Happy Pi Day! 3 Healthy(ish) Pies for Pi Day
Happy Pi Day!
Pizza Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, and Chocolate Pie
Happy Pi Day!
I’d love to tell you that I know all about pi (π ). But, though I’m actually okay at math (I scored higher in math than language on the GRE. Weird), I don’t study mathematics. But I do know a few things:
Pi is equivalent to 3.14159
Today is March 14 or 3.14
Pi cannot be expressed as a common fraction. But slices of pie can.
All of this sounds like a good excuse to eat pie.
In celebration of Pi Day, companies and restaurants are offering special offers on pie. For example, Whole Foods is celebrating with $3.14 off select bakery pies. And Boston Market is offering a buy-one-get-one free on chicken pot pies. And, of course, practically every pizza place is advertising $3.14 pizzas today.
But this year, I’ve been committed to cooking and eating at home more. It’s cheaper and healthier. And, since we are talking about yoga around these parts, it can also be part of the practice. Cooking can be a form of meditation and devotion. Bhakti yogis often practice devotion through cooking in that it is a offering to others and Self through nourishment and love. Even if you aren’t into the “woo woo” of it all, most of us know what this means. There is a reason why your grandmother’s food that was “cooked with love” is so damn good.
So in the spirit of cooking, nourishment, and love, here are three easy and healthy-ish pies you can make for Pi Day! Don’t let the list of recipes scare you away from these pies. They are relatively easy to make. And in many cases, there are easy substitutions for busy schedules.
May your love in the kitchen be as infinite as pi!
Lemon Arugula Pizza pie
This lemon arugula pizza can be dressed up or down as you wish. Reduce the cheese or eliminate it all together if you prefer. You can also add as many veggies as your heart desires!
If you have time, making a homemade pizza dough easy and fun. But, I get it. It’s 2019, and life is busy. If time is limited, grab a fresh to-go pizza dough from your local pizza place or grocery story (I really like Trader Joe’s pizza dough).
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
Pinch of sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Corn meal-for spreading on pizza peel
1 tablespoon fresh olive oil
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (use less or more as desired)
2 cups arugula
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Additional shredded parmesan cheese, for serving, optional
Make the dough. In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Throw in a pinch of sugar and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
In either a large bowl or a the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt.
Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mix.
Add olive oil.
Mix until combined.
Either use the dough hook of the stand mixer for about 5 minutes on medium speed or knead with your hands for 10-12 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the over to 450 degrees (F). Cut the dough in half. Place one half of the dough on a floured surface and punch it down. (The other half can be used for a second pizza or put in the freezer for later).
Roll the dough into a circle.
Brush olive oil on the rolled dough. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until pizza is golden and cheese is melted.
Remove the pizza. Squeeze lemon juice on the arugula and season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with additional cheese if desired.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
I love Shepherd’s Pie in all of it’s forms. But this vegan version is one of my favorites! Unlike other legumes, lentils don’t have to be soaked. So this recipe is less time consuming than legume-based dishes.
1 medium onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
3 pounds potatoes (I like russet)
3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Quarter the potatoes and boil in a large pot of water. The potatoes are done when they are easily perforated with a fork.
Using a masher or a fork, mash the potatoes until smooth. Add vegan butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Preheat the over to 425 degrees (F) and lightly grease a large dish (you’ll need a big one or a couple of smaller ones for mini pies).
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Then, sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned and caramelized. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the lentils, stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes).
In the last few minutes of cooking, toss in the frozen veggies and cover.
If you prefer to thicken the mixture, add 2-3 tablespoons of mashed potatoes into the filling. Or remove 1/2 of the filling, whisk in 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Stir the mix back into the pan.
Salt and pepper as desired.
Pour filling into dish(es) and top with mashed potatoes. Smooth the potatoes with a spatula.
Place on a baking sheet (in case it overflows). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.
Cool before serving. Enjoy! The filling will thicken as it rests.
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BANANA PIE
Don’t let the ingredient list fool you. This recipe is super easy. If you want to make it even easier, skip making your own crust and use a prepared one. Oh, and this pie is delicious. Do I need to say anything more? Just enjoy. ;)
FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH (to be used as pie crust)
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup milk of choice
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
2 medium size avocados
3 large bananas
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa
1/4 cup milk of choice
1 tablespoon molasses
For the cookie dough:
Mix the dry ingredients, except the sugar.
Combine the sugar, molasses, and milk. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
Add shortening. Then, fold in dry ingredients.
Mix for 10 minutes.
For the pie:
Either grab your prepared crust or make the crust. If you are using a prepared crust, skip to Step 2. To make the crust: Press dough into pie pan and blind bake at 350 degrees (F) or 20 minutes. Remove beans, foil, or whatever you used to blind bake the crust. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the crust.
Freeze for 4 hours or until set.
Before eating, thaw for 20 minutes.