There is nothing like a warming pie straight from the oven on a cold winters night, but in general pies are not exactly a health food- with a high content of saturated and trans fats, salt and calories. However there is no reason why a tasty pie can’t be part of a healthy diet with a few modifications and adaptations as demonstrated in these Spiced Moroccan Pies from healthyfoodguide.com.au.
These pies are made with low fat pastry, reducing the total calorie and fat content and use the pastry only on the top of the pie, instead of completely encasing the filling, again reducing the calorie and fat content. The filling contains a wide variety of vegetables to help you reach your five serves per day and provide a range of vitamins and minerals for good health. Instead of meat, this recipe uses chickpeas as a source of protein, which is an excellent way to reduce the fat and calorie content of a dish. Chickpeas, like other legumes, also contain plenty of fibre, which helps keep bowels healthy and can also contribute to lowering bad cholesterol in the blood stream. Chickpeas are also low GI, which means they release carbohydrate into the blood stream slowly and keep blood sugar levels table. This helps to keep you full for longer and is great for people with diabetes.
This recipe is very adaptable. Why not make individual stuffed triangles with the filling wrapped in filo pastry to take to lunch, or use the filling over rice or to stuff pitta pockets.
Spiced Moroccan Pies (recipe from healthyfoodguide.com.au)
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Moroccan spice
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 2 large zucchinis, diced
- 2 yellow/red capsicums diced
- 400g tin no added salt chopped tomatoes
- 2 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
- 1 sheet reduced-fat puff pastry-thawed
- green salad and low fat natural yogurt to serve.
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
2. Spray a large saucepan with oil and cook onion over medium heat until soft. Add the spice and cook for a further minute.
3. Add eggplant and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add zucchini, capsicum, tomatoes, chickpeas and 1/2 cup water.
4. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring. Season with pepper.
5. Spoon filling into 4 1 cup baking dishes or one larger dish. Cut out pastry rounds slightly larger than dish and press over the edge of each dish to seal. Trim and cut a small slit in the top of each pie.
6 . Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and serve with a side salad for even more veggies!
Low far natural yoghurt also makes a nice accompaniment.