Turkey and vegetable pie with cheesy potato puree topping

Offering meat to kids can be tricky, most of all when it comes in the form of a beef steak or grilled chicken breast. But if you incorporate meat in something else like an hamburger, a stuffed vegetable, a stew or a casserole, magic happens and kids eat everything without even knowing that meat was involved ;-)

For Thanksgiving this year I decided to skip the beautiful roasted Turkey and go for a creamy comforting turkey pie with vegetables and a cheesy potato puree topping.  I already did a test few weeks ago and it was a success!! That’s why I’m sharing it with you ;-)

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What we really liked about the recipe was:

– the creamy cheesy topping. No way, the potato puree is always a winner ;-)

– the nice balance between turkey meat and vegetables in the stuffing.

– the super tasty cream that I used to mix together the turkey meat and the vegetables. That is a recipe must!! It is what gives the pie that nice creamy texture

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Here you are what you will need to prepare 12 mini pies (1 mini pie is enough for an adult or grown up kid):

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– let’s start from the puree’. Peel the potatoes and chop them in medium size pieces. If you can, more or less of the same size…they will cook evenly.

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– fill a big pot with water and let it boil. When it is boiling add 1 tablespoon of salt and add the potatoes. Let them boil and cook for 15 minutes.

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– while the potatoes are cooking, prepare the stuffing. Wash, peel and chop the carrots/celery/onions in small pieces

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– take a big pan and add few tablespoons of oil of olive. Turn the heat on at medium. Add the chopped veggies and stir. Add the garlic and adjust with a pinch of salt. Stir and let it cook for 8/10 minutes.

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– When the vegetables are cook you can add the ground turkey. Stir very well and let it cook for another 8/10 minutes. Add the chopped almonds, stir and set it apart.

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– The potatoes are ready. Drain them and place them back immediately in the pot used for boiling them. Add butter, milk and salt. Using an immersion blender create a nice and smooth puree. Add the fontina cheese chopped in small cubes. The potatoes should be still hot and their heat will melt the cheese. Set the puree apart and let it cool down.

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– Take a small sauce pan and add the butter. With a whisk at very low heat melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the flower and keep whisking creating a nice thick cream. Add the worcester sauce and slowly the broth while whisking. Keep whisking for one minute or two and turn the heat off. You will obtain a nice and creamy sauce, not too thick, not too liquid. Add the creamy sauce to the turkey vegetable mix.

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– at this point you can choose: you either take 12 small ceramic pots or a big one (oven proof). I love small individual portions so I opted for a small pot. Fill the pot with few tablespoons of Turkey mix (3/4 of the pot) and cover it with the cheesy potato puree. I used a pastry chef bag but you can easily use a tablespoon. It will not be perfect, but it will be easier!!

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– Bake the pies in the oven at 350 F. for 20/25 minutes: a nice cheesy golden crust will be formed!!! Let the pies cool down at least for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy them!!!

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posted on November 20, 2014

Gluten free ham and arugula quiche

Thanksgiving is coming and it’s time to start looking for yummy and inviting recipes to enjoy with all the family. In the last years I noticed that I really put a huge effort in preparing the Thanksgiving meal and the following days I kind of feel without ideas with tons of leftovers to use. That’s why this year I will concentrate on creative ideas to use Thanksgiving leftovers and fully enjoy them!

Today’s recipe will use any gorgeous ham leftovers to be mixed with eggs and arugula to create a gluten free fall quiche. Even if you do not follow a gluten free diet, I deeply suggest the almond flour crust with the rosemary touch. It came out really really good!!

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If you do not celebrate Thanksgiving or you do not have any ham leftovers, no worries! You can use any cooked ham sliced and cut in cubes, or, if you are vegetarian or you do not eat ham, switch the ham with some feta cheese: you will still have that lovely salty kick that makes the recipe really delicious!

This is all you will need of 8 mini quiches or a standard size one:

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And that’s how to proceed:

– as we are preparing a gluten free dough, a nice trick is to use cold ingredients. It will help the mix to stick together better. So, let’s measure the almond four, and the butter, cut the butter in small cubes and store everything in the refrigerator for one hour or more.

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– take the cold flour and butter from the fridge and place them in a food processor. Add the chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt. Let the food processor work for 1 minute and add the egg white. Keep mixing for another minute and you will obtain a nice doughy dough. Not too sticky but soft. Don’t worry if it will not look compact but it will break easily in pieces, it’s fine. The egg white will do the magic once baked!!

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– remove the dough from the food processor and wrap it on some parchment paper. Let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour.

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– Chop the red onion in thin slices and sauté them in a pan with few tablespoons of extra virgin oil of oil and a pinch of salt. It will take 8/10 minutes. Once cooked, let them cool down.

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– In a big bowl mix together the eggs, the milk and the ricotta. Adjust with a pinch of salt and stir everything with a wooden spoon trying to obtain a smooth mix.

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– Add the ham chopped in small cubes, the grated parmesan cheese, the onions and the arugula.

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– mix everything and set it apart.

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– remove the almond dough from the fridge and cut it in 8 pieces. I’m using 8 tart mini pans, that’s why. If you are using a big quiche/tart pan leave the dough like that in one piece. Start filling the tart pan with the dough.

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– cover the bottom of the quiche with a small piece of parchment paper. Not to let the paper move place some seeds on top. I happened to have some sunflower seeds in the pantry, any other kind of dry seeds will be fine!

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– bake the crust in the oven at 350F. for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the seeds and the paper and fill the quiche with the ham and arugula filling

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– bake the quiche in the oven at 400F for 35 minutes and enjoy!!!

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posted on November 13, 2014

Pumpkin puree


It’s in season and it’s such a nutritious food for babies: pumpkin puree. Wonderfully loaded with beta-carotenes, vitamin C, iron, and other nutrients, pumpkin puree can be served to your little ones starting from 6 months in a very simple and light way. For the basic pumpkin puree the ingredients are:

– 1 medium “sugar pie” pumpkin, more or less 1lb (850gr.)

– 1 cup of hot water (I used the one from the steamer) or breast milk or formula milk.

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How to proceed:

– cut the pumpkin in half and peel it with a  sharp knife. Be careful ;-)

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– remove the seeds

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– slice the pumpkin in 8 slices and remove the inner peel in the center (once cooked it will still taste threadlike…)

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– cut the pumpkin in small pieces

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– steam the pumpkin for 15 minutes

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– place the pumpkin in a bowl and add the liquid (either hot water or breast milk or formula milk) and puree it with an immersion blender. You can always use a food processor, it works the same!!

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– add as much liquid as you need in order to create a smooth and creamy texture. I ended up using 1 cup of hot water from the steamer.

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– your little one can enjoy it right away or you can store the puree’ in small portions in an air tight container or in a fun reusable pouch like the one in the video in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

If you like the baby food reusable pouches in the video, they are from BabyMaya and you can find them on Amazon, here

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Babies usually love pumpkin puree as it is smooth and sweet; you can really play adding other ingredients all appropriate for babies from 6/7 months. Here you are some ideas:

1 Sweet Potato + Pumpkin + Bananas + Blueberry

2 Pumpkin + Sweet Potato + Pear

3 Spinach + Pumpkin + Chickpeas

4 Pumpkin + Apple + Yogurt

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If you want to prepare the pumpkin puree and use it as a basic ingredient for all the wonderful fall recipes, just follow the instructions above and add hot water at the end (…you will not need breast milk or formula milk…).

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posted on November 6, 2014

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