Make your own vegetable filled Michigan pasty

Try this recipe for a Michigan tradition that is tasty and full of vegetables.

Michigan is a very unique state with some interesting history and traditions. We have the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) where the “Yooper’s” live and then we have the Lower Peninsula occupied by the “Trolls.” Along with the state’s interesting nicknames for its residents, we also have a few food traditions, with Michigan pasties being the most prominent. Today you can find pasties throughout the state, however the further north you drive, the more popular they become.

The pasty is a Cornish pastry that has been a staple in the U.P. since the 19th century. The pasty recipe was originally brought to Michigan by Cornish immigrants who had developed it as a quick, portable lunch option when working in the mines. It is also known as a meat pie, and can be rather healthy depending on how the crust is made, after all, it has three of the five food groups in it (grains, protein and vegetables).

My mother has been making traditional pasties since I can remember. She recently told me that when I was a kid her pasties were the easiest way to get me to eat vegetables. There are many different twists to the pasty, but here is a healthy and hearty recipe that keeps it simple and kid friendly!

Pasty Recipe

Ingredients: (makes 15-16 Pasties):

1 ½ large rutabaga

2 medium onions, peeled and diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

4 pounds of lean beef (ground or cuts) cooked thoroughly

Salt and pepper to taste

Dough options (enough for 8 double crust pies):

1. Make your own with this healthy USDA recipe.

2. Purchase 8 double crust pie boxes (choose the whole grain option to make it healthier).

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl, except the crust. Take each pie crust and fill half of it with the ingredients from the big bowl. Fold the pie crust over and pinch it shut (it should look like a half moon calzone). Finally, the last step is to place the pasty on a cooking sheet and place it in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will not be disappointed with this recipe. Take a moment and turn this Michigan tradition into a healthy family tradition that helps your family increase their vegetable consumption.

Here at Michigan State University Extension we strive to help Michigan become as healthy as it can and it starts with the small steps that you take every day to better yourself and your family, like trying out this amazing pasty recipe at home today!

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