Kid-friendly Very Veggie Pot Pies + “Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Very Veggie Pot Pies + “Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

Family Meal Plan: Very Veggie Pot Pies + “Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

Very Veggie Pot Pies + “Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

by Erin Fletter
Photo by galiyahassan/Adobe Stock
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Very Veggie Pot Pies

Warm and savory, a pot pie is the perfect answer for your child's cold cheeks and nose. It warms you from the inside out and fills your empty stomach. I personally love all kinds of pot pies and think it's the ultimate comfort food. I love the creamy filling and flaky, buttery crust. Plus, with all the vegetable filling possibilities, finding a pot pie your child will like will be as easy as pie! 

My dear husband, Ryan, and our awesome middle child, Liliana (bacon and barbecue-loving omnivores), confessed that they liked this pot pie even better than the meat versions they've had. That is no simple feat. A crispy crust lines the top of a pot filled with fragrant, hot, and thick vegetable stew. It is simple and quick to make, and you can customize it with your kids' favorite veggies. Hopefully, you will also try our easy crust recipe, but you can also use store-bought puff pastry or biscuit dough, a lifesaver for busy weeknights. 

Let your kids decide what vegetables to use—the vegetables listed in the recipe or your favorite in-season vegetables as each season and local produce changes. These may include asparagus and peas in the spring or green beans and tomatoes in the summer. Your children won't even bat an eye at eating their veggies with this scrumptious, quick, easy, and, dare I say, even adult party-worthy recipe!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • FRESH
  • 1 or 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 to 2 apples
  • Choose at least 4 of these veggies for pot pie filling:
  • 1 zucchini (fun to chop)
  • 1 yellow squash (fun to chop)
  • 1 to 2 celery stalks (fun to chop)
  • 6 baby carrots (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls frozen green peas
  • 2 handfuls frozen corn
  • 2 handfuls frozen green beans
  • 1 handful mushrooms (fun to chop + adds a "meaty" taste)
  • 1/2 C cauliflower (fun to chop)
  • 1/2 C broccoli (fun to chop)
  • 1 baby eggplant (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls fresh kale (fun to chop)
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handful Brussel sprouts
  • FROZEN
  • Optional time saver for crust: 1 can premade biscuit dough or puff pastry, like Immaculate Baking Dough ***(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C frozen hash browns (diced or shredded) OR 1 15-oz can unsweetened potato or sweet potato (whole, cut, or diced)
  • DAIRY
  • 1 stick or 1/2 C butter, frozen for crust **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/4 C shredded cheese + extra for sprinkling on top pies **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 C half-and-half **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • Oil or cooking spray for muffin pan
  • 1 C + 2 T all-purpose flour, for crust **(see allergy subs below)**
  • Filling:
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1 pinch salt
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 2 C water
  • 4 C ice

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • cut in :

    to mix a cold, solid fat, like butter or shortening, into a dry ingredient, like flour, until there are particles of fat covered with the dry ingredient. The recipe might call for "pea size" particles or a mixture that looks like "coarse meal." You can use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers to cut in the fat.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • plump up :

    to stew or soak dried foods, like raisins or noodles, in liquid to rehydrate them, often causing them to become fuller.

  • roll :

    to use a rolling pin to flatten dough; use your hands to form a roll or ball shape; or move a round food, like a grape or a meatball, through another food, like sugar or breadcrumbs, to coat it.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Skillet
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Pastry blender or fork
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Grater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Small bowl
scale
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Ingredients

Very Veggie Pot Pies

  • Oil or cooking spray for muffin pan
  • Crust:
  • 1 stick or 1/2 C butter, frozen **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance brand)**
  • 1 C + 2 T all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • ice water, as needed
  • Optional time saver for crust: 1 can premade biscuit dough or puff pastry, like Immaculate Baking Dough **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free premade pastry or pie dough)**
  • Filling:
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 or 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/4 C water + more as needed
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 C shredded cheese + extra for sprinkling on top pies **(omit for DAIRY ALLERGIES or use dairy-free/nut-free cheese shreds, like Daiya brand)**
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Choose at least 4 of these veggies:
  • 1 zucchini (fun to chop)
  • 1 yellow squash (fun to chop)
  • 1 to 2 celery stalks (fun to chop)
  • 6 baby carrots (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls frozen green peas
  • 2 handfuls frozen corn
  • 2 handfuls frozen green beans
  • 1 handful mushrooms (fun to chop + adds a "meaty" taste)
  • 1/2 C cauliflower (fun to chop)
  • 1/2 C broccoli (fun to chop)
  • 1 baby eggplant (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach (fun to chop)
  • 2 handfuls fresh kale (fun to chop)
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C frozen hash browns (diced or shredded) OR 1 15-oz can unsweetened potato or sweet potato (whole, cut, or diced)
  • 1 handful Brussel sprouts

“Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 to 2 apples
  • 1 C half-and-half **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free creamer or full-fat canned coconut milk)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 to 3 C ice

Food Allergen Substitutions

Very Veggie Pot Pies

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour for all-purpose flour OR gluten-free/nut-free premade pastry or pie dough in Crust.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance brand, for butter in Crust. Omit shredded cheese or use dairy-free/nut-free cheese shreds, like Daiya brand, in Filling.

“Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free creamer or full-fat canned coconut milk for half-and-half in Shakes.

Instructions

Very Veggie Pot Pies

1.
cut in + rub

Start by making the homemade pie crust! (Or use the timesaver premade dough option.) Have your kids cut 1 stick of frozen butter into small cubes or slices and add to 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour in a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Then, have your kids use their hands to quickly rub the mixture together, so that the butter is absorbed into the flour.

2.
drizzle + mix + roll

Gradually drizzle ice water into the bowl, mixing with the pastry blender or fork until the dough just comes together. Quickly shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Place on a floured surface and roll out to 1/8-inch thick. Have kids make roundish shapes for a total of about 12 dough rounds of homemade pie crust.

3.
preheat + chop + sauté

Now it's time to make the veggie filling! Preheat your oven to 400 F and grease or spray a muffin pan with oil or butter. Chop 1 to 2 green onions and 1 garlic clove and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes in a little oil on your stovetop over medium heat. Meanwhile, have your kids chop, dice, slice, or grate your vegetables of choice into pieces that are approximately the same size.

4.
measure + add + cook

Add your chopped vegetable mixture to the skillet with the onion and garlic. Add 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 vegetable bouillon cube. Cook until vegetables are tender, approximately 5 minutes.

5.
stir + thicken

Turn off the heat under the skillet, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and mix well. Add a little water at this point, just enough to get everything thick. Finally, add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Stir to combine.

6.
press + spoon + sprinkle

Have your kids make a mini dough bowl with their fingers to line each well of your muffin pan. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of each well. Spoon the veggie mixture evenly into each cup and sprinkle with some extra cheese.

7.
bake + cool

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan.

“Caramel” Apple Shazam Shakes

1.
plump + chop

In a small bowl, pour a little warm water over 1/4 cup raisins and let them sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours. Then have your kids chop 1 to 2 apples and add them and the plumped raisins to your blender or a pitcher for use with an immersion blender.

2.
add + blend

Add 1 cup half and half, 1 pinch of salt, and 2 to 3 cups of ice to the raisins and apples in your blender. Blend and shazam! You’ve got a delicious shake! Enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Vegetables!

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Photo by yanadjan/Adobe Stock

Hi! We're Vegetables!

"We're as varied as the humans, animals, and plants on our planet! We come in many different colors, sizes, shapes, and flavors, and we're also eaten in a variety of ways, alone or with other foods and either raw or cooked. Not only do we taste good, we're good for you! If you try a veggie you don't particularly like, there may be several others, or other ways of eating it, that you will like!"

  • Vegetables are edible plants or components of a plant that often accompany meat or fish in a main meal. The parts that can be eaten are flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds, or stems.
  • Organic vegetables are certified to have not been grown in chemically-treated soil.
  • Vegetables are an essential part of the diet of any child and adult. Most vitamins and nutrients are contained within the vegetable's skin and the layer directly underneath it.
  • Vegetables are generally very low in fat and calories and excellent for healthy diets.
  • Frozen vegetables are just as beneficial to our health as fresh vegetables.
  • Various ways of cooking vegetables include roasting, baking, boiling, steaming, blanching, deep frying, stir-frying, sweating, grilling, and marinating.
  • Vegetables that are great when tossed with olive oil and roasted are carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes, and squash.
  • Green leafy vegetables, like collard and mustard greens, kale, spinach, and swiss chard, are very versatile for cooking. Cooking methods include baking, blanching, boiling, steaming, and stir-frying. They are also great in soups; kale and spinach are often eaten raw in salads.
  • The nutritional value of most vegetables decreases during the cooking process. 
  • Vegetables come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors, such as green, purple, red, and yellow. The more colorful, the better they are for you! 
  • Vegetables are one of the richest sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for our health. Eating our veggies can help to improve our immune systems and allow our bodies to fight against illness and disease, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Many vegetables provide a great source of vitamins A, C, and B. Doctors, scientists, and leading health experts recommend that kids eat multiple servings of vegetables and fruit daily.
  • Vegetables can give children more energy and the ability to concentrate and focus more clearly and for longer periods.
  • Vegetables can benefit our skin, teeth, nails, and hair and keep us looking and feeling young.
  • A balanced diet with lots of vegetables can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and live a longer and healthier life.

History of Pot Pies!

Photo by Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock

Who is the genius behind pot pie? It would be easier to answer whether the chicken or the egg came first! The idea of stuffing pie with meats and vegetables dates back to 5th-century Rome, possibly further. In fact, the savory pie outdated the dessert version by a long shot.

Initially, the purpose was to keep meat moist, but later Europeans turned the dish into one fit for a king. Pot pies were considered an art form and often served to royalty. The peasants eventually began eating the dish, but only because the addition of breading caused the soup to feed more mouths. Since then, nearly every civilization has adapted, improved, and tweaked pot pies. 

Is pot pie good for you? Pot pie does a pretty good job of covering all the food groups except fruit, though the health factor depends on your chosen recipe. If you load it with salt and mostly meat, it is not as healthy. An average chicken pot pie recipe has 300 to 400 calories per serving. It offers 20 to 30 percent of your daily protein needs and plenty of vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. Our Sticky Fingers Cooking Very Veggie Pot Pies (see recipe) are very good for you!

Let's learn about England!

Photo by Tomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock.com
  • England is ruled by a Monarch, a Prime Minister, and a Parliament. Windsor Castle is the oldest royal castle in the world that is still being used by the royal family.
  • England is on the island of Great Britain, along with Wales and Scotland. It is also part of the United Kingdom, which consists of those three countries and Northern Ireland. 
  • Did you know that there's no place in the UK that is more than 70 miles from the sea?! 
  • Stonehenge is a construction of immense stones that the early inhabitants of what's now Wiltshire, England, began building around 3100 BCE. The final sections were completed around 1600 BCE. Scientists are still not sure how or why they built it. One theory for its purpose is an astronomical observatory. It is very popular with tourists.
  • Other popular tourist spots in England include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament (Palace of Westminster), the Roman Baths and the city of Bath, and the Lake District.  
  • London, the capital city, wasn't always called that. In the past, its name was Londonium.
  • England took part in the briefest war in history. They fought Zanzibar in 1896, and Zanzibar surrendered after just 38 minutes!
  • There have been several influential English authors, but perhaps the most well-known is William Shakespeare, who wrote classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet.
  • English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web.
  • The British really like their sandwiches—they eat almost 11.5 billion a year!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in England?

  • Most schools in England require students to wear a school uniform. 
  • Sports kids play include football (soccer), cricket, rugby, tennis, netball (similar to basketball), and rounders (similar to baseball). They also play video games, watch the telly, and ride bikes or skateboards.
  • Boxing Day is a unique holiday kids celebrate in England the day after Christmas, December 26. The official public holiday is the first weekday after Christmas if Boxing Day falls on a weekend. When the English created the holiday, it was the day to share the contents of alms boxes with the poor. Today, it is mostly a day off from school and work, although some small gifts may be given out to family and employees, or collected to give to the poor.
  • English kids may have different names for everyday items also found in the United States. For example, a kid will call his mom "mum." Their backyard is a "garden." A big truck is called a "lorry," and the trunk of a car is a "boot." Biscuits in the US are closest to the British "scones," and cookies in England are "biscuits." A TV is usually called a "telly." Bags of chips are referred to as bags of "crisps." French fries, like those from a fast-food hamburger place, might be called "fries," but if they are thicker, like the ones typically served with batter-fried fish, they're called "chips" (fish and chips). Finally, kids call the fish sticks they might have for lunch "fish fingers.

THYME for a Laugh

What do vegetables wish for, more than anything else in the whole world? 

World Peas.

THYME for a Laugh

Once a month, a newsletter about dried fruit is published.

On those dates it is raisin awareness of currant events!

Lettuce Joke Around

"Knock, knock." 

"Who’s there?"

"Carrot!"

"Carrot who?" 

"Don’t you carrot all about me? Let me in!"

That's Berry Funny

What kind of vegetable likes to look at animals? 

A zoo-chini!

Lettuce Joke Around

What vegetable are all others afraid of? 

A Scarrot!

THYME for a Laugh

Did you hear about the carrot detective? 

He got to the root of every case.

That's Berry Funny

Where do chickens grow? 

On egg-plants!

Lettuce Joke Around

What reads and lives in an apple? 

A bookworm.

THYME for a Laugh

What did the carrot say to the rabbit? 

"Do you want to grab a bite?"

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