I go to the gym three to four times a week for a weight-lifting and cardio class. A couple of times a week, Darrick and I go on a 2.5 mile walk around Cherokee Park. And almost every week, you’ll find me on the dance floor for an evening.
This is all to say that I stay pretty active. However, as much as I work out, I’m never as thin as I used to be.
The photo above was taken seven years ago.
I worked out about the same amount at boot camp; however, I rarely ate carbs. I was NEVER hungry because I enjoyed as much protein and veggies and cheese as I wanted.
But when I fell in love with Darrick, switching to an 85% vegetarian diet meant I was suddenly consuming breads, pastas, potatoes, and rice like it was my job.
Most of my favorite comfort foods are vegetarian, and so I was super happy eating foods I hadn’t really enjoyed in years.
The down side is that it made my body very different, and often I mentally struggle with that.
I guess it’s true what they say about diet impacting weight more than exercise…
So for this week’s challenge, I wanted to recreate a meal that was low in carbohydrates, included plant-based protein, and was made from scratch without highly-processed ingredients.
Recipes that are both vegetarian and low-carb are hard to find.
To prepare for this, the Bluebird + Blackberries ladies asked what you think “healthy” means and what comfort food you would love to see made more healthful…
Many, many people requested chicken pot pie, and since it’s not something I’ve seen in a low-carb form, I thought I would try—only I would make it with chickpeas instead of chicken.
Almond flour makes a great base for pie crust or crackers. It’s flavorful, packed with nutrients, and easy to work with.
Traditional pie crust has calories and carbohydrates in every serving—and practically zero protein.
This almond flour pie crust does have calories and carbohydrates, but also magnesium, vitamin E and protein.
I knew making an entire top crust for a large pot pie would be difficult, so I decided to make individual servings.
The almond crust gets baked and then added to the top of the hot filling.
I traced the ramekins I would serve in, so I knew how large to make the crusts.
Just flip the parchment before baking so you don’t get pencil in your crust!
Then portion, press, and dock each crust.
Any tears can be fixed by pressing the dough back together.
While the crusts baked, I made the filling.
Onions, celery, and carrots make a great base. I used more onions and celery than carrots, just to keep the sugars lower.
When the veggies were tender, I added the flour and cooked slightly to get rid of the raw flavor.
Garbanzo beans are a wonderful source of protein and although they have more carbohydrates than chicken, they’re still a relatively low-carb food.
And they mimic the texture potatoes usually give pot pies!
I also added frozen peas, which are always delicious and always in my freezer.
I seasoned heavily with pepper and with sage from my herb garden, which came right back to life as soon as spring hit!
After the flour thickened the stock, I stirred in just a little sour cream to give the mixture the creamy gravy chicken pot pie is famous for.
Fifteen minutes later, the crusts were golden-brown and very crunchy!
I ladled the filling into 8 to 10-ounce ramekins and then topped the filling with a crust.
You could also use small bowls—whatever bowls you have. And because they don’t go back into the oven, whatever you use doesn’t have to be oven safe.
Feel free to cover the top completely even if it’s steaming—the steam barely softens the crust.
The finished product was delicious!
The crust was much crispier than a traditional pie crust, but I loved it that way. It made the texture way more interesting.
I was very pleased.
This chickpea pot pie is significantly lower in carbs than the original version, plus it’s a great source of whole food plant-protein.
Besides that, it’s made from scratch, and it still managed to feel like comfort food.
After eating it I felt great—mentally and physically!
In my book that is a truly successful recipe!
Chickpea Pot Pie with Almond Crust
makes: 8 individual pot pies
- 1¾ cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups diced onion
- 2 cups diced celery
- ¾ cup diced carrots
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3½ cups vegetable stock
- Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. To a large bowl, add the almond flour, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt, stirring to combine. Add the egg and butter and stir until a ball forms; divide the ball into 8 smaller balls.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Trace your ramekins with a pencil and then flip the parchment paper over. The circles will serve as the size guides for your crusts.
- Place the balls in the centers of the circles on the parchment paper, then press the balls into discs about the size of the circles. Repair any tears by pinching the dough back together, then bake until golden and crispy—about 15 minutes.
- While the crusts bake, make the filling. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the veggies are tender. Add the flour, stirring and cooking until the raw flour flavor disappears—about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Whisk in the vegetable stock. Add the chickpeas, peas, and sage and bring the mixture to a simmer—about 4 to 7 minutes. When the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat. Stir in the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide the filling between the 8 ramekins, then top with the Almond Crust. Enjoy immediately!