Wednesday’s ‘use it up!’ recipe

Filed in Blog by on January 19, 2011 5 Comments
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Mrs Green's 'lush nice meat pie'

Mrs Green's 'lush nice meat pie'

This week’s zero waste recipe comes courtesy of a craving Little Miss Green’s had. Each Wednesday I’m covering a recipe that is either from an old cookbook which shows people how housewives cooked during the time of war rations, or it will be another similar ‘use it up’ meal from ingredients that might otherwise go to waste. The beauty of cooking in this way is that it’s not only green, but it’s frugal.

So far we’ve shared an eggless sponge pudding, courtesy of Marguerite Patten’s ‘Victory Cookbook’ and wacky cake which Maisie told me about.

After a busy day reciting maths and writing stories at school LMG looked at me wistfully with those big brown eyes that usually get her what she wants and said “I really fancy a lush, nice meat pie”.

Alas there was no ‘lush, nice meat pie’ in the house, but there was some wilting veg and some left over chicken from Sunday.

I donned my 1940’s housewife pinny and set to work.

Mrs Green’s “Looks Lush Nice Meat Pie”


1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
few cauliflower florets
4 small cooked potatoes, diced
1/4 cooked chicken breast, chopped
left over gravy
dried herbs

For the pastry:

4 oz plain flour
2 oz butter
few tablespoons water


Put the carrot, celery and cauliflower into a saucepan and cook for 15 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile make the shortcrust pastry by rubbing butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add around 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix until you get a soft dough. Refrigerate until the vegetables are cooked.
Drain the vegetables and add the cooked potatoes, chicken, gravy and herbs and mix everything together.
Roll out 2/3 pastry to line your dish and fill with the chicken and vegetables
Use the rest of pastry to make a top
Bake at 180 for 30 minutes until golden

Makes two hearty portions for one hungry eco princess.

You could of course, use whatever vegetables you have to hand…

One of our readers, Jean, has shared her Grandma’s Fat Free sponge cake which I will be trying; does anyone else have a great recipe for me to try?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Alyson says:

    I do something similar. I call it left over pie. If I’ve got any casserole left over, I put rough puff pastry on the top. Actually, I find rough puff pastry easier to make than shortcrust and it’s courtesy of Marguerite Patten. Same ingredients for shortcrust but you chop the fat , don’t rub it in, add the water and roll and fold to your hearts content and stick it in the fridge a couple of times. Wasn’t a war recipe but came from one of her budget cookbooks from the ’70s. Last week it was left over casserole. The meat was fresh, I just added ingredients that needed to be used up like rice and veg and gravy. Next day, the rest was pied.

  2. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiring idea. This looks yummy! Your recipe and picture has inspired me to make a vegetarian version tonight using mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, peas, homemade mushroom gravy, and anything else that needs to be used up. I might take a short cut and use the frozen puff pastry dough I have in the freezer. I use to do something similar with the mashed potatoes ( like a cottage pie), but for some reason forgot about making this family favorite.

    This is a perfect no waste recipe that is quick and frugal. Perfect for the cold wet rainy winter weather we have been having in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Love all the ideas and info that I get from your blog.
    Kathy in soggy Portland Oregon United States

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Alyson: Left Over pie sounds a great name to me Alyson! I’ve never made rough pastry; I’ll check it out and give it a go – thanks!

    @Kathy: You’re welcome Kathy; the veggie version sounds great – I like mine with some red lentils in it too and I love mashed potato as a topping to anything (prefer it to pastry if I’m honest). Hope it dries out over there soon!

  4. There’s something so very comforting about a pie 🙂

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Julie Gibbons: So true, Julie 🙂

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