3 large chicken breasts, no bones or skin
2 carrots, rinsed and chopped
2 celery stalks, rinsed and diced
½ small yellow onion, peeled and minced finely
1 head fresh broccoli, rinsed, and chopped small
1 box low sodium, fat free chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
2 boxes frozen Pillsbury whole grain pie crust
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
Pinch sea salt and cracked black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take out frozen pie crust an hour before using. Spray a nonstick cupcake tin with nonstick spray; set aside. Make sure you have all of your ingredients set out in front of you ahead of time. Dice all veggies into small pieces.
2) Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel. Dice chicken into small pieces. Spray skillet with non-stick spray or olive oil. Heat pan over medium heat, and add diced chicken. Stir fry for 5 minutes, then add garlic powder, thyme, poultry seasoning, a few pinches of sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir often, until cooked through, about 10 minutes, total. Remove chicken and place in separate bowl.
3) In same pan that chicken was cooked in, add all veggies. Stir fry on medium heat until they start to become soft, about 8 minutes. Add cooked chicken back to the pan with the veggies. Stir well to combine. Add the entire box of chicken stock to the meat and veggie mix. Bring to a slight boil.
4) In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the ¼ cup of cold water. Add the 2 tablespoons cornstarch to the water, and mix thoroughly with a spoon, making sure to break up the cornstarch so that there are no lumps. Add the cornstarch and water mix directly to the chicken and veggies, and continue cooking until cornstarch starts to bubble. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Sauce should be thick enough to not run off of a spoon easily. If it’s too thin, try adding about 2 more tablespoons cornstarch to 1/8 cup water, mix well, and stir into sauce. Turn off heat and set pan aside.
5) When the pie crust has defrosted, cut large round circles out around each pie crust. You can use the edge of a large drinking glass, or a large round cookie cutter to do this. Place each pie crust circle over a cupcake hole in the pan, and press down gently, to form the dough into the pan. Lightly push down the bottom and sides.
6) Fill each pie crust with ¼ to ½ cup meat, veggie, and gravy filling. Cover each crust with another round cut-out pie crust circle, and tuck sides under, pinching the top together with the sides. They should look like mini-pies in the cupcake tin. Make 3 slits atop each mini pie for steam to escape.
7) Place cupcake tin of mini-pies onto a large cookie sheet. This will prevent spills from getting to the bottom of your oven! Place cupcake tin inside preheated oven. Bake until pie crust is nicely browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Remove from cupcake tin carefully with a large spoon.
*Substitute the chicken breast for cooked lean ground beef, chicken, turkey, or chunks of fresh fish/sea food.
*Substitute the chicken stock with beef, turkey, vegetable, or fish broth, according to the meat adjustment you have made.
*Substitute the potatoes with yams, sweet potatoes, or turnips. Try green beans in place of the broccoli. Try corn in place of the carrots. Try kale or spinach as an add-in. Leave out any veggies that your kids may not like. Add in the ones that they do. Sneak in veggies that they’ve never tried before, and remember… the smaller you cut them, the less change there is of them noticing the healthy change!
*Substitute any home made whole grain pie crust, or canned pie crust (usually found in the cold food section by butter)
*Directions remain the same, even if you are making the above adjustments.