My grandmother, Abuelita, was born right before the Great Depression began. She was a young girl during that time and would tell me stories of those hard times her and her family endured along the streets of old Ybor City.
Her mother raised multiple children, and they knew how to pinch a penny. Especially when it came to food. Nothing went to waste, especially vegetables that were on the verge of spoiling. Even when times weren’t hard anymore, when she considered herself “rich”, she’d still find every opportunity to not be even the least bit wasteful.
One glance into her fridge and you’d see everything from an 1/8 of a sandwich she couldn’t dare throw away, ends of carrots and celery stalks, and side cubbies stuffed to the brim with condiment packets.
One of the things she would whip up on a dime was hearty pot pies. Pot pies are the perfect place to not only a great way to clean out the produce drawer in your fridge, but they’re also the perfect vessel for hiding nutritious and delicious ingredients to sneak by your picky eaters.
Although what I’ve whipped up is more of a tart than a pie, I as made this I was reminded of all of those on the spot creations my grandmother used to whip up.
For these I used a couple of carrots from last week’s farmer’s market trip, 1/2 onion that was sitting in a plastic bag from when we grilled burgers the other day, some leftover roasted broccoli I used for fritattas and some mushrooms I had purchased on sale at Publix over the weekend, but wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them. I also decided to keep these grain-free/low carb by using a hearty almond flour crust. Feel free to change these up with your favorite veggie combinations!
By the way, my Abuelita would have NEVER added mushrooms. She was VERY superstitious and believed that mushrooms were “la casita de diablo” aka the little devil’s house. She used to believe that mushrooms were evil, therefore would never, ever even come close to eating them! lol
Creamy vegetable tartlets makes 6
For the crust
2 cups blanched almond flour (blanched= no brown skins on the almonds)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. good extra virgin olive oil
For the filling
8oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup roasted broccoli
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. brown rice flour (can find at your regular grocery store)
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesean for garnish
1. For the crust: Combine almond flour, olive oil, salt and egg in a food processor (or use a mixer) and pulse until combined and a ball has formed. Wrap in wax paper or cling wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and carrots until almost completely soft. Add mushrooms, broccoli and thyme and continue cooking until mushrooms are caramelized (rich brown color).
3. Reduce heat to medium low and add brown rice flour. Stir until veggies are coated with the flour, then add chicken broth, salt and pepper. Simmer until bubbly, then turn off the heat and add heavy cream. Stir well and set aside.
4. Remove pie crust from the fridge and press walnut-sized pieces of dough into greased cupcake tins. Using a spoon, fill each cup with the veggie mixture and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let each tartlet cool, then remove from the pan and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy