Chickpea Pot Pie with Almond Flour “Cornbread”

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Ooooooh, the wind is a blowin’ with slightly more chill!  With the addition of more clothing layers and a small space heater (haha!) to warm my chilly toes, I am getting a big hankerin’ for some cozy, comfort food. So, I’m wondering how to achieve that delicious, hearty flavor while also maintaining some sort of healthy element? I decided to take two recipes that my family loves, kids included, and combine them.  This brought me to pot pie with a twist!  Well, I guess, a lot of twists – without compromising flavor.

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I’ve always loved pot pies of all kinds, but I wanted to make one without a wheat or corn-based crust. We’ve recently developed an addiction to a paleo-style “cornbread” recipe that you can find on the Hip2Save blog here. I used it for the crust.  There’s always risk involved when reinventing the wheel, but this recipe will not let your tastebuds down.  It is yummy, and in my opinion, better than traditional cornbread. However, I did tweak some of the ingredients a bit for this dish in effort to tone down the sweeter flavors of the original recipe, also leaving it not entirely, 100% paleolithic. However, I found that it paired well with the flavors in the chickpea pot pie filling I used.  I made a few changes to a pot pie filling (link below) that I’ve enjoyed several times.  I modified it some by adding a couple of different veggies, and substituting AP flour for a gluten-free option.  Still so good!!

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Chickpea Pot Pie with Almond Flour “Cornbread”

Inspired by Joanne Eats Well With Others and Hip2Save

1 cup carrots – sliced

1 large onion – diced

1 cup potatoes – chopped

1 cup green beans – cut to 2-3 inch pieces

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 1/2 cups veggie broth

1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp salt

pepper to taste

Topping:

2 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp butter (you could sub butter for more almond butter – I just ran out of almond butter)

2 tbsp Coconut oil

3 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoons honey

1 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 375F. Put carrots, green beans, and potatoes in boiling water until fork tender and set aside. Heat olive oil in large pan on medium. Cook onions until softened.  Then, mix in gluten-free flour just before pouring in vegetable broth. Slowly stir broth until the mixture begins to thicken, approximately 2-3 minutes. Pour in chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, green beans, salt, and pepper.  Continue cooking on medium for an additional 4-5 minutes with an occasional stir.  Transfer mixture to either greased ramekins or an 8 x 8 casserole dish.

To make the topping, heat almond butter, butter, and coconut oil in a small pot or microwave until melted. Remove from heat and mix in eggs and honey. Separately, mix all dry ingredients together. Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring well.  Begin pouring batter over the top of the filling and spread evenly. If using ramekins, divide mixture by using a couple of spoonfuls each until equally divided.  Put in oven and bake about 15 minutes or until browning on top. I went a little longer to achieve a crunchier texture. You may need to bake longer if using a casserole dish.

I love both of these dishes, so it was fun to combine them.  They turned out to be a huge hit at our house!!  Stay warm everyone!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup: With a hint of Asian Pear

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So, here we are again, on to another season in this life of ours. This year, our family has experienced some large magnitude earthquakes along with their subsequent aftershocks. We have come to only know Mr. Normalcy as an acquaintance.  He used to be a very close friend of ours, but times, they have changed.  With Autumn’s arrival, we’re feeling old comforts resurface and burning scents of nostalgia fill the air as we remember all the autumns that have come before.  Except, this one’s different.  There’s an exchange between change and us, an interaction with the surrounding earth that only one can learn to have when they slow down and breathe in the life that sustains us. Now, we know not to allow restlessness, apathy, competition, and discontent distract us from being present for one another.  We know it’s only a matter of time before Inertia’s movements will begin to sway, taking us on another pendulous journey without pause, and teaching us to find center while surrendering to its to and fro motion. Embrace change, allow growth, improve life…….I keep telling myself.

I felt very appreciative while cutting into this butternut squash, knowing that it was grown nearby with love and passion for CHANGE from the status quo!  I’m thankful to live in an area that has the capacity to grow an abundance of food, and yet I also have the capacity to choose to eat it. I choose to shift my perception.  I choose to support these local people, my neighbors, when I can. I love that!

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And check out this butternut squash! I all but put on a worship service for it – hehe. It’s heart-shaped pod of seeds smiled at me when I opened it up, just ready to deliver deliciousness.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup

2 Butternut Squashes

2 sprigs rosemary – minced

2 onions – diced

5 tbsp olive oil

3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.  Cut butternut squashes lengthwise into halves.  Scoop out seeds.  Coat with olive oil and salt/pepper.  Place the squash in baking dishes facing up as shown in the picture above.  Roast for about 35-40 minutes or until tender and browning on the outside.

While roasting the squash, cut your onion and mince the rosemary.  Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.  Cook onion and rosemary until the onions are translucent.  Pour in broth.

Once squash is done roasting, scoop out the insides and put in the pot with the broth and onions.  Stir and take off heat.  Put soup into blender or food processor and puree.  Put back into pot and serve or add additional broth depending on your preference of thickness.

Roasted Asian Pear: If you want to add a hint of sweetness, thinly slice an asian pear.  Toss with a smidgen of olive oil and roast on 400F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown, flipping half way.  Place in soup with a rosemary sprig to enhance aesthetics. 🙂

Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Soup

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Fall has been teasing me these last few weeks, and I know I’m not alone when I declare that Autumn is my favorite season with Spring coming in at a close second. ‘Tis the season for multi-colored leaves that light up the Ozark Mountain canopy, baked apple pie candles, candy corn, bad costumes, and, sometimes, even worse Football.  What I haven’t mentioned is the chili, the vegetable soups, and the hardy cuisine that help prep us for adequate winter hibernation (i.e., my need for more frequent afternoon napping). Is it too early to hit the wassail? Oh, how I love the smell of hot cider wafting through the air on a cool, Fall afternoon! I’ve gotta get on that since we’re amidst harvest time for apples!  While we wait for our local apples to be plucked from their trees, lets partake in some soup, shall we?

We only have a few more weeks to enjoy the great bounty that our hard-working farmers have provided this year, and I get a little bit sad knowing I’m gonna have to spend more time at the grocery store and less time strolling around the Farmers’ Market.  Fortunately, there’s still a lot of delicious goodies being harvested right now, especially those that make for a delectable bowl of soup. With exception to a few ingredients, all of the veggies in this soup were grown right here in NW Arkansas!

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Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Soup

6 yukon or red potatoes – cubed

2 medium carrots – sliced

1 bunch of green beans – halved

2 cups okra – sliced

1 onion – diced

3-4 large tomatoes – quartered

2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)

handful fresh basil – chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano – chopped

3-4 cups vegetable broth

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut all of your veggies, keeping tomatoes separate. With exception to the onion, and the tomatoes that were set aside, toss all vegetables in olive oil, half of basil, and salt and pepper.  Spread them onto a greased baking sheet. Toss tomatoes in olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a glass baking dish. Put all veggies in the oven for approx. 35-40 minutes (or until brown and tender), stirring halfway.

In the meantime, pour a tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium.  Cook onion until tender. Then pour in vegetable broth and chickpeas.  Once veggies are done, add to pot with salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, turn to low, throw in remaining basil, and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve hot on a cool autumn evening.

I sprinkled a little parmesan on top for added pleasure, but it’s still delish if you want to forego this part!

Wanna reduce your okra slime?

See here for help!