On my Facebook Fan Page last week, I pitted two of my favorite recipes against each other for a vote. Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo and Ratatouille from my award-winning Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook stood head to head to see which one my fans would gobble up first.
It was a tight race, but It seems that the standard pot pie was the winner!
What kind of comfort food book would it be if a pot pie wasn’t included. The most important part of the pie is its crust and with all the fat and calories mostly residing here,I had to come up with something homey and comforting, but to fit the needs for people with diabetes( and really anyone who wants to eat healthier)
When I was a little girl, my Mom,sister and I made the classic Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, every Sunday. The crackle and crunch of the phyllo dough was my favorite part. We might have committed a culinary sin in the eyes of Greek cooks everywhere, but my Mom figured out we didn’t need to brush each layer of phyllo with butter, but could coat the layers with cooking spray! The result is fantastic with many, many,many calories and fat grams saved!
While the Ratatouille lagged a little in votes, fans commented they wouldn’t push a bowl of this away! My yearly trips to France was the inspiration to include this luscious melange of garden fresh vegetables with aromatic herbs and spices. You might not ever see Ratatouille in any other book billed as a comfort food, but try telling that to the French!
Enjoy both recipes and remember,sharing really is caring, so please share this with all those who bring you comfort!
CHICKEN POT PIE WITH PHYLLO
Serves 12: / Serving Size: 1 (3 × 3 inch) square
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
There is nothing more comforting than chicken and veggies in a lusciously thick sauce topped with a flaky crust. The earthy aroma of this dish will fill your kitchen and call everyone to dinner. The secret to this ultimate comfort food? By using butter flavored spray and phyllo dough we slash all the saturated fat and calories found in a typical pie crust topping. The phyllo dough topping is infinitely more interesting that a standard crust.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
10 ounces (3 cups) cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
1 pound small red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into quarters
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 medium (1 cup) carrots, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large (2 cups) onion, diced
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
6 tablespoons flour
8 ounces frozen peas
1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
8 sheets (9×14”) phyllo dough
butter flavored spray
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the diced chicken with garlic powder and freshly ground pepper and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the mushrooms and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Once the mushrooms soften, set them aside in a bowl. Strain any liquid from the mushrooms.
3. Add in the potatoes and thyme leaves and lower the heat to medium. Simmer the potatoes for about 8 minutes until tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and thyme to a bowl. Discard the thyme leaves. Add the carrots and onions to the stock and simmer for 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the carrots and onions to the same bowl with the potatoes.
4. Add the chicken to the stock and simmer the chicken for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to the same bowl with the vegetables. Reduce the stock until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, whisk the milk, half-and-half and flour together in a bowl until very smooth. When the stock is reduced slowly, add the milk mixture to the stock, constantly stirring until thickened, but smooth. Add the sauce to the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add in the reserved mushrooms, peas, and parsley, and mix well.
6. Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.
7. Spread one sheet of phyllo out onto a very lightly floured surface. Be sure to cover the remaining sheets of phyllo with a towel to avoid exposing to air. The phyllo will crack if exposed. Coat with the butter spray. Add another sheet of phyllo on top of the first sheet and coat with spray. Repeat this process until all 8 sheets are used.
5. Carefully lift the phyllo dough stack and place over the chicken vegetable filling. Tuck the edges under. With a sharp knife, make 3 diagonal slashes across the top of the dough. This will allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the chicken pot pie, uncovered, for about 30 minutes until the top is puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes. Cut into squares.
1 1/2 Starch
1 Lean Meat
Calories from Fat 20
Total Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium 180 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 13 g
Serves: 4 / Serving Size: 1 cup
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ratatouille is the ultimate comfort food in France. Although perhaps not thought of as a comfort food here in the U.S., it should be! A rich stewed mixture of fresh garden vegetables is so satisfying any time of year. I make mine with a lot less fat than the traditional recipe, keeping it light and fresh. But it still packs a flavorful punch!
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, top removed
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, thickly sliced
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4–1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the eggplant in a colander and
Sprinkle it with salt. Place a bowl over the eggplant and let stand for 1/2
2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on medium-high
heat. Add the onion and red and green peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the zucchini to the skillet Sauté on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the zucchini and place with the other vegetables.
4. Rinse the salt from the eggplant and dry it with a paper towel. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Sauté the eggplant on medium heat for 6–7 minutes. Add the reserved vegetables to the eggplant. Stir in the thyme, oregano, pepper, and cayenne and cook for 5 minutes. Serve.
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 15 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 4 g
Recipes from The American Diabetes Association’s Comfort Food Cookbook
© 2011 by Robyn Webb. All rights reserved.