Vegetable & Ham Quiche Pot Pie

Ham Pot Pie with Vegetable

I was feeling a bit stressed yesterday afternoon about some business stuff. If I were a smoker, I  would have puffed on a few cigarettes to relieve the anxiety. Instead, I decided to cook something; it proved to be the perfect therapy.

I had no idea what I was going to cook. I shuffled things around in the fridge and found some leftover veggies, a tomato, onion. That was a start. I then spotted two cans of crescent rolls and a half opened container of vegetable broth, so I snagged those as well. And just as I was about to close the fridge door, I spotted some leftover ham.

IMG_3261The idea of a pot pie was planted in my mind, and I ran with it. I was in just the right mood to toss my creativity to the wind and see what happened.

Chopping the ham and veggies was a perfect anti-stress workout. I visualized my business stress with every chop of the blade. Extremely therapeutic.

Add cheese to the pot pie broth Once everything was chopped, I set the veggies aside to make a creamy broth. Broth was made with:

  • 1/4 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter (less calories)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (low salt)
  • 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
  • 3 handfuls cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2  to 1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups low-fat yogurt
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add vegetable to the broth

If you want a thicker broth add an egg or two. If adding eggs, you run the risk of the mixture becoming more like a frittata. As a sidebar, this broth also makes a great filling for crepes.

Add the asparagus to the broth mixAdd the cooked asparagus (chopped) to the broth mixture and let sauce simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is cooking, prep a round ceramic quiche dish with the crescent roll dough. If you are lining the bottom of the pan with dough, as I did, you will want to bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes before adding the filling. Otherwise, it may not cook through and be slightly doughy.

IMG_3305

Start by separating the crescent roll triangles. Flatten each triangle with the palm of your hand and place in bottom of quiche pan. Pour a layer of the sauce mixture over top. Repeat another layer of flattened crescent rolls and sauce two more times. The final topping should be the sauce mixture.

IMG_3316I lined the outer edge of the quiche pan with the leftover crescent dough rolled into small ball. A few thin dough pieces were placed on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the dough turns a light crispy brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. I served in 8 x 4 inch Au Gratin bowls.

I placed a cookie sheet beneath the baking dish, to catch any overflow while cooking. I found it to be unnecessary.

IMG_3321Here are the veggies I included in this dish:

  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 12 asparagus stems, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli

 

You can also substitute chicken for the ham. If you are using ham, go light on the salt as ham is already quite salty. The dish was very tasty and even the wine-guy liked it. The next time I make this dish, I want to do individual pot pies (in aluminum tins).

Since this was a “fly by the seat of your pants” dish, I wasn’t paying much attention to the calories. The final tally is in the neighborhood of 326 calories per serving ( 8 servings).

 

A Drive and Eat Dinner

My grand kids leave for a week in Florida. It’s an annual trip to a timeshare in Fort Meyers. They spend time with their “other” grandparents. It’s tradition for me to pack them “Roadie Travel Bags”, but this year, I also made our last dinner together a bit more fun by creating a drive and eat meal.

It’s amazing what you can do with a kitchen island, black and yellow masking tape and printed road signs. Of course, a few miniature car/truck props are needed to test out the roads.

Leftover taffy candy from Halloween was a great way to keep the road signs in place; that is, until the kids mowed over them with the vehicles. There was a Michigan map (with napkin and flatware) and Florida map (on dinner plate) with each place setting.

What a great learning experience on the basics of reading a map. My youngest grandson, Fischer, was most excited about the dump truck. He broke up small twigs, loaded them in the truck and drove them to Florida (not without a few crashes).

Make dinner time fun for the little ones.

I love making memories with my grand kids. They will remember this meal long after I disassemble everything. Oh, just for the record, dinner included hot dogs filled with Velveeta cheese and wrapped in bacon, mac and cheese, spinach salad and fresh fruit on wooden skewers.

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

I love cold pasta salads in the summer. Yesterday I had a hankering for one and sought out fresh ingredients that needed to be used up. I found a cucumber, tomato, and asparagus tips that were screaming “Use me”. Onion, broccoli  and bow tie pasta made up the remaining ingredients.

Cut up broccoli, asparagus tips, cucumber and onion.

INGREDIENT LIST:

  • Medium size cucumber chopped, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup asparagus tips
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/3 cup hot wasabi peas
  • 1 cup bow tie pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 cup lite ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bow Tie PastaHow To

Add broccoli, onion, asparagus tips and cucumber to the water/vinegar mixture. Allow to sit for 15 minutes; then drain.

Add remaining ingredients to the veggie mix. Stir well. Season to taste.

 

Make approximately six cups. A one cup serving (shown below) is in the neighborhood of 177 calories. It’s generous. If using as a side dish, you could reduce to 1/2 cup per serving.

Once cup serving of Bow Tie Pasta Salad