One of my dietary weaknesses is savoury things wrapped in pastry. Pies, pasties, sausage rolls – they call me like cake or ice cream call other folk.
As far as I’m concerned, a road trip is not a road trip unless at some point I’m flicking pastry crumbs from a sausage roll or pasty over the car floor.
Whenever we went to the fish and chip shop when I was in the UK, I wouldn’t order the fish, I’d go for a chicken and mushroom pie and chips.
And now I live in Sydney, trying to find the best pie is practically a weekend sport – I think I’ve decided it’s the one in The Porterhouse pub in Surry Hills, but I’m testing others just in case.
There’s much debate in our house about the pot pie where the pie is served in a pot avoiding the need for a pastry case, and whether it’s sacrilege.
I’m on the fence – I prefer a pastry bottom, but, can see that leaving it out cuts the calories – which technically means it’s better for me. I can therefore eat pie more often!
However while I was flicking through Slimming World magazine the other day I saw an intriguing idea that helped reduce the calories in pie even further.
It was so simple. Instead of having a full pastry top and base, it was a pot pie with just little strips of pastry over the top.
25g of pastry per pie to be precise
Psychologically it was pie, but calorie wise, it was like an eighth of a pie.
It was time to get my pinny on.
How Easy Was The Diet Pie to Make?
A quick trip to the supermarket armed me with roughly 40 times more puff pastry than I actually needed and after a short defrost there I was up to my arms in flour rolling it out into little strips and having flashbacks of afternoons at my nan’s house.
Look, this is how it went into the oven.
It came out pretty well. The filling was ham, chicken, mushrooms, onions, carrots and green beans simmered with stock and a few other bits and bobs (although I admit I had the beans on the side – green beans have no place in pie as far as I’m concerned) and very tasty it was too.
However the real surprise was that the topping strips were fantastic. They satisfied my pastry craving but for just 95 calories.
Even The Boyfriend was impressed. Although admittedly I put a full top on his, he was concerned enough re the whole ‘pot’ pie plan. I caught him looking at the recipe and muttering something about shortcrust and sacrilege. I didn’t dare risk putting him into pastry strip shock.
It’s now on my list of successful recipes which is a bit of luck as I still have about 900gm of pastry left. Here’s the finished product.
The recipe is not my copyright (yes, there is such a thing as copy right on recipes) and so I can’t print it here but I have found it online for anyone else who wants to have a go at making a easy, lower-calorie pie.
The recipe makes four pies but they can be frozen so you don’t have to eat them all at once!
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.