Pie, it’s what’s for dinner.

Dinner Pie

Pie for dinner? Heck, yeah! We’re all adults here, which means we can make rash meal decisions, such as deciding to have a milkshake for dinner. (Yep, I’ve done it.)

Honestly though, this is not that kind of pie. The crust only makes you think you’re cheating.

When I made this for dinner last night, it was definitely a last-minute, what do we have to make a meal, kind of dish, but it turned out delicious. I used a leftover half of a cooked spaghetti squash, which was great because it cut down on cooking time, and the squash was already cooled so I didn’t have to worry about it cooking the egg prematurely. In case you’re wondering, I used the other half of the squash with an artichoke and lemon sauce from Williams Sonoma the previous night.

My husband returned from a trip yesterday and I originally thought we would eat out, but we were both tired from golf, travel and pregnancy (respectively), so I decided to scrounge around the kitchen so we could relax at home. My pie pans haven’t arrived yet from our last duty station, but a cake pan worked just fine. Suffice it to say, this dish is easy, can be made last-minute, and can be built from a wide variety of ingredients. As long as you have two refrigerated pie crusts, one egg, some cheese, and a small selection of vegetables, you can create this pie.

Just as I did, get playful with this meal and use what you have. Maybe you have different kinds of meat, vegetables or cheeses on hand. Perhaps you want to make it vegetarian. As long as you use some cheese and an egg for binding, and make sure to drain excess grease and liquid (avoid a soggy crust) before building your pie, you can make it your own.

This is one of those recipes that looks and tastes impressive, but is as easy as making a casserole. It’s also a great way to sneak in a boatload of veggies. I did not add salt and pepper. It simply didn’t require it.

To really dress up the plate, you could serve a mixed green salad on the side. It would be lovely for a brunch, lunch or dinner.

Dinner Pie

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts (bring to room temp before unfolding)
  • 2 slices of bacon (chopped)
  • 1 chicken sausage (chopped) (I used one with feta and spinach in it)
  • 1 can of tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano, no salt added (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (cool and de-seeded)
  • 1/2 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced/chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated/shredded parmesan
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F.

Set out pie crusts to bring to room temperature. Do not grease pie pan.

Cook meat in a skillet. Add tomatoes, fennel seed and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain excess grease and liquid. Let cool a bit so it won’t cook the egg when mixed in.

In a medium bowl, combine squash (I used a fork and knife cross-cut to help the spaghetti mix more easily), zucchini, onion, cheese and egg. Add in meat and tomato mixture. Pour mixture into first pie crust, press, top with second crust, cut slits in top, bake at 350F for 50 minutes.

Inside of pie before baking or adding top crust

Recipe: (Vegetarian) Roasted red pepper and tomato soup with cheese toast

Tomato soup with grilled cheese has always been one of my favorite comfort foods; so, when my house had a crazy day recently, I knew that adding a little extra TLC to an old favorite would set us right up.

Some days are harder than others, and there’s a reason why they named a book series “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Warming up your insides with soothing soup, accepting the things you can’t control, deciding to be better tomorrow, and going to bed a little earlier than normal, can make all the difference.

A glass of milk replaced our usual glass of wine with this dinner, and we felt transported back to a time when decisions were simpler, and life was less hectic.

I hope this recipe soothes your soul and eases your mind as it did ours.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Parmesan-Cheddar Cheese Toast

  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 28oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans (drained) – delicious addition that adds protein and fiber
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 small container of plain greek yogurt
  • s&p to taste
  • sliced whole grain bread
  • parmesan
  • cheddar
  • butter
Heat your oven to 325 F (165 C) and roast your red pepper and garlic clove for about 25 minutes.
Remove and discard stem, seeds of red pepper, and peel and dice your garlic.
Heat oil in skillet/pot and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then add the roasted pepper (chopped), garlic, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil and cinnamon.
Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, then pour into blender/processor and grate until semi-smooth.
Return contents to pot/skillet, add beans (drained) and chicken broth, stir, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat and add yogurt, salt and pepper.
While keeping the soup warm, butter some sliced bread and top with cheddar and parmesan. Use your low broil setting to toast it until the cheese melts. Serve cheese toast with your soup for dipping.
If you want to add to the presentation of the dish, add a little dollop of yogurt and a basil leaf to the middle of each bowl of soup.