Winter food is warm and comforting. Its hearty meals slow cooked for hours and devonshire teas in cosy little cafe or cottages with an open fireplace.
We tend to exercise less in winter too. Seriously, who wants to get up in the dark and voluntarily head out into the freezing cold, sometimes raining outdoors. They must be crazy :-p
2 tsp olive oil
2 leeks, white part only - thinly sliced
1 carrot - diced
1 celery stick - diced
3 bacon rashers, fat and rind removed - diced
500gm chicken mince
2 tbl spoons plain flour
2 springs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp lemon zest - finely grated
1 sheet low fat puff pastry (if making individual pies you will need 4 sheets)
Mixed salad to serve
1. Pre heat oven to 180°c. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the leek, carrot and celery. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
3. To make one large pie: Spoon the mixture into a 24cm base ovenproof dish. Top with one sheet of pastry. Crimp around the edges to seal. Cut two slits into the top of the pie. (you can line the bottom of the dish with pastry too if you want)
To make individual pies: Lightly spray each tin with oil. Using the pie tins as a guide, cut 8 circles from the pastry. Line the bottom of each tin with pastry. Prick all over with a fork. Line with baking paper and fill with uncooked rice. Blind bake for approx 5 minutes. Remove rice and baking paper. Spoon 2-3 tbl spoons of chicken mixture into each case. Top with pastry. Crimp edges with a fork, make two slits in the top of each pie.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with salad.