So, in an attempt to clean out my fridge, I located these things:
• One butternut squash that I wanted to make soup with, but which I did not end up making
• A quarter packet of mixed vegetables – too little to put into anything else.
• Half a red bell pepper left over from a pizza that I made last week.
• One pre-made pie crust with which I was going to make apple pie, but I ended up eating the apples raw

So, I decided to make a vegetable pie – most of my previous vegetable pies have been passable, occasionally good, and never exceptional. However, I needed to clean out the fridge. So on I went with the project, and the result was amazing – a LOVELY pie: tasty, savory, filling, healthy, and above all EASY! It really was what I might classify as “healthy comfort food”. I’ll post pictures soon. Here’s how I made it:

I diced the whole butternut squash, the red bell pepper, and half an onion and boiled these in a bit of salted water with the leftover mixed vegetables. Don’t add too much water – we just want enough so that we don’t have to drain out any water after the veggies are cooked. I threw in some garlic powder and some rosemary and thyme (I grow the rosemary and thyme. If you don’t have these, just use whatever dried herbs you have – oregano, sage, basil…). I boiled all these together covered for about 15 minutes till the squash was a bit mushy. Then I let it cool and drained out the little water that remained. Then I mixed in a handful of shredded cheese (I used a low-fat cheddar-pepper jack blend because I happened to have some, but any regular shredded cheese is fine), and a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes. In the meantime, I had thawed out my pie crust. I sprayed my pie dish with some non-stick spray and rolled out the bottom crust. I spooned in the vegetable mixture and covered it with the top crust. I slotted the top crust, sprayed it will some non-stick spray and popped it into the oven for about 30 minutes (at 350 F), and then took it out to cool. Wait for it to cool a bit before you slice it. I had a slice for dinner last night with some spicy habanero sauce. Will have some more tonight. Do try to make it – it is really delicious!

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