by guest blogger, Chef Kathryn Rogers of vivaciousdish.com
Four years ago I took a trip to Primal Pastures in Temecula, CA to kill a chicken. Committed to transparency, they hosted chicken processing workshops on their then small but growing family farm. As a longtime vegetarian who had only reintroduced meat into my diet a few years prior, the experience of taking an animal from pasture to plate changed me. It was hard, and brought up a wealth of emotions ranging from sadness to gratitude (read the full account here). I am so glad I went.
In the United States and more and more around the world, we are disconnected from our food sources. Chicken breasts come skin- and bone-free, neatly wrapped in plastic packaging, free from any semblance to a chicken’s blood and pulse as living beings, thereby separating us from the inconvenience of ethics in eating.
The result is a food system laden with shortcuts and injustice where chickens are pumped full of antibiotics, crammed into tiny boxes and cages, their breasts too large to properly walk. If people saw, live and in person, the reality of how the majority of grocery store chicken (and all conventional meat for that matter) is raised, they would likely be appalled, angered and maybe even committed to never eating meat again.
I get it. Every time I eat meat, it brings up feelings in me. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Eating is a political act. I strive to vote with my dollar for farmers committed to the triple bottom line (health of the person, the land and the animal) every time I pick up my fork.
The journey to whole health is paved with greater awareness – of your body’s needs (including if your body is asking for high quality animal protein or a grain free pot pie to satisfy your love of comfort food while also helping you steer clear of inflammatory grains) – and what it really takes to bring any food to the table.
We are fortunate to have holistic farmers and ranchers to make these decisions a little easier…By raising animals the way nature intended, out on open grassy pastures, with plenty of access to fresh air and sunshine…By acting as stewards of the animal and plant kingdoms by focusing on humane treatment and regenerating carbon in our soils via rotational grazing… And by welcoming visitors to their farms so we can see, feel, smell and then taste how our food is being raised.
And now, let’s indulge in the best way I know to offer gratitude for the life of an animal raised with that triple bottom line in mind. With a delicious dish that nourishes the whole body and is prepared with love.
Grain Free Pot Pie (Paleo Friendly)
- 1 cup pastured chicken broth, made using the bones of your roasted chicken (learn how to make broth here)
- 2 medium yellow potatoes
- 3 celery stalks
- 4 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage, thyme or other favorite herbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded, roasted chicken (bake whole chicken at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees)
- 3 cups organic blanched almond meal
- ¾ cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
- 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
- 9 Tbsp. grassfed butter, chilled
- 4-6 Tbsp. cold water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wash potatoes and coarsely chop them with their skins on. Put in medium pot, cover with water and a sprinkling of sea salt, and boil until just fork tender. Strain and let sit.
- Dice onions, carrots and celery and sauté with 1 Tbsp. butter/ghee/shortening in a cast iron dutch oven. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the vegetables begin to soften, make your pie crust. Mix together the almond flour, 3/4 cup of tapioca/arrowroot flour and 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Then cut in 8 Tbsp. of butter using a pastry cutter or two butter knives until pea-sized balls form. Do not over mix. Add cold water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until the dough just starts to come together.
- Generously flour (using arrowroot/tapioca) a large sheet of parchment paper, then take 1/2 of the dough and roll out into a large circle, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Gently flip the pie crust out into a pie dish, pressing it together with your fingers to make a uniform, single layer crust with a little extra around the top edges. Roll out the second half of the dough into another round, and refrigerate both the pressed crust and the rolled out sheet.
- Blend together potatoes and bone broth until smooth and creamy.
- Stir potato puree, peas and herbs into vegetable mixture and cook to thicken, a few minutes longer. Then stir in shredded chicken.
- Ladle chicken filling into prepared crust, then flip second crust sheet out onto the top of the pie and press together, leaving a few cracks for vents.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes until crust is golden and crispy. Slice and enjoy!
Kathryn Rogers is a Conscious Chef with more than 15 years’ experience creating colorful dishes from locally sourced ingredients. She believes that food has the power to change the world – both in our own bodies through nourishing, clean ingredients that fuel whole health and in our larger community by supporting sustainable and regenerative farmers committed to improving the environment and treating workers and livestock ethically and humanely. She splits her time between San Diego, CA and Carson City, NV, where she teaches cooking classes and offers catering and private chef services. Find her recipes for deliciously vibrant living at VivaciousDish.com.
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