This recipe is the perfect meal post-swim. The protein in the chicken and feta helps to repair and build up muscle, while the cannellini beans are a ideal source of slow-releasing energy. Leeks, Spinach, peas, lemon and garlic add additional vitamins and other micro-nutrients, as well as adding to the great flavour and texture of the pie.
Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6
Prep Time-15 minutes
Cooking time-1 hour
Wheat free, Gluten free
- 1/2 bulb garlic
- 1 teaspoon groundnut oil
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 small leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3 skinless free-range chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 240 g baby spinach
- 100 ml single cream
- 100 ml chicken stock, home-made or made from a stock cube
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 2 x 400 g cans cannellini beans, drained
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- 60 g Feta cheese, crumbled
- 200 g frozen peas, garden or Petit Pois, defrosted
- Firstly, pre heat your oven and roast the garlic, whole with the skin on for 15 minutes or until the garlic is soft.
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and leeks and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes to seal, then add the garlic and spinach and cook over a high heat for a further 3 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the liquid has evaporated.
- Pour in the cream, chicken stock, bay leaf, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and wholegrain mustard. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- While the leek sauce is cooking, take the garlic out of the oven and squeeze the garlic out of the roasted bulb into a mortar. Add the rosemary leaves and pound to a paste with the pestle. Tip the cannellini beans into a bowl. Add the garlic and rosemary paste and mash until smooth. Stir in the crumbled Feta cheese.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf from the chicken and leek mix. Add your peas to the mix and tip into a 2 litre pie dish. Top with the cannellini bean mash and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the mash is heated through.
To clean your leeks to get rid of the sand/grit, chop off the green ends, and keeping the root on, slice the leek in four lengthways. Fan out and wash under the tap. Then chop the root off and slice.
Recipe and photo from Jennifer Irvine’s ‘The Diet for Food Lovers’. Available to buy here.