Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Mini ‘Chicken’ & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Since I stopped eating meat I’ve become a huge fan of Quorn, it’s so versatile and really delicious. I’ve made these vegetarian friendly pies three times now, and I can’t get enough! The pastry is so simple to make, with no blind baking needed, and bakes to a gorgeously golden and crispy finish. The filling is creamy and indulgent, and full of flavour from the herbs. They can be served hot or cold, I’ve enjoyed them hot with mash and gravy and I’ve also served them cold at parties where they haven’t lasted long!

To make the pastry I rubbed together the plain flour and butter with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs.

I added the eggs and formed it into a dough and wrapped it in cling film, I put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour

To make the filling I heated up 1 tsp vegetable oil in a pan and fried the leek until it had softened. I added the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes. Then I poured in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt. I mixed it together and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then I took it off the heat, transferred it to a bowl and let it cool down fully.

I rolled the pastry out onto a floured surface and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter.

Then I re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. I also used a round fondant plunger to cut out little circles in the middle.

To make sure the pies didn’t stick, I greased a muffin tin and lined each hole with strips of baking paper, and I filled it with the pastry bases.

Then I filled each base with the filling, then brushed some beaten egg around the edge and stuck the lids on. I brushed more beaten egg over the tops.

I baked them for 25 minutes until they were golden and bubbling. I removed them from the tray and let them cool as I served them cold.

I got 14 pies out of this batch, although there was some filling leftover. It’s always a bit hit and miss with pastry as it depends how thin you roll it, but you’ll get at least 12 mini pies out of this recipe. You could push it to 16 if you roll the pastry out thin enough every time and use every last bit. If you have any leftover filling, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and it’s yummy with rice and green veg!

They have quite a rustic appearance but I think pies like this should! Their golden colour and tempting filling oozing out of the centre make me want to eat them all up! The Quorn chicken pieces make these pies really hearty and filling, I honestly don’t think you could tell the difference between them and real chicken! I’ve served these to many meat eaters and had fantastic feedback!

           

I’m linking this recipe up with Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too, Cook Blog Share hosted by Recipes Made Easy, and Cook Once Eat Twice by Searching For Spice.

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Mini Chicken & Leek Pies (Vegetarian)

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 2 Eggs
  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter

For the filling

  • 2 Leeks medium sized
  • 350 g Quorn chicken style pieces
  • 250 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt

Other

  • 1 Egg beaten, for glazing
  • Butter for greasing

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7, grease a muffin tin with butter and strips of baking paper

  2. To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub together the plain flour and butter with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs

  3. Add the eggs and form it into a dough,  be careful not to knead it or over work it, then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour

  4. To make the filling heated up the vegetable oil in a pan on a low-medium heat, fry the leeks until soft

  5. Add the Quorn chicken pieces, and let them cook for a 2-3 minutes

  6. Pour in the double cream, dried thyme, dried rosemary and salt, mix it together and let it cook for 5 minutes

  7. Take the mixture off the heat, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down fully

  8. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface to a thickness of around 3mm, and cut out the pie bases using a 10cm round cutter. Cut out 12 to start with, then more if you have any remaining pastry after cutting out the lids

  9. Re-rolled the dough out and cut out the pid lids using a 7.5cm round cutter. Use a round fondant plunger, or a round piping nozzle, or a knife to cut out little circles in the middle

  10. Place the pastry bases into the muffin tray, use your fingers to press them against the bottom and sides

  11. Fill one with the filling, then brush the beaten egg around the edge and stick the lids on, pressing them around the sides to seal the edges. Brush more beaten egg over the tops

  12. Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and bubbling. Remove them from the tray and either serve immediately or let them cool and serve them cold (refridgerate once cool)

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10 Vegetarian Mason Jar Salad Recipes

10 Vegetarian Mason Jar Salad Recipes
 Mason jar salads are an easy way to pack a healthy lunch for taking to work, or any on the go activity. The basic principal is that the ingredients are layered up, starting with the dressing and any wet ingredients at the bottom, veggies and proteins in the middle, and then salad leaves at the top. When you’re ready to eat, you shake it up, tip it all out into a bowl or plate and dig in! You can also now get jars that have a separate compartment for the dressing, like the one I have which is pictured above (there’s a link at the bottom of the post to where you can buy it). With a mason jar salad you can create your perfect tasty lunch, tailored to your own tastes and dietary needs, the possibilities really are endless! In order to celebrate National Vegetarian Week (16 – 22 May 2016) I decided to gather together 10 vegetarian mason jar salad recipes that look sure to brighten up any lunch hour!

Courgetti, Farro & Mozarella Salad by Rachel Cooks
This salad looks really easy to prepare and is full of goodness.

Artichoke & Tortellini Salad by Organize Yourself Skinny
A nutrious mix that is also a fantastic way to use artichoke.

Mexican Chickpea Salad with Chilli-Lime Dressing by Back To Her Roots
If you love spicy food and mexican flavours, this is the mason salad jar for you!

Guacamole Mason Jar Salad by Popsugar
A simple salad with a spicy kick that will satisfy your cravings for chips and dips!

Carrot Noodle Salad with Sweet Chilli Vinaigrette by Nosh & Nourish
A delicious asian style salad including hemp seeds, which are packed with nutrion.

Greek Mason Jar Salad by Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
I adore greek food and this is making my mouth water!

Apple & Walnut Salad by Eat Within Your Means
This crunchy salad is full of textures and flavours and makes me think of summer.

Egg Salad by Make and Takes
A simple but tasty mix of egg salad and leafy greens.

Rainbow Salad with Avocado Hummus by Oh My Veggies
This super healthy salad is also vegan friendly and the avocado hummus sounds heavenly!

And finally… Giant Cous Cous, Chickpea and Feta Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing by me! Writing this blog post really inspired me to try out my first mason salad jar recipe. I combined some of my favourite salad ingredients to make a delicious lunch to take to work. I adore giant cous cous and feta is one of my favourite cheeses to have in salad. I found raspberry balsamic in Holland & Barrett and have loved it ever since, it still has that vinegar tang, but with a fruity hint. Give it a try!

I am entering this into No Croutons Required which is hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and the theme is veggie recipes.

And into Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes.

And into Food Year Link Up hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, for National Vegetarian Week.

And into Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Honest Mum.


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Giant Cous Cous, Chickpea and Feta Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients

  • 60 g Giant Cous Cous
  • 50 g Chickpeas
  • 45 g Feta
  • 6-8 Plum tomatoes
  • 1 Sweet Gem Lettuce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Raspberry balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Honey

Instructions

  1. Cook the giant cous cous according to the packet instructions. Allow to cool fully
  2. To make the dressing, mix the ingredients together well. You may like more honey, salt or vinegar depending on your personal taste so adjust the quantities to your own preference
  3. Mix the chickpeas into the giant cous cous and add the mixture into the mason jar. (If you are using a jar without a separate dressing container, add the dressing at this point)
  4. Layer the feta, then cherry tomatoes, then lettuce
  5. When ready to eat, pour in the dressing, shake the jar, and pour out onto a plate and dig in!

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Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake

Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake
I am always looking for ways to use up leftovers as food waste is something I really can’t stand. Did you know that we throw away 7 million tonnes of food every year? Reducing food waste not only helps the environment, but it helps your bank account too! We’re so lucky to have access to food whenever we need it that most people forget it isn’t like that everywhere in the world. So, I think it’s really important to try not to waste any of it. Joseph Joseph and Love Food Hate Waste have joined forces against food waste this month and in order to help with their campaign I’ve created this Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake, which you can fill and flavour with a variety of leftovers. It will also easily feed a family of four.

I love Joseph Joseph’s Nest Storage Set for storing leftovers in. They are space saving in your cupboard when they are not filled with leftovers as they all stack into each other. They come in sizes perfect for taking your lunch into work, storing cupcakes and biscuits or of course any leftovers in the fridge! Plus they’re colour coded so you can quickly match up the tubs to their lids.

The leftovers I had in my fridge were half an onion, a red pepper and about 8 cherry tomatoes. You could also put other veg in this like mushrooms, leeks, courgettes or aubergine. And if you’re a meat eater, any leftover meat like chicken, chorizo or ham would work well. I pre-cooked my onion and pepper in some olive oil and garlic. I’d advise pre-cooking any veg you decide to use.

I sliced 5 slices of bread into diagonals, buttered each one, and arranged them neatly in my dish. I used my Berndes 27x18cm dish. The crust of the loaf is perfect for this recipe and often gets leftover.

 

I whisked up 4 eggs, 500ml semi skimmed milk and 50ml double cream. If you don’t want to add the cream, just replace it with more milk. I also added 1 tsp mixed herbs and 1 tsp salt. You can add your favourite spices or herbs to flavour this to your taste.

I spooned the cooked veg in between and around the slices of bread, I then added the cherry tomatoes which I sliced in half.

I poured the egg mixture into the dish and left it to soak into the bread for 5 minutes.

Finally I sprinkled over 75g mature cheddar, and popped it into the oven on 180C/160C Fan/350F/ Gas Mark for 40 minutes.

I left it for 10 minutes or so, as it sets better together, a bit like a lasagne. Then I dug in! This bake is great served with salad, fresh spinach or any green veg like broccoli.

It was so yummy! I loved the soft eggy bread and vegetables, but then the crispy cheesey topping was equally as satisfying. This is a fabulous way to use up lots of different types of leftovers and feed hungry family and friends!

I’m entering this bake into Simply Eggcellent, hosted by Belleau Kitchen. This month’s theme is anything goes!

And into the No Waste Food Challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

And this month’s Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All.

 

And Extra Veg hosted by Utterly Scrummy and Fuss Free Flavours.

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Leftovers Savoury Bread Bake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 an Onion
  • 8 Cherry tomatos
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 5 slices of Bread
  • Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 500 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 50 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 75 g Mature cheddar

Instructions

  1. Dice up then fry the onion, garlic and pepper in the olive oil
  2. Slice the into diagonals, butter each piece, and arrange them neatly in a 27x18cm dish
  3. Whisk up the eggs, milk and double cream. Add the mixed herbs and salt
  4. Spoon the cooked veg in between and around the slices of bread, then slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them too
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the dish and leave it to soak into the bread for 5 minutes
  6. Sprinkle over the mature cheddar, and pop it into the oven on 180C/160C Fan/350F/ Gas Mark for 40 minutes
 
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