The holiday season is in full-swing at our house! Our live tree is decked to the hilt with all the ornaments above what I call the “toddler-reach” line. Our tree looks quite ridiculous–and not just because all the ornaments are on the top 1/3 of the tree! Every year we try and find the least perfect-looking tree we can. There’s really only one reason for this: money! I have found that you can strike a deal with the tree lot salesman if there’s a particularly unsightly tree on their lot. They know it probably won’t sell, so they’ll take anything for it. I’ll usually wait until the trees have been on the lot for about 1-2 weeks before I start asking about the ugliest trees. This gives the salesmen time to know which tree just isn’t selling.
Which is perfect for me and my budget.
And, now we have an awesome tradition of getting an ugly, live tree every year. Who decided how Christmas trees are supposed to look? (…grumble…consumerism…) As our kid(s) grow up and we continue this tradition, I may try to sneak a lesson on body image. This is how I imagine it:
Kid: Mom? Why do we always pick the ugly tree? Why can’t we get the perfect ones like the Jonses have?
Me: Because natural things aren’t perfectly symmetrical.
Kid: Yeah? Well the earth is.
Me: (This kid is getting smarter.) No, it’s not. It bulges in the middle.
Kid: What? That’s not true.
Me: Yes it is. I took astronomy in college.
Me: The point is, that tree is kind of like a body. It’s going to look different than any other tree and just because it looks different doesn’t mean that it’s ugly. (Yeah. Aced this one. Way to teach body image.)
Kid: Mom, did you just make the tree into a body image lesson?
Me: (Dang it. This kid is way too smart.) Here, eat some Paleo pot pie.
Kid: Okay, cool. Thanks.
Hopefully it goes down better than that, but at least I’m kind of prepared for looking like a dorky mom. I bet my kids won’t be using the word “cool” either. It will be so outdated by then.
At any rate, right before Thanksgiving this year I started craving pot pies. Warm, rich, creamy pot pies like the ones in the freezer section at the grocery store that you can cook in the microwave. I started missing that taste and decided to create my own Paleo pot pie using quality, clean eating ingredients. Cauliflower, when boiled or steamed and whipped in the blender, is my secret to a creamy, dairy-free pot pie. In fact, cauliflower makes a great substitute for milk in mashed potatoes as well!
While I used turkey in this recipe, you can definitely substitute chicken, beef, or any other meat. And if you are vegan, simply omit the meat and use flax egg substitute for the crust.
Paleo Pot Pie
1 medium Cauliflower
2 large Organic Carrots
1/2 stalk Organic Celery
1/2 cup Peas (Strict Paleo: Omit)
1/2 medium Onion
1/4 lb-1/2 lb raw turkey breast (Vegans: Omit)
3/4 cup water from boiled cauliflower
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 organic egg (Vegans: 3 tbs water + 1 tbs ground flax seed soaked in fridge 10 min)
1 tbs olive oil
Takes , serves four people.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fill a medium size pot with water. Rinse cauliflower and cut into pieces, placing them into the pot. Boil cauliflower on medium high heat until soft. While cauliflower is boiling, slice vegetables and place into a large, empty pot. Cut the meat into small pieces and add to the pot.
When cauliflower is done boiling, remove the florets and place them in the blender. Take 3/4 cup of the leftover liquid and put that in the blender as well. Whip until cauliflower is creamy and then pour into the pot of vegetables. Turn the stovetop on to medium and let it simmer until carrots are soft and the meat is almost cooked.
While the filling is simmering, combine all the ingredients for the crust and mix until a ball forms. Roll ball in your hand until smooth, then place in between two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin (on the outside of the parchment paper) to roll the dough out into a circle that will fit the size of the dish you are using (mine is about 7 inches across). Set aside until the filling is done.
Pour filling into a glass casserole dish (I use a small round Corningware about 1.6 liters or 7 inches) and then, very carefully, lift the crust dough and turn it upside down on top of the filling. Peel off the parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, or until crust is golden.
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